Your smile can be a reflection of your personality and it can give you a great amount of confidence, so it makes perfect sense to want a nice straight smile.
If you are unsure what cosmetic contouring is all about or want to know about what sort of procedures you might be able to have through using a dental plan, you might want to read this info from Carefree Dental.
Achieving subtle changes to your teeth
A fair number of us may have some minor issues with our teeth that we would like to address without committing to any sort of major cosmetic dentistry solutions.
If you have some relatively minor imperfections that mean you are not as happy with your smile as you would like to be, cosmetic contouring may well be able to provide the sort of solution that you are looking for.
Cosmetic contouring is the general term used but you may also hear this dental procedure referred to as enameloplasty or tooth reshaping.
The fundamental selling point of cosmetic contouring is that you can achieve some subtle but positive changes to your teeth in next to no time at all. Cosmetic contouring offers patients the opportunity to benefit from immediate results, as most procedures can be completed within the space of an hour in the dentist’s chair.
Although you can expect your dentist to use some tools such as drills and lasers in order to remove some of your tooth enamel, this should not normally be an uncomfortable experience because you have no nerves in your enamel.
The purpose of using the drills and lasers is to change the shape or length of your teeth in order to bring them into line with your adjoining teeth and to create a straighter smile as a result of this.
It should be remembered that enamel does not re-grow, so this is often a one-time procedure. Once your teeth have been reshaped and contoured to your satisfaction, you should not have to have any concerns about going through the same procedure again at a later date.
The final part of the process once the enameloplasty has been performed, is to polish your teeth. You can then enjoy a revitalized or improved look to your teeth, often in less than an hour from starting the procedure.
Not suitable in all circumstances
Your dentist will provide you with guidance with regard to the suitability of carrying out cosmetic contouring on your teeth, as it is not a procedure that can be used in all circumstances.
As a general guide, cosmetic contouring will only be recommended as a solution when you only have some minor cosmetic repairs needed.
If you have teeth that are slightly misshapen or longer than they should be, this is something that can often be fixed using cosmetic contouring. You need to remember that the average thickness of your tooth enamel is a maximum of 2.58 millimeters, and some of this enamel needs to remain in place as protection for your teeth from decay.
This means that your dentist only has a limited amount of tooth structure to work with, so if the extent of your problems is more noticeable than more minor examples of misshapen teeth, there is the chance that cosmetic contouring may not be suitable, as there may not enough to work with to be able to produce noticeable or worthwhile results.
Your dentist will be able to assess the extent of your problems and provide you with suitable advice as to whether you are a viable candidate for cosmetic contouring, or if you need more extensive procedures to correct your problems.
Weigh up the pros and cons
There are a number of positive aspects to cosmetic contouring, such as the fact that it is a reasonably inexpensive way to improve the look of your teeth.
Another plus point for those of us who are a bit fearful of the dentist, is that you can often have this work done without experiencing much discomfort or pain. Removing minor overlaps and dealing with subtle imperfections can also help to reduce plaque buildup and lower your risk of gum disease, if there are not so many hiding places in your mouth for bacteria.
The negative points to consider are mainly that this is a procedure that will only produce subtle rather than dramatic changes to the look of your teeth. There is also a slight risk of tooth damage if too much enamel is removed, although this should not really be an issue with professional dentistry skills being applied to the task.
If you want a straighter smile, cosmetic contouring is definitely a solution that is worth looking at.
Spencer Coates is a dental assistant who is happy to chat with patients about the new dentistry available nowadays, and how they can improve their smile. He writes articles about dentistry which normally appear on consumer blogs.