Teeth Contouring & Reshaping

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.

Dental contouring is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of the teeth. Where front teeth are imbricated, i.e. slightly overlapping it is sometimes possible to carefully trim or strip away some enamel along the sides of the teeth to give a better appearance. This can be achieved with long thin tapered diamond burs, and abrasive strips moved back and forth between the teeth. Then the teeth are smoothed and polished. Removing just a thin layer of enamel doesn’t harm the teeth in any way. The whole procedure may be carried out in one go or may require an additional visit to check the patient’s satisfaction and achieve the best result.

Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with the occlusion or bite. Sometimes there may be a slight premature contact when closing the jaws together and this can cause a small deviation of the lower jaw. This is not always easy to accurately diagnose, but if the prematurity can be located, it can often be removed with judicious grinding, allowing the jaws to then close smoothly in the correct vertical plane.

Cosmetic reshaping of teeth encompasses a variety of techniques and procedures from simple contouring to complex restorations such as porcelain veneers and crowns.

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