Do you have bumpy edges on your incisor teeth? These are known as mamelons and are typically seen when teeth are newly erupted. These bumpy edges typically wear down and even out as the top and bottom incisors meet. However, some people retain tooth mamelons into adulthood—especially if they have an overbite or underbite, where the incisal edges don't meet. While these bumpy tooth edges are harmless, some people don't like their uneven appearance. A cosmetic dentist can help you remove them with enamel reshaping. Read on to find answers to your questions.
What is enamel reshaping?
Enamel reshaping, or contouring, is a very quick and painless cosmetic procedure where your dentist uses a file, laser, or abrasive strip to smooth incisal edges to flatter edges. Because mamelons are apart of your outer layer of enamel, you won't even need a local anesthetic during the procedure.
Once the edges are filling, your dentist may use coronal polishing cups (similar to when you have your teeth polished during dental cleanings) with abrasive paste to further smooth the edges.
Is contouring the same as enamel abrasion?
While tooth reshaping/contouring procedures do use abrasive strips and instruments, enamel abrasion is a different procedure. While contouring changes the shape of the tooth, abrasion changes the thickness of the tooth and is mainly used to remove superficial stains that cannot be removed with whitening.
How much does this procedure cost?
Every dental office is different, but you should expect to pay between $50 to $500 per tooth. The costs for this type of procedure are fairly reasonable, but you should expect to pay out of pocket since reshaping typically isn't covered by insurance policies since it is elective and purely cosmetic.
How much enamel will the dentist remove?
Since removing the mamelons is a permanent change and you can't add the enamel back, your dentist will take a conservative approach and remove a small amount. They will remove just enough to smooth the edge. If you are unhappy with initial results, you can always have the dentist remove more at a later date. To give you an idea of how your teeth will look after reshaping, some dentists may even provide you with a digital mock-up of what you can expect your new smile to look like so you aren't going into the procedure blind and aren't disappointed by the results.
Are there any side effects of removing mamelons?
This is a low-risk procedure. The main side effect is that you may have a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity—especially when eating very cold foods and and drinking cold beverages. Your dentist may have you use a special toothpaste for awhile until your teeth adjust.
Contact a cosmetic dentist like one at Pinon Hills Dental today to learn more.