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Learn about Tooth Reshaping and Dental Contouring

Tooth reshaping, also known as dental contouring, is an effective, quick, and cost-effective way to make subtle changes in the appearance of a person’s smile.

Many people who have slight imperfections in the appearance of their teeth feel that they are out of luck unless they are able to invest the time and money required for porcelain veneers.  This is not the case: tooth reshaping, also known as dental contouring, is an effective, quick, and cost-effective way to make subtle changes in the appearance of a person’s smile.

During tooth reshaping, a cosmetic dentist removes small amounts of tooth enamel to change the shape, surface, or length of one or more teeth.  This is a great technique to remedy the appearance of teeth that are slightly overlapped, cuspids that are overly pointy, or teeth that have tiny chips or irregular shapes.  Dental contouring is often combined with dental bonding to further sculpt and shape teeth.

Before beginning the tooth reshaping process, your dentist may take some X-rays to ensure that your teeth and underlying structures are healthy.  He or she will then mark your teeth to show the areas that need adjustment and use a sanding tool to or small strips of special sandpaper to contour sides of teeth and/or eliminate any imperfections in the surface or shape of teeth.  To complete the process, the teeth are smoothed and polished for a healthy glow.

Tooth reshaping has a number of advantages.  It is a very cost-effective way to change the appearance of your teeth, as it generally costs between $50 and $300 per tooth depending on the amount of work needed.  If the damage to your tooth or teeth is the result of an accident, your insurance may even cover the cost of the procedure.  Dental contouring is also painless, and can improve dental health by removing overlaps or imperfections where tartar and plaque tend to build up.  Since tooth reshaping can make teeth look a bit straighter and mend minor overlaps, in some cases this treatment can replace the need for minor orthodontics.

Tooth reshaping is not for everyone, however.  While this procedure is a great way to make small changes to the appearance of a person’s smile, it cannot be used to make a dramatic change or to make teeth look any whiter.  If patients are looking for a more extreme smile makeover, porcelain veneers may be the way to go.  Also, if enough enamel is removed during the dental contouring process, it can cause a person’s teeth to become more sensitive.

Dental contouring is a fantastic way to make minor adjustments to the look of a person’s smile, and in some cases it may be the first step in a more thorough smile makeover.  To learn more about tooth reshaping and whether it may be right with you, have a conversation with your cosmetic dentist.

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