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Teeth contouring seems to be a misunderstood treatment. Very often, patients will reach out to a dentist to request that a tooth is shaved down to match the size of others. Other times, teeth contouring is used to excessively file a tooth, creating a vampire vision – a trend more sought out every time a new hit zombie series arrives on the screens.
This article aims to help you understand if teeth contouring could help you achieve what you desire, if it is suitable for your case, and if a dentist will agree.
Using contouring to create an even smile
Very often, patients who have several uneven teeth at the front of their bottom arch will attempt to request teeth contouring to even their smile. Although it would have been nice if there was such an easy fix for crooked teeth, it’s not quite so simple.
When a tooth is shaved down, the bite needs to first be considered. The dentist must ensure that the new shape of the tooth will not cause excessive wear in the one it meets with when the mouth closes, or worse – cause the teeth to move due to the new pressure axis which will form.
But this isn’t the only concern. Depending on how much the tooth exceeds in length the rest of the line, contouring it to create an even smile may mean shaving off too much of the tooth’s enamel which is risky for the patient and unethical for the dentist. A procedure like this places the dentist in a risk of losing their right to practice.
If you’d like to have your smile looking uniform and beautiful, your best bet is teeth straightening and potentially dental bonding. Book a consultation with our experienced dentists and specialists to discuss your options.
Using teeth contouring when following a trend
This is an easy one: asking any dentist to shave down teeth and achieve the appearance of a vampire smile, for example, will be denied without any consideration. Reminding you of the point we made in the paragraph above – a dentist performing this procedure will most likely lose their right to practice due to the unnecessary nature of this act.
Making permanent decisions that can affect a person’s entire health is followed closely by authorities, and any act that poses an immediate danger (such as removing healthy tooth structure) is considered malpractice.
The right use of teeth contouring – small adjustments to finalise a treatment
After mentioning in which instances teeth contouring would be wrong and possibly unlawful, let’s talk about the practical application of this treatment.
Teeth can have rigid edges due to an improper bite when meeting the other jaw under the wrong angle. When this is the case, teeth straightening treatment that addresses the bite is the first step. Once the treatment is complete, teeth contouring (shaping) can be performed to shave down minimal parts of the ridged teeth and achieve a smooth edge, which will make your smile look beautiful and healthy.
When this treatment is performed, the dentist will first carry a full assessment of the health of your teeth to ensure this will not cause any damage to the enamel. In most cases, these assessments require dental X-rays for absolute certainty. The procedure itself is short in duration, usually lasting no more than 30-40 minutes. Once the dentist has ensured that the shaving compliments your new healthy bite, they’ll polish the teeth to protect the enamel.
No additional maintenance is required when you have had tooth contouring done. You can carry on enjoying your gorgeous new look and smile as much as your heart desires.