What is Teeth Contouring?

If you are not happy with your smile, your dentist might recommend tooth contouring. Also called reshaping, contouring allows your dentist to change certain aspects of your teeth. While not often used as the sole cosmetic dental procedure, it can still make a big impact. Here are some things to know about tooth contouring to decide if it's right for you.

What is contouring?

With tooth contouring, the dentist uses a special tool to remove some of the surface enamel from the teeth. This allows the dentist to change the shape or size of the tooth. Some people have tooth contouring done to incisors that come to a point, while others want some oddly-shaped teeth fixed so they match the other teeth. It can also be done if a tooth is too long, especially in comparison with neighbouring teeth. Contouring may be done prior to bonding in order to change the overall appearance of the teeth.

What is the procedure like?

Tooth contouring may sound like a scary process, but it is something that is quick and easy to do. The amount of contouring will determine how long it takes, but it is usually done in one visit. Many people don't need a local anesthetic, though you can get one if you have sensitive teeth. All you should feel during the procedure is a vibration sensation from the tool sculpting the tooth. When the sculpting is done, the tooth is then polished and you're ready to go home. It may be a little sensitive following the procedure, though not for long.

What are the benefits?

There are a variety of different benefits to choosing teeth contouring for your smile. First of all, getting your teeth reshaped is considerably less expensive than alternative cosmetic procedures, such as getting veneers. It is a great way to improve your smile without spending too much, especially if you only have a couple problem teeth. Another benefit is the fact that it is done in the same visit and isn't painful or uncomfortable. If you are something that is sensitive to anesthetic, you don't have that extra concern. You also get to keep more of your teeth enamel with reshaping, as opposed to crowns or veneers, which require filing down your teeth a little more.

Are there any disadvantages?

While there are many benefits to choosing teeth contouring, there are also some disadvantages to be aware of. First of all, the process can't be reversed. If you aren't happy with the new size and shape of the teeth, your only option is to get veneers, crowns or bonding over them to cover up the imperfections.There is also a risk of damaging the tooth, though this is rare.