Monday, November 16, 2015

Enamel Recontouring

Most people want straight, beautifully aligned, white teeth. Unfortunately, most people are not naturally born that way. When teeth are in poor alignment, rotated, tilted, and/or crowned, one obvious way to correct the problem is by orthodontics (braces). However, there are situations where 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 preclude their use, you may not want to wear braces, or perhaps there are only a few areas that need attention and full orthodontics are 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 upper and lower 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 if the front teeth, uneven wear, or teeth that do not have their biting and incising edges in harmony, in effect, an uneven “picket fence” look. Enamel recontouring is 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 amount of enamel may be removed from different teeth. The teeth do not become prone to decay, are not made more sensitive to temperature changes, and are not made significantly weaker or damaged by the procedure.

Many times, 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 a bonding procedure. The extent of 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 resulting change is immediate and permanent. Is does not take and artistic approach on the part of the dentist to determine what possibilities for change exist. We need to determine what enamel needs to be removed, where we must add material, and where the orthodontics is the treatment of choice.


If you have any questions about enamel contouring, please give us a call at 512-250-5012.

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