Tooth Contouring: What You Should Know before Treatment

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Cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever. Today’s cosmetic dentists can address most aesthetic concerns. And with so many treatment options, your practitioner can find a solution for every health need and budget. Tooth contouring, also known as tooth reshaping, is one of the most conservative options, but it can still have a dramatic impact on your appearance. 

At Lakewood Dental Group in Dallas, TX, Drs. Shaun Sigurdson and Mihil Patel offer remarkably precise treatment performed with state-of-the-art technology. With their attention to detail, they can give you a beautifully rejuvenated and natural-looking smile. 

To learn more about tooth contouring and our other cosmetic treatments, contact our office today.

What problems can tooth contouring address?

During tooth contouring, Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel will trim off a tiny layer of enamel to reshape your teeth and correct minor irregularities. In this way, tooth contouring can improve:

  • Unusually shaped teeth 
  • Disproportionately large teeth
  • Pointed teeth
  • Square teeth 
  • Chipped or worn edges
  • Slight misalignment or overlapping teeth

Because of the far-reaching effects of tooth contouring, the market for this treatment is expected to grow by 5.5% by 2029.

Who is a candidate for treatment?

Your dentist will assess your oral health to determine your candidacy for tooth reshaping. Because he will remove enamel during the process, it is essential that you have a sufficient amount of healthy enamel at the start

Furthermore, you should have generally good oral health with no active decay or gum disease. While these conditions will not necessarily exclude you from treatment, you will need to seek appropriate care before beginning cosmetic dentistry. Teeth with cavities or fillings may not be eligible for tooth contouring. 

Further, tooth reshaping can minimize the appearance of slightly crooked teeth. But it is not designed to correct severe or widespread misalignment. In these instances, your dentist will likely recommend orthodontia.

If your worn teeth are due to bruxism (chronic teeth grinding), you will be at risk for further damage later down the road. Therefore, you should seek treatment for grinding and clenching before addressing the cosmetic results of your condition.

What is the process like?

Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel will develop a custom treatment plan, determining exactly how much enamel to remove based on your cosmetic goals. 

On the day of your treatment, your dentist will mark the areas on your teeth that need to be addressed. Then he will use a laser or a traditional handheld instrument to reshape your teeth. Thanks to their precision, only the enamel will be affected. Since the tooth nerves and soft pulp are left alone, no local anesthesia is required

Next, your doctor will use special abrasive strips to smooth the sides and edges of your teeth. Finally, he will check your new bite alignment and polish your teeth.

Patients often combine tooth reshaping with dental bonding, another conservative option. During bonding, your dentist will apply composite resin to the front of your teeth. Performed in conjunction with one another, these two treatments can improve both overly large and overly small teeth.

What are the risks and side effects?

Tooth contouring is a conservative treatment with few long term risks. In theory, a dentist could remove too much enamel, resulting in permanent tooth sensitivity. However, our dentists have years of experience with cosmetic dentistry, so the likelihood of long-term damage is negligible. 

Patients often experience minor and temporary dental sensitivity after tooth reshaping. Over-the-counter pain medications are usually all that is required until the discomfort goes away in a few days.

What are the benefits of tooth reshaping?

There are numerous advantages to tooth contouring. Its benefits include:

  • Treatment is typically complete in an hour or less
  • The procedure has minimal impact on your teeth. Your dentist will only need to remove about 2.6 mm of dental enamel.
  • Tooth contouring is an affordable treatment.
  • When performed using advanced lasers, tooth reshaping does not involve any unpleasant vibrations. And it is virtually silent! 
  • After tooth contouring, it may be easier to floss between previously crowded teeth. 
  • In select cases, tooth contouring can correct bite imbalance. In turn, this can reduce your risk for dental erosion, cracks in other teeth, jaw pain, and TMJ Disorder. 
  • No recovery time is necessary. You can resume regular activity and even normal eating and drinking immediately.
  • After treatment, you could enjoy a much-needed boost of confidence and increased self-esteem.

How much does tooth contouring cost?

Tooth contouring can run between $50 and $300 per tooth. Insurance does not typically cover elective cosmetic treatment. But if your dental damage is due to accident or trauma, they may cover part of the cost.

Of course, if you choose to combine tooth contouring with bonding or another procedure, this will increase the cost of your treatment. Be sure to discuss your budget with your dentist when planning your cosmetic care. We will customize your treatment to meet all your goals, including your financial needs.

Even when you are not eligible for insurance coverage, we work hard to make quality dental care affordable. We accept all forms of payment and work with third-party lenders CareCredit® and LendingClub. 

What are my other treatment options?

If you do not qualify for dental contouring due to enamel erosion or other damage, your dentist can recommend an alternative treatment. For instance, a dental crown will both improve your appearance and strengthen your damaged tooth. Porcelain veneers can also conceal chips and worn edges, and the material offers a beautifully lifelike sheen.

Finally, if you have more significant orthodontic concerns, Invisalign® may be the solution. With this treatment, you can straighten your teeth using almost undetectable clear aligner trays.

Schedule Your Cosmetic Consultation Today

Ready to find out if tooth contouring is right for you? Contact our Dallas dental office to book your appointment. 
Complete our online scheduling form or give us a call at 214-827-1885.