Is Your Teen a Good Candidate for Cosmetic Contouring?
If you were to ask anyone how pleased they were with the quality of their smile, we’d bet everyone can call out something they’d like to have changed. What people don’t realize is that oftentimes, many of the tiny things we question about our smile can be fixed very easily (and affordably) during your regular dental appointment. Contouring is one of those methods that helps reimagine a slightly imperfect tooth. Are you a good candidate, though?
The answer to this question depends on the health of your child, and their teeth. There are three basic concerns:
Enamel thickness: Since enamel shaping removes anywhere from 1-2 millimeters of enamel from the surface of the tooth, it's important to have a complete understanding as to how thick the enamel is before proceeding. If the enamel is judged to be too thin, your dentist may recommend a veneer for that tooth instead. The best way for a doctor to tell is via X-ray.
Stage of growth: Every child experiences growth in degrees specific to their own nature. Thus, before re-shaping a tooth with contouring, your doctor will want a clear picture as to whether bone and tooth growth has subsided. A 360 degree cranial X-ray known as cephalometric scan is often the preferred method of discovery, as it provides depth and range a common X-ray cannot. In fact, if your child is considering, or already wearing braces, they’ve likely already had such a scan.
Overall gum and tooth health: Overly “pointy” canine, or “bumpy” enamel are easy contouring fixes as long as the rest of the tooth, and its adjacent teeth, are healthy. If there's gum disease, weak bone structure supporting the teeth, or nearby damage that could affect the stability and health of the tooth being shaped, your doctor may not recommend the procedure.
Cosmetic contouring is an affordable cosmetic solution, and because of its ease of application and usefulness in a wide variety of cosmetic concerns, it can be used to improve all manner of imperfections. Contouring is also affordable, and quick! Ask if your teen is a good candidate at your next visit. You can read more about the procedure itself as well as get info about bonding (contouring’s distant cousin!) here.