Tooth contouring is also called dental contouring or tooth reshaping. It is a procedure in which the dentist removes tiny amounts of enamel to reshape teeth. It is most often done for cosmetic reasons, but can sometimes benefit oral hygiene by removing pits and places where plaque gathers. It is often combined with bonding, where additional tooth-colored composite is added to further improve the shape of the teeth. In and of itself, it will not remove stains or whiten teeth, but smoothing out the teeth can improve tooth whitening treatments done after reshaping, even quite a time later. Denison Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers reshaping in-office, where it can be completed in a single visit.
Why tooth contouring?
Tooth contouring is ideal for people who are embarrassed by their smile because of crooked or oddly shaped teeth. Contouring can be done to reduce overlaps between teeth, resulting in a straighter smile. Contouring can be angled to create the appearance of straighter teeth by deflecting the light in particular ways. Tooth contouring may also be used to treat tiny chips in the teeth. It is a conservative treatment – veneers are better if you want a complete smile makeover. This also makes it reasonably affordable, compared to other cosmetic dentistry procedures. It is painless and there is no downtime afterwards.
What are the Benefits?
The benefits of tooth contouring come down to a more attractive smile. While this might be minor to some people, to some patients this can make a huge difference to self esteem and overall mental health. Many people are self-conscious about small imperfections with their teeth, and may want to hide their smile.
By smoothing the teeth out, tooth reshaping can remove areas where plaque tends to gather before cavities develop. This can also lower your risk of gum disease. The primary purpose, however, is cosmetic, with the goal being to make you happy and comfortable with your smile and more comfortable about being seen in public. Studies indicate that people who are happy with their smile are more willing to show their teeth, less likely to worry about what the opposite sex thinks of them, and overall have more confidence. Additionally, there are indications that a good smile can even help you in a job interview.
Are There Any Risks?
Before performing any kind of contouring procedure, Dr. Denison will take x-rays to assess the health of your teeth. If you have unusually thin enamel, you are not a good candidate for the procedure. Contouring is also not recommended for people with active gum disease or who are highly prone to periodontal disease. A tooth that has had a root canal or extensive “rebuilding” cannot be contoured.
The most common side effect of contouring is temporary tooth sensitivity. Your teeth may become sensitive to things like hot coffee and ice cream for a short time afterwards. In rare cases, sensitivity may be permanent or cavities may develop – this usually happens if the dentist has removed too much enamel, so always choose a good dentist with experience in these procedures.
Cosmetic tooth reshaping is generally not covered by insurance. However, insurance may cover procedures used to fix damage after an accident or trauma.If you have tooth problems due to grinding, then contouring can fix them, but the problem will simply recur. In this case, you should talk to your dentist about treatments such as a mouth guard to prevent tooth grinding.
If you are unhappy about your smile because of the straightness or shape of your teeth, and have a healthy mouth, you should talk to Dr. Denison about tooth contouring. Denison Family and Cosmetic Dentistry has years of experience using cosmetic procedures to brighten smiles. Make an appointment today, we can’t wait to get started!