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Can a Cosmetic Dentist Reshape My Teeth?
Chipped, uneven and crooked teeth often make people self-conscious about their smile, but a cosmetic dentist can help reshape the teeth to improve both appearance and functionality. Tooth reshaping is a cost-effective and convenient way of creating a more attractive smile.
Reshaping and its benefits
Tooth reshaping, also called dental contouring, is one of the more conservative options offered by a cosmetic dentist when it comes to correcting teeth issues. The procedure involves removing small amounts of tooth enamel to change its shape. Reshaping is used to correct a variety of problems:
- Chipped teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Uneven teeth
- Teeth with sharp points
- Overlapping teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Bite problems
Reshaping is considered a cosmetic treatment, but it boasts numerous other benefits. Smoothing the surface of the tooth can help patients maintain good oral health and also improve bite alignment. It lowers the risk of gum disease and tooth decay by removing crevices and pits that could accumulate tartar.
Reshaping is a painless process and typically takes only one short appointment to achieve results. Tooth reshaping also may be used as a substitute for braces, reducing the cost and time it takes to eliminate minor dental problems.
The reshaping process
Before beginning to reshape the teeth, a cosmetic dentist will take X-rays to ensure that the teeth are healthy. The X-rays will also show the size and location of the pulp. The tooth's pulp is the part of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. The dentist may not recommend reshaping if the pulp is too close to the tooth's surface.
Reshaping is most often used on the front incisors and canines. During the appointment, the dentist will use a sanding instrument or laser to carefully remove small amounts of enamel. Imperfections on the sides of the teeth can be smoothed and shaped using fine-grain sandpaper strips. Once the desired shape is achieved, the teeth will be smoothed and polished.
Dental bonding is another cosmetic treatment that is often used in combination with enamel reshaping. A putty-like resin is used by the dentist to fill in and mask minor imperfections on a tooth after it has been reshaped. The dentist colors the resin to match the teeth. An ultraviolet light is then shone on the resin to harden it and complete the bonding process.
Reshaped teeth may be more sensitive to hot and cold foods for a few days after the treatment. To alleviate discomfort, the dentist may recommend using a sensitive teeth toothpaste. These are specially formulated to soothe the nerves and strengthen the enamel.
Reshaped and bonded teeth have a higher risk of chipping. Patients should avoid biting their nails, chewing ice and eating hard foods to reduce the risk of breakage.
Dental reshaping is an easy way to improve the appearance of teeth. Talk to a cosmetic dentist about which treatments can help provide a healthy, attractive smile.
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