Cosmetic tooth recontouring is a relatively conservative procedure. It can be done right here in the comfort of our office to correct minor flaws like the following:
• Irregular shapes
• Long canines
• Small chips
• Pits or bulges in the enamel
Recontouring involves removing excess enamel but not so much as to expose the dentin, much less the pulp. The results can look similar to those of a crown or veneer, but the process is far less involved and invasive.
Cosmetic tooth recontouring is completed during a single dental appointment while getting a crown or veneer requires several visits. Since the cosmetic dentist removes only the topmost part of the enamel, the procedure is painless, and the patient usually won’t need anesthesia.
Cosmetic tooth recontouring can also improve the patient’s dental health, for removing excess enamel can improve the patient’s bite, reduce the accumulation of plaque and tartar, and thus reduce the patient’s risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
What Does Recontouring Involve?
The dentist will take an X-ray of the patient’s teeth to determine if the patient is a good candidate for recontouring. If the patient’s enamel is too thin, or if their pulp is too near the surface, they will probably need to choose a different procedure.
Before starting, the dentist will make marks on the patient’s teeth that will serve as guides during the recontouring. The dentist will use a fine diamond bur or sanding disc to remove the excess tooth enamel. They may use a special sandpaper to reach flaws between the teeth. After finishing the recontouring, the dentist will then smooth and polish the treated tooth or teeth.
What Is Dental Bonding?
In many cases, the dentist will combine teeth recontouring with dental bonding. In this procedure, the dentist uses a special composite resin to repair a discolored, chipped or otherwise flawed tooth. The resin is the same color as the patient’s teeth, and it bonds with them. After applying the bonding material, the dentist will use a special light to harden the resin, so it will be as hard and strong as the patient’s natural teeth.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Many people feel uncomfortable going to the dentist, and sedation dentistry thus helps keep the patient calm and relaxed while the dentist is working on their teeth.
There are three types available: nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation. Nitrous oxide is the mildest, and IV sedation is the strongest. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas wears off very quickly and is thus the only type of sedation in which the patient may leave the office without an escort.