Smile improvement is an important aspect of professional dentistry because your confidence in your smile is as important as its overall health. However, when improving your smile’s appearance, it’s just as important to make sure that you preserve a maximum amount of healthy, natural tooth structure for the good of your long-term oral health. To that end, we often recommend cosmetic tooth bonding and contouring, which can create dramatic results for your smile’s appearance without your dentist having to modify a large amount of tooth structure.
How Does Cosmetic Bonding Work?
Cosmetic bonding uses a strong composite resin that looks like natural tooth enamel. The material can even be color-matched to your smile. Dental bonding treatments can typically be completed in one relatively short session. Before the bonding material is placed, the treatment site will need to be thoroughly cleaned to ensure that the resin adheres tightly to your tooth. A special etching material will be used to finalize the cleaning process. Then, the composite resin will be molded to meet your cosmetic needs. The bonding material is then hardened using a special light. Dr. James Fondriest will remove any minor imperfections while ensuring that the bonding material does not interfere with your bite. Cosmetic bonding can be used to address a wide range of cosmetic blemishes.
Fixing a cracked tooth
A crack or fracture in your tooth’s surface might not call for a dental crown to fix it. In many cases, Dr. Fondriest can place customized, tooth-colored composite resin in the fracture to restore the tooth’s health, strength, and appearance. The process of bonding the tooth will help reestablish its ability to absorb your bite pressure without suffering further damage. It will also improve your smile’s appearance by covering the visible blemish.
Improving tooth blemishes
If your tooth isn’t cracked, but exhibits stubborn blemishes like internal discoloration or a chipped edge, then tooth bonding can also be used to correct it. After placing the custom-tinted resin on your tooth, Dr. Fondriest will artfully sculpt it to match the tooth’s ideal appearance. Then, he will harden the resin with a special light and polish it for a natural, attractive finish.
Building Up Your Tooth Structure
Tooth bonding is more commonly performed than tooth contouring, and involves carefully bonding tooth-colored composite resin to your tooth. The resin, which is custom-tinted to mimic the unique shade and color of your teeth, can be sculpted to match the tooth’s ideal outline. After your dentist hardens and polishes the bonding, your tooth will look like new again, without blemishes and with a stronger, healthier structure.
Reshaping Your Tooth’s Outline
In some cases, adding to your tooth’s structure isn’t the right answer. For instance, if your tooth slightly overlaps another, then you don’t want to add to the other side of the tooth so that it overlaps that one, as well. Instead, your dentist can carefully sculpt the overlapping edge (or jagged, sharp edge) through tooth contouring, creating a more symmetrical tooth and uniform smile. For some patients, we may recommend performing bonding and contouring together to improve the appearance of several teeth simultaneously. For others who have situations that are a bit worse, we may recommend veneers.
Cosmetic Alternatives to Cosmetic Bonding
Most cosmetic problems can be addressed through more than one treatment option. If your teeth are structurally sound and free from minor chips and cracks, you may be a better candidate for teeth whitening. If you are seeking drastic and long-lasting results, you may want to explore porcelain veneers. Dr. Fondriest is proud to offer No Prep Veneers. Most veneers require the removal of a small amount of enamel, but “no prep” veneers are ultra-thin and durable. If your tooth is severely decayed or disfigured, you may be a good candidate for a porcelain dental crown that wraps your tooth in a strong, protective shell. During your consultation, Dr. Fondriest will gladly explain each treatment in detail so you understand which life-changing cosmetic option works best for your personal goals and budget.
Benefits of Cosmetic Bonding
Once you have undergone cosmetic dental bonding, you can enjoy these benefits:
- Brief office visit: Dental bonding is a straightforward procedure that can be completed in well under an hour at our dental practice.
- No recovery time: Dental bonding is non-invasive, meaning that there is no adjustment time associated with the procedure. Unlike veneers or dental crowns, there are typically no side effects associated with cosmetic dental bonding.
- Preservation of natural teeth: Many restorative and cosmetic treatments require the removal of a small amount of enamel. Cosmetic bonding does not require the removal of any enamel, and the procedure is 100 percent reversible.
- Affordable treatment: Dental bonding treatments can be completed for a few hundred dollars per tooth, far less than the average cost of even one porcelain veneer.
- Natural-looking results: Dr. Fondriest will color-match the composite resin to match the color and luster of your natural teeth, meaning the restoration will completely blend in with your smile.
Ask Your Dentist About Cosmetic Bonding & Contouring
With tooth bonding and contouring, you can completely transform your smile’s appearance without drastically changing your healthy, natural tooth structure. Learn about your options in cosmetic dentistry Chicago, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.