Most people want straight, beautifully aligned, white teeth. Unfortunately, most people are not that lucky. When teeth are in poor alignment, rotated, tilted, and/or crowded, the obvious way to correct the problem is by orthodontics (braces or Invisalign aligners). However, there are situations in which it may not be possible or desirable to use braces to straighten teeth. You might feel that you are too old (although this is rarely the case), the cost of the orthodontics may be beyond your current means, you may not want to wear braces, or perhaps there are only a few areas that need attention and full orthodontics are simply not indicated.
In certain select cases, the appearance of your top and bottom teeth can be slightly or dramatically improved by recontouring the enamel. The four top and four bottom incisors and canines can be routinely altered. Sometimes teeth further back in your mouth can also be cosmetically improved. Recontouring is useful when there is slight to moderate overlapping of the front teeth, uneven wear, or teeth that do not have their biting and incising edges in harmony, creating an uneven “picket fence” look.
Enamel recontouring is usually a painless procedure and no local anesthetic is needed. The enamel that is overlapping or poorly shaped is removed, recontoured, and polished. Depending on your individual needs, one or several teeth may require some reshaping. Different amounts of enamel may be removed from different teeth. The recontoured teeth do not become more prone to decay, are not made more sensitive to temperature changes, and they are not made significantly weaker or damaged by the procedure.
Many times, the recontouring is all that is necessary to significantly improve your appearance. Other times, when the poor alignment is more pronounced, it may be done in conjunction with bonding of resin or porcelain to teeth. Your treatment will depend on your present conditions and on what you would like to see changed.
The procedure is not difficult for the patient and can often be done in only one appointment. The change is immediate and permanent. It does take an artistic flair on the part of the dentist to see what possibilities for change exist. We need to determine what enamel needs to be removed, where we must add, and where orthodontics is the treatment of choice. The fees are reasonable and depend on the extent of the treatment.
If you have any questions about enamel recontouring, please feel free to ask us!
Hymeadow: (512) 250-5012
Jollyville: (512) 346-8424
West William Cannon: (512) 445-5721