Are you embarrassed to smile because you think your teeth aren’t perfect? Do you notice the small chips or uneven alignment of your front teeth even though nobody else does? And does it make you self-conscious? How you feel about how you look is a cornerstone of self-confidence. And luckily there is a way to gently and easily improve your smile—through tooth contouring and reshaping.
Reshaping, or contouring, your teeth is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways of fixing teeth that are chipped or slightly misaligned, and works especially well on the front teeth and canines, which are the most visible.
To reshape a tooth, your dentist will check your teeth for condition and the location of the tooth pulp. If all looks good, he or she will use a laser or drill to shave away slight amounts of tooth enamel along the edges in order to create a better aesthetic on the teeth. Once the desired shape has been achieved, the tooth is then smoothed and polished.
This procedure works especially well for small chips, misshapen teeth, slight overlaps, or excessively long teeth. It will not only improve the appearance of these teeth, it may improve the alignment and bite as well. Slightly rounding or squaring the edges of teeth can also be done to give teeth a more masculine or feminine shape.
Since only the tiniest bit of enamel is removed, and since the enamel layer has no nerves attached, most tooth reshaping and contouring can be done without a local anesthetic.
Another technique dentists recommend is tooth bonding, which is often used in conjunction with tooth reshaping. In this procedure, the dentist uses a resin bonding material to fill in any gaps or chips in teeth. The resin is adhered to the teeth and then hardened. This can also improve the shape and tooth color, or match your existing tooth color.
In preparation for tooth bonding, the dentist will etch small grooves into the tooth surface and may coat the teeth with a solution that will help the resin to adhere. After the resin is applied and shaped, a light is used to cure and harden the resin. Bonding may take between 30 minutes and an hour to complete.
Care for Bonded Teeth
Bonding material is not as durable as your natural tooth enamel, so dentists recommend good care to preserve your teeth’s appearance. Try to avoid biting into hard foods, chewing fingernails, or opening items with the teeth to avoid chipping. Bonding is also more susceptible to staining, so avoidance of highly-staining foods like red wine, coffee and tea is recommended. Brushing with a stain-removing toothpaste is also helpful.
Refining your smile improves the way you feel about yourself, protects your teeth, and has the added benefit of making you look (and feel) younger!
Contact EverSmile Dentistry
If you’d like to improve the appearance of your teeth with instant results, contact EverSmile Dentistry at our Sterling, Virginia office.