Tooth reshaping, or dental contouring, is a very conservative and fairly inexpensive option to help improve the overall cosmetic appearance of your smile. If you have a
minor issue or defect in your smile that you want to fix, tooth reshaping could be for you. Tooth reshaping is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that can make small subtle changes to your teeth that can give huge results to a patient’s appearance and self confidence. This technique removes small amounts of tooth enamel in order to change the shape, length, or surface of one tooth or multiple teeth. This procedure is often combined with dental bonding, another cosmetic dentistry procedure that uses tooth-colored composite material to re contour and shape the teeth.
Smile imperfections or problems like slightly overlapping or irregularly shaped teeth, tiny chips in the teeth, or excessively pointy cuspids, can often be fixed with a little tooth reshaping and dental contouring.
The Procedure of Tooth Reshaping
Tooth reshaping is completed utilizing dental instruments and abrasion techniques. X-rays may be needed before the reshaping and contouring begin to ensure that your teeth are otherwise in a healthy condition. Your cosmetic dentist will then highlight areas that need sculpting and re contouring. A sanding instrument is used to gently eliminate or minimize imperfections on the surface of the teeth. Sandpaper-like strips may be used to contour the sides of the teeth. Finally, the teeth are polished back to their original shine. Only you and your cosmetic dentist should know any work was done.
Advantages of Tooth Reshaping
-Minimal Cost. Tooth reshaping is inexpensive and a great way to improve the look of your teeth. Tooth reshaping can cost as little as $50-100 per tooth.
-Zero Pain or Discomfort. During tooth reshaping only surface enamel is removed so there is generally no pain or discomfort involved. No anesthesia is needed.
-Improves overall dental health. Removing minor overlaps and other imperfections where tartar and plaque can build up can lower your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. The teeth will be easier to keep clean when access is easier.
-Possible substitute for orthodontics (braces). In some cases, tooth reshaping and dental contouring can substitute for braces since they make edges of teeth look a little straighter and eliminate minor overlapping. The overall effect will not be as dramatic as a completed orthodontic case but it can give quite an esthetic improvement.
Disadvantages of Tooth Reshaping
-Minor changes. Unlike other cosmetic dentistry procedures, tooth reshaping and dental contouring will not dramatically alter the look of your smile or whiten your teeth. For a bigger change you may consider a true smile makeover, which can include teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and porcelain crowns. Tooth reshaping and dental contouring can only remove small imperfections, whereas porcelain veneers cover the entire front surface of the teeth, giving them a completely new look, shape, and color.
-Possible risk of damage to teeth. Tooth sensitivity could be an issue depending on how much enamel is removed during the tooth reshaping. Also, if too much enamel is removed during tooth reshaping there can be an increased risk for fracture or breakage down the road.
Tooth Reshaping: Is It Right For You?
Tooth reshaping and dental contouring are best for people who require just minor changes or repairs to improve the cosmetic look of their teeth. However, dental reshaping and tooth contouring are not appropriate for people with decaying teeth, root canals, or unhealthy gums.
Many times tooth reshaping and dental contouring are the first steps toward more extensive cosmetic dentistry work. Procedures such as porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, and crown lengthening can be completed months or even years after tooth reshaping.
If you want to avoid the time and expense of major cosmetic dentistry, tooth reshaping and dental contouring could be just the answer to a better smile. It is oftentimes a great way to improve dental hygiene and give you a boost of self confidence. As always, see your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime!