What Is Re-contouring?
Dental re-contouring at Harvest Dental involves the removal of small amounts of tooth enamel. The purpose is to change the length, shape or surface contours of a tooth. This is a relatively quick and painless procedure. It is also called tooth reshaping, or odontoplasty.

What It’s Used For:
Re-contouring is one of the most conservative cosmetic procedures. It is an effective way to correct minor imperfections. It can improve overall dental health by removing minor crevices or overlaps where plaque or tartar can build up.

However, re-contouring is not a substitute for porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding. Re-contouring probably might not be the best treatment if your teeth have a major imperfection such as a deep chip or fracture.

You should understand what re-contouring can and can’t do for you so you have realistic expectations. Your dentist may show you before-and-after photographs of other patients. This will allow you to see exactly what sorts of improvements are possible. Sometimes, re-contouring can’t completely fix tooth imperfections. Your dentist may combine the treatment with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, a composite resin is used to repair or restore fractures, chips or cavities. Re-contouring doesn’t affect the living pulp or dentin of the tooth. For this reason, it usually can be done without anesthetic.

Preparation:
Our dentists can use re-contouring in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas, only when the overall tooth structure is sound. Your dentist will take X-rays to show the size and location of the tooth’s pulp. The pulp is in the center of the tooth. It contains the nerves and blood vessels. If the tooth has a relatively thin layer of enamel, or if the pulp lies close to the surface, re-contouring may not be possible.

How It’s Done:
Your dentist will use a sanding disk or fine diamond burs to remove small amounts of tooth enamel. He may use strips of sandpaper to shape and smooth imperfections between teeth. Once the teeth are reshaped properly, your dentist will polish them.

Follow-Up:
Re-contouring doesn’t involve the use of artificial materials. Therefore, your teeth don’t require special care after the procedure. If you also have bonding done, be aware that the bonding material may pick up stains more easily than enamel. It will need to be redone if that occurs.

Risks:
Re-contouring does not pose any major risks. However, depending on the thickness of your enamel, a tooth that has been re-contoured may become sensitive. That’s because re-contouring removes part of the enamel, which protects the dentin under it.

When to Call Us:
You should not have any problems after the procedure. If your teeth become sensitive enough to bother you, contact Drs. Horsley and Walker by calling 469-812-7100. A thin layer of bonding material or laser desensitization may fix the problem.