Attention to detail is one of my fortes. Let’s be honest, it is ultimately what separates the sheep from the goats. Straightening and whitening is one thing, however creating artistic nuances is what really makes the smile complete. You may notice small defect in your smile that always draws your eye in the mirror? This can range from a small chip on the tooth, worn edges on the teeth.
Although these imperfections do not require drastic changes, it is just those little adjustments that make all the difference. Minor fractures and overlaps can fixed using a procedure known as tooth contouring and reshaping.
So what happens? I basically I use a dental magic wand; also known as a polishing tool. With this the enamel is gently manicured. Harmony is then created to allow the imperfect teeth to match their prefect neighbours. The procedure is quick, painless and inexpensive and can make all the difference. Certainly the shape and size of the teeth can be changed so that slightly damaged or out of proportion teeth are brought back into alignment with the rest.
The teeth which are treated are usually the upper and lower front teeth. There are also health benefits; so one must remember also that straighter and smoother teeth are teeth that can be cleaned more easily. As mentioned in my Invisalign blog, cosmetic contouring is something which I include for all my patients to help them gain perfection. Smile consultations are always done at the practice from the offset- I always ensure that my patients are fully informed about all of the options available.
Contouring is usually achieved in one procedure. Several photographs are taken to show the patient their dental defects and with my polishing tool the teeth are reformed. The human eye likes uniformity, symmetry and consistency. So once those eye catching imperfections are tweaked you can have the smile that you desired. The procedure can vary from 30 minutes to over an hour. There is not much or any pain involved in contouring. Indeed only the surface of the enamel is touched, so normally local anaesthetic is not needed. There may indeed be minor sensitivity to hot and cold for a day or two after the procedure. Post operatively, you can pretty much carry out as normal within the hour- eating and drinking as normal. Healing is not an issue as this is not a major procedure.
How do you know if you quality? To reiterate, minor imperfections can be dealt with efficiently. This would include small chips, small unevenness, slight overlaps, worn biting surfaces. Moreover those patients who complain of a tooth or some teeth being out of proportion to other teeth in the arch, such as a prominent pointy canine, can be reshaped.
Contouring is not for everyone- indeed, some contouring is not recommended if it will damage or negatively affect the patient’s bite. As with everything there are risks and limitations. One can remove too much enamel and this may subject the tooth to greater chance of breakage or decay, however this is extremely rare.
I am not going to lament any further. Doing any form of cosmetic dentistry fills me with relentless passion and joy. It is like a love affair. Affairs of the heart may come and go, but affairs of the teeth for me are lasting, even when the shine disappears. The cosmetic transformation whether big or small will make you look and feel invincible.