When a tooth becomes chipped or damaged, we always encourage patients to see a dental professional right away. Otherwise, what seems like merely a minor esthetic concern can lead to serious problems with oral health. We often repair teeth with a cosmetic procedure, such as bonding or contouring. Do you have questions about bonding and contouring?
Frequently Asked Questions About Bonding and Contouring
Question: How do chipped teeth endanger our smiles?
Answer: While some damage can be minor, some may be extensive enough to expose the inner tooth structure to harmful bacteria, leading to the onset of tooth decay (and without treatment, a painful infection). In addition, you may feel self-conscious about your damaged tooth.
Question: How does bonding work?
Answer: We first clean the tooth and remove any decay before placing a composite resin. We may also etch the tooth to help the bacteria bond. The composite resin is metal-free and can be shaded to blend with the smile. As the material cures under a light, the dentist will sculpt the tooth. Finally, the tooth will be polished to ensure a more natural looking appearance.
Question: When do we need contouring?
Answer: While bonding adds material to correct the tooth’s appearance, contouring does the opposite. We gently buff the surface of the tooth and remove a miniscule layer of surface. This addresses any pits or grooves in the tooth surface. We can also dull overly-pointed teeth.
Question: When do we need crowns?
Answer: For more serious breakage, or if a tooth is fractured, we may recommend a dental crown. The restoration fits over the top of the tooth, preventing further decay or infection. We use lifelike ceramic to create our crowns, which means they can withstand bite forces and blend seamlessly with your smile.