Tooth contouring, also called tooth reshaping, is a simple process performed by dentists to change the size or shape of your teeth. If you have front teeth that stand out because they come to sharp points or are considerably larger than your other teeth, your dentist can use a gentle filing method to reduce the size and allow your teeth to improve your smile. It is also sometimes used for better oral health, such as if the shape of a tooth gets in the way of proper brushing and flossing. Here are some pros and cons of this treatment.
Pro: It is Virtually Painless
While there may be some mild discomfort and pressure during the procedure, tooth contouring is considered a non-invasive procedure. Unless you are extra sensitive, you won't even need a numbing agent during the procedure. It is performed with a reshaping tool that lightly grinds down the enamel to change the overall shape or size of the tooth.
Con: There is a Risk of Tooth Damage
The only real risk to getting tooth contouring done is that there is a risk of tooth damage. If the contouring procedure is not performed properly, it could mean fracturing of your tooth. There is also the risk that too much of the enamel is removed, which can then require a veneer or crown to be placed over the tooth so that you have the smile you want.
Pro: You Might Avoid Braces
If you were considering orthodontic treatment for a mild overlapping issue with your front teeth, you may be able to avoid it by getting tooth contouring. This is the case if the overlapping was from a tooth that was a little too large and was hanging over the one next to it slightly. If you have that tooth reshaped, you might not even need braces.
Con: Only Small Changes Are Possible
Tooth contouring can also only do a minimal amount of work on a tooth. It will not dramatically change your smile and does not have an effect on teeth that are misaligned, gaps between teeth, or an overbite or underbite. Its only purpose is to slightly change the shape of your teeth. If you have major issues with your teeth, you will need additional cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Pro: It is Affordable
Some insurance companies cover the cost of tooth contouring if a dentist like Family Dental can prove you need it to improve your oral health. Even if you don't have insurance coverage, the procedure does not cost much since it is a simple, routine procedure, and takes less than an hour to complete.