What is tooth recontouring? | Dental Treatment Guide
Tooth recontouring is a process that ultimately changes the shapes of the tooth and can also be known as an enameloplasty, slenderising or an odontoplasty. The general process of recontouring involves your dentist removing tiny amounts of the tooth enamel to alter the shape, size or surface contours of the tooth in question. This is often done as a way to enhance the appearance of the smile by adding a sense of balance to the teeth and is a relatively popular procedure due to the immediate results from a fast, painless treatment.
Why undergo tooth recontouring?
The tooth recontouring procedure is a quick, effective method of improving the appearance of individual teeth by rectifying small imperfections. By getting rid of these imperfections, the general health of your tooth can be improved. This is because it reduces the amount of places in your mouth where plaque can build up and cause damage.
Tooth recontouring is not ideal if you have major damage to your teeth; it is very much a procedure for those with a mild amount of deterioration. For those who do have more significant problems, dental veneers or another treatment may be more suitable and you should consult your dentist for advice.
Suitable tooth recontouring candidates
Primarily if you are planning on undergoing tooth recontouring, it is important that you are doing so with realistic expectations of the outcome. You are considered an ideal candidate for dental recontouring if you have small imperfections such as chips in your teeth, dents in the enamel of you tooth, a slight oddly shaped tooth or length.
If you have quite significant problems or imperfections with your teeth then tooth recontouring may not be suitable for you. Such imperfections include deep cracking or a large chip in the tooth. If you do suffer such problems, you may wish to consider treatments such as bonding or veneers, although tooth recontouring can be employed in conjunction with these procedures.
Tooth recontouring appointments
Two appointments with your dentist are required in order for you to have tooth recontouring. These appointments can be clearly separated into an initial consultation and exam and the actual procedure itself.
The first appointment with your dentist is required to ensure that you are well suited to the recontouring procedure. To determine this, your dentist may choose to take an oral X-ray to work out exactly how much dentin the tooth contains as well as its precise location. This is done to ensure a good amount of enamel can be removed without damaging your nerves or blood vessels. If the X-ray reveals that your enamel is too thin or that the dentin is too large and close to the surface of the tooth, an alternative procedure may be needed.
The second appointment with your dentist will take place if the initial examination reveals you are a suitable candidate. During this visit, your dentist will use a piece of equipment to carefully remove a precise amount of enamel from your tooth. This equipment is often a sanding disc and the dentist may also use specialised sandpaper to smooth the tooth down. After shaping the tooth appropriately to the desired appearance, your dentist will proceed to polish the tooth.
After the tooth recontouring procedure, you will usually not require any special follow-up treatments. This is because the teeth are not shaped using anything artificial that can be seen with treatments such as dental veneers or inlays. However, you must maintain a good dental hygiene routine and visit your dentist every six months after the procedure. This is especially important if more than one of your teeth has been recontoured.
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