Did you know that your cosmetic dentist can alter the shape of your teeth in order to improve the appearance of misshapen or mismatched teeth? While this can be accomplished by covering the teeth with crowns or veneers, there is a simpler option that can be used. It is known as enamel contouring and it can easily fix minor imperfections to improve the appearance of your teeth.
Enamel contouring is also sometimes referred to as enameloplasty, dental contouring, or teeth reshaping. Like its name suggests, enamel contouring reshapes your teeth so that they are a more aesthetically pleasing shape and size. In some cases, cosmetic bonding may also be used in coordination with enamel contouring in order to obtain the desired results.
When considering enamel contouring, your dentist will perform an oral exam and dental x-rays. This allows them to determine the location of your tooth’s pulp to ensure that you have enough enamel to be an ideal candidate for the procedure. In addition to having an adequate amount of tooth enamel, contouring may be right for you if…
You Want Fast Results
Using cosmetic restorations like dental crowns and veneers are great, however they often take a minimum of two appointments spaced out over the course of a couple weeks. This is because both crowns and veneers need to be fabricated in a dental lab before they can be placed in your mouth. Enamel contouring, on the other hand, is completed in a single dental appointment. Enamel contouring alone only takes about 30-45 minutes to complete, however additional procedures like cosmetic bonding may take slightly longer.
You Have Uneven Teeth
The hallmark of a beautiful smile is even teeth that complement each other. Unfortunately, not all of us are born with perfectly even teeth. Luckily unevenly sized teeth can be corrected by reducing the size of long teeth and adding composite to shorter teeth. The end result is an even smile with appropriately sized teeth.
You Have Long Teeth
Sometimes your teeth are even, however they appear to be longer than normal. In some cases, long teeth can be the result of gum recession, which may require another treatment altogether. However, in cases where your teeth are simply long because they have too much enamel, the tooth structure can be reduced in size to make them a more appropriate size.
You Want Permanent Results
Every type of dental restoration will eventually need to be replaced. However, your tooth enamel is one of the strongest materials in your body, and can last a lifetime if cared for properly. Additionally, tooth enamel does not grow back. This means that the results of enamel contouring are permanent and will last a lifetime. In cases where cosmetic bonding material is used, however, this material will need to be replaced about every 5-7 years.
You Want to Improve Your Oral Health
While most people only focus on the aesthetic benefits of enamel contouring, it is also important to note that there are several oral health benefits as well. For starters, enamel contouring can help to reduce minor overlaps. This means that it is less likely for plaque to accumulate in these areas, which reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
You Want a Non-Invasive Procedure
Unlike other types of cosmetic dental treatments, enamel contouring is considered to be a non-invasive treatment. This is because it only makes modifications to your enamel layer and does not generally require the use of dental anesthetics since it rarely causes discomfort.
You Have Minor Smile Imperfections
Enamel contouring is most effective when used to correct minor imperfections such as the shape or length of your teeth. This is because minor imperfections can usually be corrected by only altering a small amount of your tooth enamel. Cosmetic concerns that require extensive enamel modification are often not ideal for enamel contouring due to the fact that removing too much enamel can weaken your teeth.