Many forms of cosmetic dentistry are surprisingly non-invasive. It's not all about whitening your teeth with lasers or implanting a metal bolt into your jaw in order to hold a false tooth. Dental recontouring is when minor imperfections in the shape and surface appearance of the tooth are rectified with light buffing. It's highly effective for a variety of conditions and the results are immediate. So what conditions can recontouring help with, and what, exactly, is involved in the process?
While most people's dental enamel (the surface of your teeth) has a smooth appearance, some people's enamel might have formed in a way that has created aesthetic imperfections. There might be a small lump of enamel where an excess amount of the material has grown, or there might even be a natural (although noticeable) indentation in the enamel. Recontouring smoothes out these imperfections, giving your teeth a look of uniformity.
A Chipped Tooth
A small chip in your tooth can also be smoothed out with recontouring. The borders of the chip are simply lightly buffed, making the chip blend in with the rest of the tooth.
Prominent canine teeth (the four pointed teeth that border your front incisors) can be rounded with recontouring. This is really not necessary for the vast majority of people and is more of an aesthetic choice. If you're concerned that your canine teeth are prominent and are affecting the quality of your smile, then filing them down via recontouring is the quickest and easiest solution.
Your Dental Pulp
While most people's dental pulp (the nerve inside each tooth) is located firmly at the centre of the tooth, this is not the case for everyone. Your dentist will want to take an x-ray of the teeth to be treated in order to determine the exact location of the dental pulp. Recontouring should only buff off a tiny portion of the dental enamel, and if your pulp happens to be located too close to the surface of the tooth, then recontouring might not be possible. Your dentist will not want to expose the dental pulp because this can lead to discomfort and future complications.
The Actual Process
The procedure is quick and is not painful. Anaesthetic is not used. A tiny buffing disc is run over the tooth, smoothing out certain sections as necessary. It might be slightly uncomfortable; however, since the gum or dental pulp are not directly affected, there will not be any actual pain. The wonderful thing about recontouring is that as soon as you rinse and spit, you are able to see the results.
So if your teeth have any minor imperfections, perhaps it's time to talk to a cosmetic dentist about recontouring.