Dan's Dentistry Blog

« Back to Home

Shaping your smile: the pros and cons of tooth contouring

Posted on

Tooth contouring is a type of cosmetic dentistry procedure in which a damaged or misshaped tooth is reshaped to improve the appearance of the smile. The technique is common, but is it the right treatment for you? Consider the following information as you decide.

The procedure

The teeth are reshaped by removing small amounts of enamel on one or more teeth. This is the hard covering on the tooth that protects its insides from damage and decay. The dentist uses a small polishing tool to remove some of the enamel, changing the length and shape of the tooth. As only part of the enamel is removed, the tooth remains covered and the process should not cause any pain.

The pros

This procedure is very simple and can be performed in a single session. The result can make a huge difference to the appearance of the teeth, giving a boost in confidence and attractiveness. It is also painless, as the tooth retains a layer of enamel. Some patients report a small amount of sensitivity for a few days, but by and large there is no healing process and the teeth can be used as normal immediately.

As well as psychological benefits, tooth contouring can also have health benefits, as smoothing out the teeth can make them easier to clean. It can also correct problems with the bite and function of the teeth.

The cons

Firstly, this procedure is not suitable for everyone. It works best to fix minor imperfections with the teeth, such as small chips, slight overlaps or a small amount of unevenness. Larger problems may require different treatment. It should also be remembered that this will not fix with any dental health issues and in fact can only be used with healthy teeth.

There is also a very small risk that too much enamel may be removed, which could weaken the tooth. This is very unlikely with an experienced dentist, however.

Finally, there is always a cost to the procedure, and it is unlikely to be covered by insurance unless it was the result of an accident. However, the cost need not be prohibitive, and the increase in confidence you experience may be well worth it.

As always, only you can decide if you should undergo the procedure, in consultation with a cosmetic dentistry professional. If you do go ahead though, the results could soon put a smile on your face.