Do you have minor defects on your teeth that you’d like to rid yourself of? A quick conversation with your dentist about tooth reshaping, also referred to as dental contouring, could answer some important questions.
What is tooth reshaping?
Tooth reshaping is a procedure in which minute changes are made to the length, shape, or surface of a patient’s teeth by removing small amounts of enamel. These changes deal with problems like
misshapen teeth, slightly overlapping teeth, chips in teeth, and pointy cuspids.
Are any other processes used?
Yes. This process is often used in conjunction with another treatment called “bonding”, which uses material colored like the patient’s teeth to sculpt the tooth.
What is involved?
Tooth reshaping is performed using both dental instruments and abrasion techniques. X-Rays may be taken prior to the procedure to check for any unforeseen issues. The dentist will then mark all the areas on the teeth that need sculpting (usually with a pen). A sanding tool is then used on the surface of the teeth, while strips with a sandpaper-like surface are often used on the sides of the teeth. After, teeth are then buffered and polished.
What are the benefits?
There are many potential benefits to tooth reshaping. Let’s walk through some of them.
Cost: Tooth reshaping is a fairly inexpensive way to beautify the teeth. It typically costs anywhere from $50 to $300 per tooth, depending on how much work is required.
Health: Tartar and plaque love to accumulate in imperfections and overlaps, which can lead to decay and gum disease. Tooth reshaping is a great preventative measure to remove minor imperfections that can lead so something more serious down the road.
Pain: The procedure only involves the removal of enamel; therefore, there is no pain and no anesthesia is necessary. However, teeth can become sensitive after the procedure depending on how much enamel is removed. If too much enamel is removed, the tooth may be at risk of breaking.
Is tooth reshaping right for me?
If you are looking to avoid the pitfalls of more expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures with a quick, minute adjustment or small repair to improve the way your teeth look and feel, then yes–tooth reshaping is the appropriate route. However, if you are looking to curb a problem caused by tooth decay, the need for a root canal, or gum disease, then you would need to look to other treatments rather than tooth reshaping.