What is Tooth Contouring and Reshaping?

Woman with dental instruments in her mouthTooth contouring and reshaping treatments are for anyone who would like to remove defects from their teeth.

These are cosmetic dentistry procedures that can fix issues like poorly shaped, chipped, pointy and overlapping teeth.

What Does Tooth Contouring and Reshaping Process Involve?

This procedure involves the removal of small amounts of the outer layer of a tooth called the enamel. This is done to change the length, shape or overall appearance of the tooth. The removal of even a tiny bit of enamel can often drastically improve the appearance of a tooth.

The process of tooth contouring and reshaping often involves the use of dental bonding. Dental bonding is the use of composite resins to fill up a cavity or to reshape a tooth. It is one of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures. It can significantly alter the appearance of a person's teeth.

The dentist applies the composite directly to the patient's teeth, and the putty-like substance is molded as desired. The dentist then hardens it with ultraviolet light and polishes it to give it a natural glow like real teeth.

The dentist will typically use abrasion and dental instruments during tooth contouring. X-ray images might be taken before the procedure to ensure the patient's tooth is healthy enough for the treatment. The dentist will mark the areas of the tooth that need to be reshaped.

A sanding instrument is then used to precisely remove enamel from the areas that have been marked. The dentist will smooth out the tooth after the procedure and polish it.

Benefits of tooth contouring

  • It is an affordable treatment
  • It is typically painless since only surface layers of enamel are removed. Anesthesia is typically not administered during the process
  • It can improve the overall health of the tooth and those on the opposing part of the jaw since it can be used to correct minor bite issues
  • It can be a substitute for orthodontic treatments like traditional braces

Disadvantages of tooth contouring

  • The treatment will not drastically change the appearance of a person's smile
  • Only corrects minor issues
  • It can lead to sensitive teeth

If enough enamel is removed from a tooth surface, the patient will likely experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods. The removal of enamel also makes the tooth more vulnerable to breaking and chipping.

Since contouring can only correct minor issues, you will need more extensive treatment if you want a smile makeover.

Tooth contouring might be the best solution for you

This procedure is best for people who only need minor alterations to the appearance of a tooth. It is excellent for those with a slightly crooked or pointy tooth.

That said, it is not recommended for people who are susceptible to tooth decay or gum disease.

Want to Learn More About Tooth Contouring?

Are you dealing with a minor cosmetic issue that affects your smile? Talk to one of our dentists and explore your options.

Request an appointment or call Integrated Dental Care at (610) 600-9745 for an appointment in our Exton office.

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