If you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth due to chips, grooves or other imperfections, you might be able to correct them with tooth contouring. The dentist will file different parts of the tooth to change its size or shape, remove chips, or smooth out the surface. Here are some pros and cons of the procedure to decide if this is the right procedure for you.
Pro: The procedure is painless
One of the greatest benefits of tooth contouring is the fact that it is virtually painless. This procedure only affects the surface enamel of the teeth, so anesthesia is not usually needed to numb the area. If you have extra sensitive teeth, you can request a numbing agent from your dentist, though this is optional. Many people don't use any type of numbing agent and are comfortable while getting contouring done.
Con: There is a risk of tooth damage
Unfortunately, there is a small risk of tooth damage after the procedure is complete. Your teeth will be sensitive after you get contouring done. If there is trauma to your teeth shortly after the procedure, or you chew on something hard, there is a risk of the tooth cracking. To prevent this risk, be careful with your chewing and biting for several days following the procedure.
Pro: Improves your oral hygiene
Tooth contouring is a great option when you have mild overlapping of the teeth. Some of the surface enamel of the tooth overlapping another can be removed, which will make the teeth appear to be more aligned. Not only does this improve your smile, but it can help you get those areas cleaned. When teeth overlap, it is hard to clean the space between them, particularly with a toothbrush. It can even be difficult getting dental floss in that area. However, if you get contouring that corrects the overlapping, you can clean your teeth better and have improved oral hygiene.
Con: Only small changes are possible
Another disadvantage of tooth contouring is that only very minor changes can be done with this method. If you have major overlapping of the teeth or a tooth needs to be filed down extensively, you will need to get other procedures done. While it can help improve the outer appearance of your tooth, it only works with the enamel.
Pro: It is affordable
As opposed to the alternative cosmetic surgery procedures, tooth contouring is very affordable. While dental insurance doesn't usually cover the costs of this procedure, it is less expensive than crowns and veneers, both of which correct many of the same problems that tooth contouring does. If you are on a tight budget, ask a dentist at an office like Westowne Dental if you are a good candidate for contouring.