Sometimes little defects in teeth can attract more than their fair share of attention. The eye often seems drawn to the tiny chip in a front tooth; the slight mismatch in tooth size among adjacent teeth; the extra-pointy canine. If you find yourself staring at these subtle yet distracting features in your own smile, help is available — often with a minimally invasive, relatively inexpensive procedure known as tooth contouring (reshaping).
Smile Design by tooth contouring involves removing a tiny amount of tooth enamel with a drill to sculpt a more pleasing shape and make the tooth fit in better with its neighbors. The tooth is then polished for a smooth finish. The procedure is most often used on the upper front incisors and canines, which are your most visible teeth.
Cosmetic problems that can be corrected with smile design treatments include: small chips, uneven tooth length, slight overlaps, and tooth edges that are too flattened or pointy. It can even be used to correct minor bite problems from teeth touching unevenly during contact. Conversely, your teeth should not be reshaped if any bite imbalances could result from it. In that case, one of several other highly effective cosmetic dental procedures would be recommended. Tooth contouring can also be used to give teeth a more feminine or masculine shape, simply by rounding or squaring the edges.
What to Expect The first step in the contouring procedure is to examine your teeth and diagnose how the reshaping will accomplish your goal of smile enhancement or correct a bite problem if you have one. This will ensure that the teeth being reshaped will not only look better but also will be healthy. Sometimes a reshaping of the root surfaces is required to protect you from gum disease. In that case, an x-ray may be necessary to isolate and protect the sensitive inner tissue (the pulp). However, most often tooth contouring only involves the removal of a bit of enamel — the hard outer covering of the tooth. Because enamel is not living and contains no nerves, you will likely not need even a local anesthetic.
You will probably feel some vibration as your tooth is gently sculpted, and then polished smooth. Reshaping one tooth usually takes less than half an hour — and the results will be obvious as soon as you look in the mirror! Sometimes reshaped teeth can be a little sensitive to hot or cold after the procedure, but this should last no more than a day or two.
Tooth contouring can be combined with whitening for a dramatically younger-looking smile. It's also often used in conjunction with cosmetic bonding or dental veneers — both of which can be used to reshape teeth with larger imperfections.
Call our Miami Dental Office at (305) 377-8004 for more information on Smile Designs.
People have been trying for centuries to get the perfect smile, which is why cosmetic dentistry has become even more popular than ever over the last decade. With advancements in procedures and technology, it’s easier than ever to get the attractive smile you’ve always wanted. From minor tweaks to major makeovers, we offer a comprehensive range of cosmetic services to fit any patient’s needs, lifestyle and oral health.
Common Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Services
While general dentistry is designed to handle the health of your teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the overall look of your smile. Some of the most common types of cosmetic dentistry services include:
- Teeth whitening
- Dental bonding
- Tooth reshaping
- Porcelain veneers
- Dental Implants
- Full smile makeovers
What is Cosmetic Dentistry Used For?
Cosmetic dentistry is designed to hide minor imperfections such as stains, chips, cracks, as well as change the overall color, shape and size of your smile. Those looking to fix crookedness or gaps between teeth may think that the only option is to wear braces. But with cosmetic dentistry, we can address these issues to give you a whiter, straighter smile.
Cosmetic dentistry ranges from minor non-invasive procedures, like dental bonding, which can make subtle changes to your smile without needing anesthesia to more elaborate surgeries like the ones required for placing a dental implant.
Before you can get a cosmetic dentistry procedure, we will need to make sure that your smile is healthy enough for treatment. When you come in for a consultation, we will discuss your goals for treatment to make sure they align with what we offer. We will also examine your smile to check for cavities or gum disease. These will need to be treated before any cosmetic procedures can be performed.
While not everyone is born with the perfect smile, with the right cosmetic dentistry procedure, you can make everyone believe that you were. If you are interested in finding out if you are a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry,
call our Miami, FL office to schedule a consultation at (305) 377-8004
How & Why Teeth WearAre teeth supposed to last for a lifetime? And are humans designed to live for up to a hundred years? Given all the current improvements in the areas of medicine and health, both general and oral, people are not only living longer, but they are also keeping their teeth longer. This article will provide an overview of the “oral system” and one of its more common and important occurrences, tooth wear... Read Article
Stress & Tooth HabitsTeeth grinding and/or clenching habits are particularly common in people who are undergoing stressful periods or major life changes. These usually unconscious habits can result in jaw muscles going into spasm, teeth wearing down, and other problems. Treatment is usually aimed at relieving the symptoms and stopping damage... Read Article