Healthy smile

Cosmetic Dentistry: Contouring and Reshaping Teeth

It would be nice if everyone had a smile they liked. But factors like genetics, injuries, and oral care can all affect how one’s smile looks. Sometimes, getting the smile you want can take more than one procedure. But there are instances where achieving the smile you have always wanted can be as simple as having just a single- or perhaps a couple- of your teeth reshaped.  That’s where cosmetic dentistry plays a key role in rebuilding your smile.

Teeth reshaping is a cosmetic procedure to remove small portions of tooth enamel. The process reshapes cracked, chipped, or crooked teeth. Your dentist has specialized tools designed to enhance your tooth’s shape. It is an in-office procedure and is nearly -if not totally- painless.

Who Can Have Dental Contouring?

Healthy smileTooth or gum reshaping works for any patient, regardless of age. However, it is more common for teens or adults as they no longer have baby teeth. Teeth reshaping is most used for the following situations:

  • Small cracks or chips in teeth
  • When there are pits or bulges in tooth enamel
  • When a tooth is especially long or more pointed
  • To correct an uneven smile
  • For very minor tooth misalignment
  • Correcting overgrown gums which hide healthy teeth

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry- Contouring and Reshaping Teeth

  1. Tooth reshaping is permanent– It is a one-time procedure with no follow-up. It won’t revert to what things once were. However, it does require you to be vigilant in caring for your teeth to prevent enamel loss.
  2. No pain – While there are some dental procedures that one may associate with being painful, tooth reshaping is a painless process. You don’t need pain medication or localized anesthesia at any point before, during, or after. As such, you can resume normal eating and drinking following your appointment.
  3. Prevent gum disease – Contouring changes the overhangs and anatomy of the teeth. In doing this, the spaces where plaque buildup can occur are fewer. With a lower risk of plaque buildup, gum disease is less likely.
  4. Avoid braces – It is not a solution to every tooth alignment problem. But, sometimes, using tooth contouring can override the need for braces.
  5. Cost-effective – Of cosmetic dental practices, tooth reshaping is one of the most affordable.
  6. Long-lasting – While the longevity of teeth reshaping is affected by how well you take care of your teeth and how much enamel your dentist may need to remove, contouring can last for years.

Having a smile you are happy with makes a big difference in your confidence. So, if looking in the mirror brings a frown, perhaps a chat with our dental team is on the agenda. If you want to learn more about teeth reshaping and contouring, please don’t hesitate to ask.  Cosmetic dentistry may be the answer for you.  We can assess your teeth and determine the best option(s) for getting you the smile you have always wanted. Reach out to McCracken Family Dentistry and talk to us today.


Teeth Whitening Options

Not everyone has a natural “Hollywood smile” where every tooth is pearly white and perfectly aligned.  Consequently, people try to achieve their best smile via cosmetic dentistry options, some over-the-counter and some provided professionally.  Today, a stroll down the dental health aisle or a search on Amazon reveals an abundance of OTC teeth whitening products.  But are they as effective as they may claim to be on the consumer packaging?  Let’s explore your options for a whiter smile.

Teeth Whitening Options You May Have Considered

WhiteningTeeth Whitening with UV or LED Blue Light

Light-curing treatments include an LED light with peroxide.  Many of these kits promise to brighten your teeth within 30 minutes.  The kits come with the LED light, a whitening gel, and (depending on the kit) the trays or a tooth-whitening pen.  Repeat the LED whitening process daily for 10 days to be fully effective (per the product instructions).

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips often use a non-toxic, peroxide-free formula safe for tooth enamel.  They do not contain preservatives, additives, or other unwanted elements, and typically show results within 14 days when applied per the instructions.

Whitening Toothpaste

The over-the-counter toothpaste approach is available at numerous retail locations and is rather affordable, making it a favorite approach.  Used daily, it can be effective, especially to correct mild staining.

Whitening Pens

Containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, these pens are fast-drying and will break down the surface stains and brighten teeth. They require consistent use to be effective.

In-Office Whitening Procedure

Your dentist applies bleaching gel to your teeth, then lets it set 15-30 minutes.  The bleach is then removed, and more gel is applied.  Some approaches require focusing an LED or UV light on the teeth.  Depending on how much of a change you want, it may be necessary to have subsequent visits.

Deep Bleaching

Bleaching typically requires a minimum of 3 dentist visits of approximately 15 -minutes each.  The dentist creates highly detailed dental impressions with custom trays.  These bleaching trays are loaded with a gel and pressed onto the teeth.  You are sent home with these trays with instructions on how to use them.  After 2 weeks, you return to the office for additional bleaching.

Reasons to Get Teeth Whitened by Your Dentist

1. Get results quickly.

2. Protect your teeth, without fear of damage by an OTC product or home remedy.

3. Get the results you want, with even whitening. In fact, your Advanced Dental Partners dentist can customize the level of whitening to match your other teeth.

4. If your teeth are prone to sensitivity, then the whitening process can sometimes be painful.  But having your teeth professionally whitened, your dentist can adjust how much of the active ingredients are used and will also have a gel that can be used to relieve sensitivity.

If you are interested in a whiter smile, be sure to talk to one of the dentists at McCracken Family Dentistry.  We would love to help you love your smile!