Minor cosmetic dental issues like a tiny chip on the front tooth, mismatch in size among adjacent teeth, and pointy canines can attract a lot of attention. There are multiple cosmetic dentistry procedures such as cosmetic contouring that you can use to perfect your smile or correct these dental issues. At the Encino Dentist, we are here to provide a cost-effective and less invasive cosmetic contouring procedure for you.

Overview of Cosmetic Contouring

Cosmetic contouring is a procedure of cosmetic dentistry that involves the removal of small amounts of the outer covering of your natural teeth by drilling the sculpt to give your teeth a more appealing shape. Doing so helps remove the tooth structure that was making your smile unpleasant. The procedure also enables the reshaped tooth to fit appropriately with other adjacent teeth. Some of the dental problems that can be corrected using the process include:

Small Chips

If you have a small chip or fracture in your tooth, reshaping or dental contouring is your best option. Problems like bulging of teeth or small bumps can also be resolved through cosmetic contouring.

Extra-Long Canines

Canines are used for biting and tearing. They are usually long and appear on the front row. If these teeth are unusually long, they might make you feel embarrassed to smile, which is why reshaping is essential to give them an even length.

Slight Tooth Overlapping

Enameloplasty can be used to align misaligned and crooked teeth. Also, it helps reduce dental caries because when teeth are not overlapping, during brushing and flossing, you get to access every part of the tooth, thus promoting dental hygiene that consequently results in good dental health. 

Also, the procedure is right for you if you want to fit porcelain veneers on your teeth. Small amounts of enamel are removed from the tooth to allow them to fit correctly. People with extra pointy, too flat, or irregularly shaped teeth can opt for Enameloplasty to get subtle shape.

If you want to achieve a feminine or masculine shape on your mouth, tooth contouring or reshaping is the procedure you need. The treatment can be used in place of braces and can alter or change the shape, surface, and alignment of your teeth, thus restoring a beautiful smile. General dentists or cosmetic dentists are the experts who administer this procedure.

Candidacy for Cosmetic Contouring

Any person who wants to be free from crowded chipped or overlapping teeth should reach out to the Encino dentistry for cosmetic contouring. The treatment is affordable, which means you should not worry much about the costs. However, if you have unhealthy teeth, this isn’t the right procedure for you because teeth will become weaker during the extraction of enamel. Additionally, the process targets patients with minor dental issues. If you have significant dental problems that need reshaping, it means more of your tooth coating will be removed, weakening it. You will have resolved one problem but created another. So, it’s wise to opt for other procedures if you have major dental issues.

The treatment doesn't require a lot of preparations like in crowns. A single appointment with your dentist can help resolve the problem and with no discomfort. If you have a history of dental restoration, thin enamel or gum conditions, undertaking this procedure will worsen your situation. So, during your appointment, remember to inform your dentist about your oral health history and any treatments that you might have undergone in the past. If your teeth are not entirely healthy, the only way you can get a confident smile is by exploring other options of treatment like dental implants and bonding.

Cosmetic Contouring Procedure

Before the procedure commences, your cosmetic dentist performs a dental-ray to get a clear picture of the condition of your teeth.  If you have problems with your pulp, the dentist will be able to isolate the sensitive part during the procedure, thus protecting the root of your teeth from gum diseases. Apart from the x-ray, a thorough examination of the teeth is also needed for the cosmetic dentist to find the most suitable way of reshaping the tooth to achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.

Note that in this process, you don’t have to pick any anesthesia because it is usually pain-free.  The reason being the drilling occurs on the outer covering of your teeth, which has no nerves. However, you must explore various sedation options, especially if you have anxiety so that you can stay relaxed throughout. Keep in mind that during sculpting, you will feel the vibration but no pain.

When the treatment begins, your dentist will use drills or lasers to extract tooth enamel to give the teeth shape or length. If you are undertaking the procedure because of fractures, they would be smoothed out, and the sharp angles rounded to provide you with a flawless smile. The dentist will also check out your bite to ensure that your teeth are correctly aligned. The next thing after drilling is smoothing and polishing the rough edges of the tooth to make the tooth look youthful. For better results, teeth whitening should follow contouring.

During dental contouring, one tooth takes thirty minutes, and the results are visible immediately upon completing the treatment. Also, note that for two or three days after receiving these services, you might feel sensitivity on the tooth that you were reshaping. During drilling, debris is deposited in your mouth, so once the procedure is complete, the dentist will ask you to rinse water to remove the remains.

Possible Risks and Complications of Cosmetic Contouring 

The treatment involves the removal of enamel from your teeth, which is something permanent and irreversible. So, if the outcome of the first procedure is not appealing, you cannot reverse the process by retrieving and placing the original enamel in its location.

The process also involves sensitivity in the tooth as a side effect. If the sensitivity persists for more than two days after the procedure, you should go back to the dentist so that he or she can administer another treatment. The new process aims at providing extra cover to the sensitive teeth, thus easing sensitivity.

When you undertake cosmetic contouring, you also risk developing further complications of cracking, and fracturing of teeth is high, especially when biting. The reason the teeth become weak is due to the removal of enamel. Healthy enamel is 2.5 mm, which means the more the outer cover of your tooth is extracted, the more vulnerable it becomes. After undertaking cosmetic contouring, you are renounced from using too much force when biting or engage in contact sports unless you are wearing a mouthguard.

 Benefits of the Procedure

You can enjoy many benefits when you choose this process of cosmetic dentistry. Some of the benefits are:

  • You get to enjoy the flawless smile that you have always dreamed about
  • The procedure deals with all minor dental problems you are experiencing, thus improving the aesthetics of your teeth. If you are tired of overlapping, pointy, or chipped and fractured teeth, cosmetic contouring is the answer to these dental problems.
  • Because the enamel has no nerves and only the upper layer is extracted, the procedure is painless. It eliminates the need for anesthesia, which is mandatory in many other beauty dentistry procedures. So, if you have been avoiding cosmetic dentistry procedures because of fear of pain or anxiety, tooth contouring is your best option.
  • The procedure is inexpensive, especially when you have an emergency of a fractured or chipped tooth. You can get a quick fix and restore a beautiful smile without having to break the bank.
  • The results of the procedure are also visible immediately. You don’t have to wait for months or years to achieve the desired result. In a single dental appointment, your teeth will have a subtle shape and no overbites.
  • Dealing with minor flaws like overlapping and misalignments prevents further problems such as gum diseases, overbites, and tooth decay, which would have worsened your oral health.
  • The treatment gives your teeth a more natural tooth without treatments like veneers and dental implants that require regular maintenance and replacement in the long run.
  • The procedure is permanent because the enamel doesn’t grow back. Because of that, once the teeth have regained a good shape, you don’t have to think about redoing the procedure again after some years.

Drawbacks of Cosmetic Contouring

Although the treatment has many benefits, there are certain disadvantages of the procedure that you need to know. These are:

  • After the outer covering of your natural tooth has been extracted, there is no reversing the process.
  • The enamel is also very thin such if too much extraction occurs, you might begin to experience sensitivity. It is because of this reason that dentists opt for other procedures like braces and veneers where teeth have serious problems
  • The enamel is thin because it is only 2.5 mm. Extracting tooth from such as small surface further dilutes the outer coating of the tooth, making it susceptible to cracking and fracturing.

Cosmetic Contouring in Conjunction with Bonding

Where the teeth that need reshaping have significant issues, contouring is not enough. Dentists can, therefore, choose to combine the treatment with bonding. Just like in contouring, the procedure doesn’t require anesthesia and can be completed within a day. During the process, the dentist applies layers of resin on the tooth being reshaped. The bonding material is smeared in the gaps between teeth and on chips to add shape and improve the color of your teeth. Before the resin is applied, the dentist uses a substance that will help the adhesive adhere well with the surface. Once the resin has hardened, the expert will smoothen and polish the surface, making your dream of a beautiful smile come true.

Cosmetic contouring done in conjunction with bonding takes up half to one hour to complete. Unlike cosmetic contouring, where the procedure requires a single appointment, where bonding is involved, the treatment will require several visits.

Apart from bonding, contouring can be applied in combination with other procedures such as crowns and veneers. All these procedures focus on reshaping your teeth and giving you a beautiful smile.

Caring for the Teeth after the Procedure 

If you do reshaping alone, the only thing you should watch out for is the use of excessive force when biting. But in a procedure that involves contouring and bonding, you should keep off staining foods and beverages. These include things like coffee, tea, or tobacco. The resin material used can easily chip. Hence, it’s wise to avoid habits of biting hard objects. Besides staying away from staining and hard foods, you are required to observe proper oral hygiene through regular cleaning and flossing of teeth.

Cost of Cosmetic Contouring

The cost of this procedure ranges from $50 to $300 per tooth. The price of the services depends on your location and the dentist administering the treatment. Although the cost is pocket-friendly, you must pay out of your pocket because the majority of health insurers don’t provide coverage for this and other cosmetic procedures. But it’s wise to confirm with your insurer first before you pay using your money. The reason being if you need reshaping after an accident, insurers might be willing to cover the costs, thus saving your money. Speaking to your Encino Dentist is also a wise move because they can provide you will other payment options apart from insurance, thus making it easy for you to clear your medical bills.

How Long Does the Procedure Last?

Cosmetic contouring is not a procedure that can be repeated because it is permanent, and the enamel cannot grow again. However, problems like chipping and cracking due to wear and tear can reduce the longevity of your teeth. 

Find a Encino Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Do you have any questions regarding cosmetic contouring after reading the above information or want to know about other cosmetic dentistry options that can help you achieve a perfect smile? Do not hesitate to give Encino Dentist a call at 818-650-0429 for a zero-obligation consultation. We will examine your teeth and develop a strategy that will restore your beautiful smile.