Cosmetic tooth contouring (aka tooth reshaping; enameloplasty) is a simple procedure which aims to change the shape of a tooth most often the edge (bottom edge of upper front teeth or upper edge of lower front teeth) to obtain a more pleasing look.
This is done by shaping the enamel (white structure of the teeth) with gentle abrasive polishers of different grit. The procedure can have a significant impact on the harmony of the teeth which results in a more confident smile.
What can be fixed with tooth contouring:
- Long upper front teeth in smiling and resting position
- Jagged, chipped, slanted edges of upper or lower front teeth
In those cases, tooth contouring can even up the edge of the tooth and eliminate the chips making the edge even and straight
- Sharp corners of the edge of upper or lower front teeth
In those cases, rounding the corners of the teeth can give a more natural, softer and harmonious look. This can also eliminate the look of worn teeth from grinding. Finally, this is also helpful when tooth slimming of upper teeth was done in the past
- Flattened, worn, or chipped teeth from grinding. Tooth contouring can help in mild cases to provide a greatly improved smile however the grinding should be addressed and the teeth should be protected from further damage with a night guard
- Fractured edge of a front tooth
In those cases, tooth contouring can help if the fractured edge is small and the tooth can handle being modified without looking too short. A careful analysis of the entire smile is required as additional teeth may require to be contoured to make the result look pleasing
- After an orthodontic treatment, tooth contouring can add a final touch to the cosmetic result
- In the case of a missing upper lateral teeth and the eye tooth (canine) is in its position, tooth contouring with or without tooth alignment is needed to make the canine look like a lateral tooth
When is tooth contouring considered: minor tooth modifications with little impact on the cosmetically acceptable length-to-width ratio of the tooth. The ideal candidate is a patient whose front teeth have minor imperfections in tooth length and shape with other wise well aligned teeth.
The main limitation of tooth contouring is the length of the tooth and how much the edge of the upper teeth show when the upper lip is resting.
When is tooth contouring not considered: If it is likely that tooth contouring will lead to an unacceptably short tooth, then it is preferred to augment the tooth to restore the length and proper shape. A smile analysis of the upper lip in relation to how much the teeth show when smiling, speaking, and at lip rest position is critical to decide if a front tooth can cosmetically handle contouring (removing tooth enamel) or require restoring (adding tooth structure) the tooth with bonding or veneers.
What can’t be fixed with tooth contouring:
- Misaligned teeth: In this case, tooth alignment is needed with veneers in very mild misalignment or braces/Invisalign in moderate and advanced misalignment
- Discolored teeth: In this case, whitening or veneers should be considered
- Uneven gum levels: In this case, a smile analysis is required to determine the cause, possible solution may be one or a combination of: adding gums, aligning teeth, tooth contouring, bonding, veneers.
How Is the Procedure Performed?
- Diagnosis and discussing with the patient the proper procedure for 10-30 minutes
- Then the dentist will reshape the enamel (white structure of the teeth) with gentle abrasive polishers of different grit. No numbing is needed. 10-30 minutes depending on how many teeth are involved
How much does it cost?
- Average cost could range from $75 to $125 dollar per tooth.
What Are the Benefits?
- Painless as enamel has no nerves and the procedure is mainly gentle reshaping of the surface of the tooth
- Instant result: you will be able to see and enjoy the result immediately after with no limitations to eating drinking or smiling.
- The result is permanent unless the tooth gets a trauma or a grinding issue is not addressed.
The Making You Smile Difference
Since 2000, Dr. Jalbout has treated a wide range of patients with outstanding results. Over the years he has treated both common and unusual smile issues, making him a go-to Invisalign Dentist in Midtown Manhattan of New York City.
If you have any questions or would like to come into our Manhattan dental office, we invite you to contact us at Making You Smile Cosmetic Dental Studio today. A New York minute is all it takes to call!