Are your teeth slightly uneven? Do you have a small chip or ridges on one (or a couple) of your front teeth? If these are slight but still bothersome to you, you could be a candidate for contouring or reshaping your smile. In some cases, even your bite, that is slightly imbalanced, can be remedied with contouring. Odontoplasty (tooth reshaping) is a simple pain free procedure.
Contouring/reshaping is performed by taking a hand piece (dental drill) and skillfully removing a very little amount of enamel from the surface of the tooth to reach the desired appearance or shape. Local anesthesia (numbing the area) is not necessary during the procedure because there are no nerve endings in your enamel. If you are contemplating braces, it is recommended that you reshape once orthodontic treatment is complete.
Dr. Divito practices in Scottsdale Arizona, and in some cases recommends enamel reshaping as a conservative approach to bring balance to a patient’s smile. Enamel reshaping involves the removal of enamel from a misshapen tooth so that it may take the form of the surrounding teeth. The removal of a such a small amount of enamel can help change the length, shape or any texture imperfections of the patient’s tooth/teeth.
A sanding disc or a fine diamond bur is used to remove small amounts of tooth enamel from the tooth/teeth. Strips of sandpaper are also used to reach imperfections between teeth and to smooth the sides or edges. Once the desired appearance is reached the procedure is completed by polishing the tooth. In some cases, enamel reshaping is combined with dental bonding to bring even more balance to the contour to the smile as it relates to other facial features. Bonding is a nice compliment to enamel reshaping because it adds flexibility to the cosmetic nature of the procedure. It is also a conservative procedure which does not normally require numbing agents.
Dr. Divito will discuss the goals of the procedure and outline what your smile will look like after the reshaping process is completed. In some cases, x-rays of your teeth will be required to determine the size and location of the tooth’s pulp (the center of the tooth that contains the nerves and blood vessels). If the tooth’s enamel layer is too thin or if the pulp lies too close to the tooth’s surface, reshaping may not be possible. Instead, other procedures such as bonding or porcelain veneers might be a better option.
If you are a candidate, Dr. Divito may mark your teeth with a special pencil prior to performing the procedure. Markings will help guide her during the sculpting process and give her an indication of how the tooth will look after the process is completed. As Dr. Divito sculpts the tooth, imperfections are artfully eliminated or minimized. A sanding drill may be used to remove small amounts of surface enamel gradually. Abrasive strips are then moved back and forth between your teeth to shape the actual sides of your teeth. The teeth are then smoothed and polished. Usually anesthetic is not needed.
Dr. Divito helps his patients throughout Scottsdale to maintain great oral health through regular cosmetic dentistry, restorations, checkups and cleanings. Call Dr. Divito’s office today at (480) 990-1905 to schedule see if enamel reshaping is right for you.