Live Oak Dental Group

Tooth Contouring

Tooth Contouring

Is your smile attracting attention in the wrong way? Tooth contouring is ideal for people who are unsatisfied or embarrassed by how their smile looks because of crooked, overlapping, or oddly-shaped teeth. Recently, dental reshaping and contouring have become a popular alternative to more long-term, more expensive dental treatments. Live Oak Dental Group offers affordable in-office tooth contouring so that you can get a better-looking smile in just a single session.

What is tooth contouring?

Sometimes known as dental contouring or tooth reshaping, tooth contouring is a dental procedure that involves removing a small amount of the enamel to reshape the teeth. Primarily, dentists contour teeth with aesthetics in mind:

  • Dental contouring can be a way to even out imperfections and tiny chips in the enamel
  • Teeth contoured at an angle can mimic the appearance of straighter teeth (by deflecting light in specific ways)

Although tooth contouring is usually done to improve the look of the smile, sometimes it can be used for added benefits, including:

  • Aiding in oral hygiene too by removing pits and places where plaque and tartar accumulate
  • Reconstructing the teeth to level-out pressure along the bite grid

What to Expect

During the tooth contouring procedure, one of Live Oak Dental Group’s dedicated dentists applies gentle yet powerful diode lasers to remove small amounts of unwanted enamel until the teeth are the desired size, shape, and length. After the contouring is complete, he or she will polish the teeth for a natural-looking sheen. Though dental contouring can typically be completed without local anesthesia and sedation, speak with your dentist about your options.

Tooth Contouring and Bonding

Often, people combine tooth contouring with cosmetic bonding to improve the shape of their teeth while adding volume or hiding intrinsic stains where necessary.

Tooth Contouring Precautions

Like all cosmetic procedures, people can expect upsides and downsides to dental contouring. Please weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of tooth reshaping before committing to treatment.

Before performing any kind of cosmetic dentistry procedure, our team will evaluate the health of your teeth and gums. If you have unusually fragile enamel and active periodontal disease, it’s important to know that tooth contouring may not be right for you. Additionally, if you want laser contouring on a tooth that has undergone previous dental work (including extensive fillings, crowns, and root canals), then this may not be the most suitable procedure for you.

Likewise, if you qualify for dental reshaping, it’s also essential to consider these potential side effects: 

  • Primarily, a major concern with tooth contouring is that it makes the enamel slightly thinner. Therefore, you may be more at risk for developing sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Additionally, patients who undergo contouring must also remember to brush gently and avoid abrasive substances to protect the remaining enamel.
  • Also, dental contouring is not generally covered by health insurance. However, if your dental damage is used to correct damage after an accident, insurance may cover the cost of your tooth contouring. As a best practice, speak with your insurance provider to see what your plan covers.