“Tooth reshaping and dental contouring are cosmetic dentistry procedures that deal with subtle changes to the teeth,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS, consumer advisor and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "But sometimes little changes can make a big difference.”
Imperfections or problems like slightly overlapping or irregularly shaped teeth, tiny chips in the teeth, or excessively pointy cuspids, can often be fixed with a little tooth reshaping and dental contouring.
- Cost. This is an inexpensive way to improve the look of your teeth. The procedure generally costs $50 to $300 per tooth, depending on how much work is needed. If the defect occurred due to trauma or an accident, your insurance may pick up some of the cost, says Harms.
- Painless. Because only surface enamel is removed in tooth reshaping and dental contouring, there’s generally no discomfort during the procedure and no anesthesia is required.
- Improves health of teeth. Removing minor overlaps and other imperfections where tartar and plaque can build up lowers your risk of decay and gum disease.
- Possible substitute for braces. In some situations, tooth reshaping and dental contouring can substitute for braces since they make teeth look a little straighter and eliminate minor overlapping.
- Subtle change. Unlike some cosmetic dentistry treatments, tooth reshaping and dental contouring will not dramatically change the look of your smile or make your teeth look whiter. For a more noticeable smile makeover, you may want to go with veneers. Tooth reshaping and dental contouring only eliminate small imperfections, whereas veneers cover the entire front surface of the teeth, giving them a completely new look.
- Risk of tooth damage. Depending on how much enamel is removed during tooth reshaping and dental contouring, teeth can become sensitive afterwards. And if too much enamel is removed, you can be at risk for tooth breakage.