Dental contouring is the process of reshaping a person’s teeth. Considered a cosmetic dentistry procedure, the treatment involves removing a small portion of tooth enamel to improve the surface, shape, or length of a single tooth or multiple teeth. Contouring is an ideal option to address several common cosmetic dental issues, including cracks, clips, and mild crookedness in the teeth.
What Is Tooth Reshaping?
Tooth reshaping, or dental contouring, is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that removes minor amounts of tooth enamel to change the shape or length of one or more teeth. This technique can be helpful in quickly altering teeth that are chipped, cracked, or overlapping. In certain situations, dental contouring can be a substitute for braces. This procedure offers patients a subtle yet noticeable change to their teeth to help create a beautiful and more even smile.
How Tooth Contouring Is Performed
When performed by a skilled and trained cosmetic dentist, tooth contouring can be performed with little to no patient discomfort. Before starting, dental x-rays will be taken to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there is enough bone between the teeth to provide proper support. Your dentist will then gently remove a small amount of tooth enamel with a laser or drill. Misshapen areas will be trimmed, excessively long teeth will be shortened, and poorly shaped teeth will be evened out for proper bite and alignment. The final step is to smooth and polish your smile. Depending on the extent of the contouring recommended, reshaping may take just one 30 minute appointment to complete.
Combining Bonding With Reshaping
Dental bonding utilizes a putty-like resin that is color-matched to your existing teeth. The bonding adheres to the teeth and hardens with a light. Before applying bonding, your dentist will etch the tooth surface so that the resin has a rough surface to adhere to. After the resin is applied, your dentist will use UV light to cure and harden the bonding, and the new surface of your tooth is polished. Bonding takes about 30 minutes and is a quick and affordable way to correct minor smile imperfections. By combining dental bonding with tooth reshaping, chips and gaps between the teeth can be filled in, and the shape and color of your teeth can be drastically improved in a short amount of time.
To help keep your newly shaped teeth attractive, you will need to take great care of your oral health. Dental bonding is the most at risk of chipping or staining. For patients with dental restorations, always avoid chewing or biting on hard non-food items like fingernails, pen caps, and using your teeth as tools. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day will help keep your teeth white and stain-free after your treatment. Smoking and drinking dark-colored liquid like coffee, tea, and red wine can stain the resin, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. Tooth contouring and dental bonding are both affordable options for altering your smile in a non-time consuming way.
Are You An Ideal Candidate?
Dental contouring is an incredibly simple and straightforward process. If you’re interested in learning more about contouring, bonding, or other cosmetic dentistry treatments to address any minor imperfections in your smile, an initial exam is a great place to start. Following an exam, we will confirm if your teeth are healthy if you have sufficient enamel for the procedure, and if you are a great candidate for the treatment. Contact Hinsdale Dentistry today to schedule a consultation.