Cosmetic contouring is a common cosmetic dentistry procedure nowadays among many people, not only celebrities. We all want better and first-impression smiles, making most of us self-conscious about any imperfections on our teeth. While it doesn't affect your dental or oral health, minor imperfections in your teeth, like stains, can affect your confidence to smile or talk in a public place.

Fortunately, with modern cosmetic dentistry procedures like dental contouring, you can be able to makeover your beautiful smile with the help of a dentist to appear better. We invite you to schedule a consultation with Washington Dental wherever you are in Carson, California if you think cosmetic contouring is the remedy you need for your dental issues affecting the beauty of your smile.

We are experienced and equipped with the latest technological advancement to help you makeover your smile through contouring for a great and appealing smile.

Understanding Cosmetic Contouring

Unlike restorative dentistry, which focuses on diagnosing and treating your dental and oral health issues like cavity and tooth sensitivity, cosmetic dentistry's primary goal is to improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile. Cosmetic contouring is a non-invasive and painless cosmetic procedure for reshaping imperfection on a tooth to match the rest of the teeth’ alignment for an improved smile.

To remove the mismatch, a dentist uses a special drill or laser to remove small pieces of your tooth or teeth enamel in the right places to make them appear even straighter for a brighter smile.

Even a minor adjustment of your teeth' shape, size, and surface through contouring can make a significant difference in the appearance of your smile. Often a minor chip on the incisor, slightly large tooth, or a minor chip on the incisors can make you feel self-conscious about your smile, which affects your social life and self-esteem.

However, tooth contouring can provide you an instant solution to these imperfections on your tooth or teeth with just one appointment with your dentist. Typically, a general dentist can perform this procedure, but you have to take ample time to find a reliable dentist for the best appealing services.

Dental Issues You Can Fix Through Cosmetic Contouring

Generally, you might be a good candidate for cosmetic contouring, also commonly known as tooth reshaping, if you have any of the following dental issues/conditions:

A "Bad" Bite

Excessively long or short teeth issues can affect the aesthetic appearance of your smile and cause bite issues when chewing food, which often leads to abnormal wear and tear of your tooth enamel surface. A bad bite worsens with time if you leave it untreated, leading to severe dental health issues, requiring additional care and cost.

However, your dentist may be able to fix these mismatches on your tooth by removing the top layer of the excessively long tooth to align it with the rest of the surrounding teeth for a perfect bite and smile.

Crowded Teeth

Often the cause of teeth crowding is lack of adequate space to accommodate emerging or erupting teeth. Apart from affecting the beauty of your smile, crowded teeth can also make you prone to bacterial infections and decay because it is difficult to brush and floss in between these teeth.

If you have crowded teeth, cosmetic contouring could work out in your favor to make your teeth appear less crowded for an appealing and catchy smile you deserve.

Crooked Teeth

While crooked teeth are more common in children, even adults do have crooked teeth.  Some of the cause of crooked teeth include:

  • Misaligned jaw (Malocclusion)
  • Facial injury
  • Gene inheritance
  • Premature loss of your baby teeth
  • Poor dental (myofunctional) habits when growing up like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
  • Poor dental care

Like crowded teeth, crooked teeth can also make it challenging to maintain your routine oral and dental health, which creates a thriving environment for bacteria and more severe dental health issues.

Crooked teeth can also cause wear and tear of the opposite healthy teeth and speech difficulties. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry procedures like contouring can now lessen the appearance of your crooked teeth using modern and precise technology like lasers to make them appear more aligned to the surrounding teeth to improve the general appearance of your smile.

Chipped Teeth or Tooth

Enamel is one of the most mineralized body tissues, making it very hard and strong, but it has its limits. A forceful blow or an accident with an impact on your face area can make your teeth chip or break. Although a chipped tooth is not an emergency dental issue, it may require some remedy because the remaining sharp edges of the tooth can injure soft tissues of your mouth, like a tongue.

When the size of the chip is large, your dentist can recommend treatment procedures like bonding, which uses tooth-colored resin to fill and restore the shape of your tooth. However, if the size of the chip is small or minor, your dentist will recommend cosmetic contouring to smoothen the chipped part of the tooth to improve its harmful shape for a better smile.

Cosmetic contouring can reduce the detrimental appearance of the above dental issues and any other issue affecting your teeth' alignment and shape for a brighter smile and improved general body health. However, it is not a solution for people with major dental issues like:

  • Infected pulp
  • Unhealthy gums
  • Decayed teeth

Teeth contouring is a brilliant and life-changing idea if you want to make your smile's aesthetic appearance better. However, it is advisable to consult a dentist if you would like to consider this cosmetic dentistry option.

What You Should Expect Before a Cosmetic Contouring Procedure

To ensure the tooth or teeth you need to reshape are healthy and determine the precise areas requiring reshaping, you should expect a few crucial and necessary procedures. First, your dentist will need to take some x-rays of the tooth or teeth you want to contour to determine the location of your nerves and the thickness of your enamel.

Your dentist will need this crucial information to determine the extent of your tooth or teeth mismatch/misalignment and the amount of enamel to remove without damaging the inner part of your tooth.

Next, your cosmetic dentist will highlight or mark the precise areas that require sculpting and reshaping using a special pencil or a pen. Nowadays, some dental clinics use modern and non-invasive computer-imaging techniques to highlight your tooth or teeth before commencing with the cosmetic contouring procedure.

The dentist may also need to take pictures of your mouth and teeth alignment to show you a comparison of your teeth before and after conditions later. These pictures will help you understand the changes in your teeth' alignment, shape, and smile after the cosmetic contouring procedure.

Using the original picture of your teeth mismatch issue, your cosmetic dentist can also help you understand what to expect during and after the contouring procedure through computer-imaging techniques.

The Cosmetic Contouring Process/Procedure

Once the dentist determines your gums are healthy and you have sufficient enamel for sculpting, he/she will begin the contouring procedure. Typically, the dentist will not need to use any anesthesia or any sedation means before he/she begins to contour or reshape your teeth because it is a painless and comfortable process.

The dentist begins the cosmetic contouring procedure by using a sanding disc or laser to carefully remove pieces of your tooth enamel to minimize any imperfections and mismatches to the surrounding healthy teeth.

Suppose you have excessively long or short teeth with a detrimental appearance you don't like. In that case, your cosmetic dentist might use a special file, sandpaper, or abrasive strips to make the necessary adjustment to the uneven teeth to improve their alignment, bite, and the aesthetic appearance of your smile.

The dentist may need to combine teeth contouring with bonding to achieve the desired teeth shape and size for patients with chipped teeth or gaps. During the contouring procedure, your cosmetic dentist will constantly measure your teeth alignment to ensure the process is on the right path, necessary to achieve your desired smile.

Your cosmetic dentist will continue making minor adjustments and polishing on the right places of your teeth, like the edges and surfaces, until he/she achieves the desired teeth shape and size that you deserve. Depending on the amount of enamel your dentist needs to reshape or remove, the contouring process should not take more than one hour of your time.

Cosmetic Contouring Aftercare Tips

Cosmetic contouring is an excellent and reliable idea to improve your teeth' shape, size, and general appearance for an enhanced smile. However, after the procedure, it is upon you to maintain good oral hygiene to maintain lasting and appealing results. Your dentist will advise you on the helpful aftercare tips to observe to ensure lasting results after cosmetic dental contouring.

Below are some of the reliable aftercare tips you should observe after a cosmetic contouring procedure:

  • Brush and floss your teeth carefully and gently to avoid damaging the already thin enamel further
  • Avoid sugary drinks and any other drink that can stain your teeth, like red wine and coffee
  • Avoid clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth
  • Add calcium to your diet if possible, but you should consult your cosmetic dentist first
  • Use non-abrasive mouthwash or toothpaste
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene and visit your dental clinic regularly

If your dentist uses a bonding resin during the cosmetic contouring process to achieve the desired results, you should avoid the following to maintain lasting teeth alignment and regularity:

  • Chewing gums
  • Biting your nails
  • Eating any hard food like nuts

Benefits of Cosmetic Contouring

While the purpose of cosmetic contouring is to improve your physical appearance and smile, it also associated with several benefits like:

It Boosts Your Confidence

Like other cosmetic procedures, the outcome of cosmetic contouring improves your confidence and self-esteem because you can now smile and talk in a public place without worrying about the detrimental minor chip in your tooth. A cosmetic contouring procedure can fix all the dental issues that might be making you insecure about smiling in a public place.

No Surgery Is Required

Because the procedure does not involve any surgery or bleeding, most people nowadays opt for this form of cosmetic dentistry. If you have anxiety with dental visits, this option of cosmetic dentistry will work out in your favor if you want an instant smile makeover.

No Recovery Time Required

Unlike most cosmetic procedures like braces placement, cosmetic does not require you to schedule several dental appointments to achieve the desired teeth alignment or shape results. Within one dental visit, you can achieve your desired dental result without any recovery time after the procedure.

After the dental contouring procedure, you might go home and continue with your daily chores because there is no healing and recovery time needed after the process.

It is a Painless Procedure

Since cosmetic contouring involves reshaping and sculpting the enamel surface, which contains no nerves, you will not experience any pain or discomfort during the process. As mentioned above, your cosmetic dentist will not even need to use anesthesia or any sedation method because the process is non-invasive and comfortable.

It is an Affordable Procedure

Unlike other forms of cosmetic dentistry like the placement of veneers, braces, or bonding, cosmetic contouring is pocket-friendly. It will cost you only a few dollars to achieve your desired smile appearance through cosmetic contouring since the procedure gives you permanent results with just one appointment with a dentist.

The cost of cosmetic dentistry varies from one person to the other, but it will generally range from $50 to $300 per tooth. If you have a dental insurance policy, it may cover the cosmetic contouring dentist's fee if the cause of your teeth mismatch was an injury or accident.

It Lowers the Risk of the Possible Tooth Decay or Gum Disease

Cosmetic contouring lowers the risk of possible tooth decay or gum disease because it eliminates unwanted layers of enamel surface where bacteria could thrive, causing tooth decay or gum disease. Smoothened or polished teeth are more natural to brush and clean, making it easy to maintain your ideal oral hygiene.

It is an Applicable Substitute for Braces

Instead of using braces to enhance the beauty of your smile, under certain circumstances, your dentist may advise you to contour or reshape your teeth. Cosmetic contouring is a suitable substitute for braces because both of these cosmetic procedures make your teeth look straighter and aligned for an appealing and confident smile.

Related Services Your Dentist Can Combine with Cosmetic Contouring to Achieve Your Desired Smile

Often, depending on the condition of the tooth/teeth you want to reshape or smoothen out, your dentist may have to combine cosmetic contouring with any of the following cosmetic procedures:

Cosmetic Bonding

Dental bonding is a relatively pocket-friendly cosmetic procedure as well, which requires the dentist to use a teeth-colored composite or resin to repair your discolored, chipped, or broken teeth. Then, he/she will mold and shape the composite bonding material to match or resemble the alignment of the adjacent and surrounding teeth for an enhanced or improved smile.

Mostly, your dentist will combine cosmetic contouring with bonding to achieve a uniform length and alignment of your teeth if the size of your tooth crack, chip, or mismatch is large.

Cosmetic Filling

A cosmetic filling is a cosmetic procedure that can improve your smile appearance and function of your tooth or teeth. The material your dentist will use to fill your damaged tooth will depend on your preferences and the severity of the damage.

Typically, your dentist may need to use a white composite resin or metallic material to save any severely damaged tooth during a cosmetic contouring procedure if a tooth extraction is not an option. Then, he/she will smoothen and reshape its surfaces to achieve your desired smile goals.

Cosmetic Veneers

Dental veneers are also an alternative option a dentist may recommend to fix cosmetic issues or concerns like discolored, chipped, broken teeth issues during the cosmetic contouring process. Dental veneers are custom-made, tooth-colored, and thin coverings that your dentist places over the front surface of your tooth or teeth to enhance their aesthetic appearance.

The dentist can use porcelain or composite resin material when fixing cosmetic veneers of your choice. Like cosmetic contouring, dental veneers will bring changes to your tooth or teeth’ color, shape, length, and size to achieve your desired smile.

Teeth Whitening

We all love white and bright teeth because they make us feel confident about the appearance of our smile in the eyes of other people. To achieve a brighter smile during cosmetic contouring, your dentist may use teeth whitening solutions to remove any discoloration or stain in your teeth.

You can use Over the Counter (OTC) products to whiten your teeth, but they are not as effective as the techniques or products your dentist could use for the same cosmetic procedure.

Tips for Choosing a Reliable Dentist for Cosmetic Contouring Services

Cosmetic contouring is a booming field of dentistry, with several dentists out there who can offer these services. To narrow down your available choices of experts, you should consider the following tips for the best cosmetic contouring services you need to perfect your beautiful smile:

Know the Extent of Your Prospective Dentist Training and Length of Experience

Not every dentist you find is trained and qualified to perform the full array of cosmetic dentistry services. Therefore, you must find a cosmetic dentist with the proper qualifications and certifications required to perform cosmetic contouring services from a recognizable institution.

The length of your prospective cosmetic dentist experience will also influence the quality of cosmetic contouring services you are likely to receive. Look for a cosmetic dentist with significant experience providing cosmetic dentistry services to clients with different dental issues and needs like yours.

Technological Advancement in Your Prospective Dentist Office to Improve His or Her Services

Some dentists are reluctant to invest their money and time into purchasing the latest technological advancement in their field of specialization, like lasers. The latest technological advancement in the cosmetic dentistry field reduces the time a dentist uses to perform beautifying procedures like tooth contouring and improves the outcome of his or her services.

Therefore, it is critical to find a dentist who is still learning and investing in new technological advancements in their specialty to improve their patients' experience and services.

Consider the Location and Convenience of Your Prospective Cosmetic Dentist

The last issue you wouldn't want to worry about when seeking cosmetic contouring services is reaching your dentist's office on time during the date of your appointment. To avoid that kind of hassle, you should find a cosmetic dentist within your workplace or residential area for convenience purposes.

Also, you should retain the services of a dentist with convenient office hours, considering your schedule to arrive at his/her office on time during the date of your appointment for cosmetic contouring services.

Before and After Pictures of Your Prospective Cosmetic Dentist Past Services or Work

Most cosmetic dentists will have a portfolio or gallery with pictures of his/her past clients' teeth before and after cosmetic services. Ensure you ask your prospective cosmetic dentist to provide you with a portfolio of his/her past cosmetic contouring services with different patients to confirm the quality of his/her services with your eyes before you make any significant commitment.

The Cost of Your Prospective Cosmetic Dentist Services

A cosmetic dentist's cost of services differs from one patient to another, depending on various factors like the extent of your tooth damage and his/her experience. Find a cosmetic dentist with a reasonable and fair fee for his or her services and confirm whether he/she will accept your insurance policy.

You should consult with your prospective dentist ahead of time for a quotation or estimation of the required fee to improve your smile through cosmetic contouring.

Find a Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Cosmetic contouring is a low-cost dentistry option you should consider if you want to enhance the beauty of your smile by removing mismatches and imperfections in your teeth. We invite you to call Washington Dental at 310-217-1507, wherever you are in Carson, California, to speak to our experienced dentists about your dental issues and concerns for outstanding cosmetic dentistry services.