Are you unhappy with the appearance of your teeth? Do you wish to adjust the shape or size of your teeth? Well, you are not alone. Most people are not always contented with the overall appearance of their teeth. As such, they are opting for various corrective ways to make their teeth look better and more appealing.
While there various ways of correcting teeth defects, odontoplasty is the best procedure to consider. Depending on your overall goals and preference, your doctor will help you choose a suitable correction method. In the long run, this helps enhance smile appearance, promote self-confidence, and make you feel good about your teeth.
What is Odontoplasty?
Odontoplasty is a cosmetic dental procedure to change the shape, length, size, or tooth surface. To achieve this, a small quantity of the tooth enamel is removed. This eventually improves the general appearance by instilling a balance or harmony in the smile look.
On the other hand, odontoplasty procedure can sometimes be referred to as;
- tooth recontouring
- tooth reshaping
- tooth shaving
- tooth stripping
In general, odontoplasty is the most effective conservative treatment approach. It’s both a fast and a painless procedure, and the outcome can be detected immediately. This procedure is also the best when it comes to correcting minor irregularities or defects such as;
- Repairing and fixing minor chips
- Smoothing out the pits or bulges in the enamel of the tooth
- Adjusting the length of the canines
- Adjusting and correcting the minor irregular shape of the tooth caused by uneven or excess teeth.
In addition, odontoplasty helps enhance general dental health by eliminating overlaps or crevices between the teeth.
Why is the Odontoplasty Procedure done?
There are several reasons why most people often opt for odontoplasty. On the other hand, dentists perform the procedure due to various reasons as well. Overall, the major purposes of odontoplasty include the following;
- Reshaping or correcting damaged teeth
Usually, the small minor chip in the tooth doesn’t always look like a big issue. However, you can easily notice it every time you see yourself in the mirror, affecting your smile. Luckily, with odontoplasty procedure, the tooth can be shaved or filled to make the edge more even and appealing.
- Adding a crown to the tooth
A crown refers to a cap used to correct tooth damages or a tooth with a root canal by fitting over it. Before adding the crown, the dentist will first trim the tooth down to ensure that it fits perfectly. Thus, the crown will cover the whole tooth; hence, you won’t notice any sign of the filling course.
- Creating additional room or space in the mouth
It’s usually normal for some people to have large teeth or smaller jaw and sometimes closely crowded teeth. These overcrowded teeth typically result in a number of dental issues such as jaw pain, crooked teeth, and misalignment. Therefore, filing down a few teeth can help free up some space, minimizing overcrowding, and preventing any related problem.
- Tooth shaving for braces
Odontoplasty is a procedure to address dental issues such as misaligned and crowded teeth. To accomplish this, retainer and braces can be used to move the teeth to a new position. This helps reduce misplacement and crowding. At times, shaving a small bit of the tooth might be necessary to ensure that the braces fit perfectly.
- Veneer tooth shaving
Unlike the crown, the veneer usually covers the tooth's damage and can only be used on the front part. In some cases, the dentists will carefully file a small bit of the tooth to prepare it for the veneer. They can also shave off the teeth on the opposite side of the veneer to ensure they perfectly match. Apart from covering the damaged tooth, dentists can also use veneers to change the tooth's color, size, shape, and length. In other cases, it can help cover or close the gaps.
- Bite adjustment
Sometimes, the upper and the lower teeth don’t match up correctly. This means that the upper teeth can’t rest on the lower teeth. In such cases, the dentist can recommend contouring or shaving the teeth, preventing them from matching and resting on each other.
What to Expect during Odontoplasty Procedure
If you wish to undergo an odontoplasty procedure to correct teeth defects, it’s essential to understand what it entails. The following steps will thus help you as you prepare for the treatment process;
Before the procedure:
After deciding to undergo odontoplasty, the dentists will first recommend a diagnostic test. This helps examine the teeth thoroughly and identify if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. Examination tests such as CT scans and x-ray can be used to assess the location and size of the tooth pulp. This is because the treatment approach involves reducing the size without causing any damage.
However, you might not be a good candidate for odontoplasty if the scan and x-ray results show that;
- The enamel layer of the tooth is extremely thin
- The pulp is too close to the surface of the tooth
In such cases, you can consider other corrective treatment options, including veneers and teeth bonding. On the contrary, if your teeth are in good shape, the dentist will schedule the treatment to address it.
During the Procedure:
The entire odontoplasty procedure usually takes approximately 30 minutes. This can, however, vary depending on the extent of the damage or defect and the amount of work required. The dentists will first mark the teeth using a special surgical pen or pencil. This is to highlight the key areas that need sculpturing.
Usually, the tooth enamel comprises minerals; hence there are no surrounding nerve and blood vessels. This means that you won’t feel any pain, and anesthesia or numbing agents and pain relievers are not required.
When performing the procedure, the dentists use some equipment, including a sanding drill and laser. With these tools, small pieces of the enamel surface are gradually removed. The chipped or fractured teeth are then smoothed out while the edges are squared or rounded.
After that, the dentists will use abrasive strips between the teeth to help smoothen and shape the sides. The next step involves smoothening and polishing the teeth. This is usually done after verifying the bite and ensuring that it’s in proper alignment. This is to give the patient a uniform appearance and ensure that the teeth are less crowded.
After the Procedure:
Since odontoplasty involves thinning out the tooth's enamel, it’s essential to care for the teeth after the treatment procedure. Besides, to maintain odontoplasty results, it’s necessary to brush the teeth at least twice a day.
The dentists will recommend using an interdental cleaner to remove bacteria and plaque in the gums and between the teeth. You should also avoid chewing and biting any hard solid food following the procedure, which might affect the teeth. Lastly, daily flossing and maintain routine dental checkups are necessary.
Overall Benefits of Odontoplasty
Generally, odontoplasty is a minor dental procedure that is usually associated with several benefits. First, odontoplasty is relatively a fast and painless treatment procedure since it only involves removing the enamel. It also doesn’t require anesthesia or numbing agent as the patient won’t feel any pain or discomfort.
Another advantage of tooth reshaping is that it enhances overall oral health. This is because it involves the removal of plaque and tartar that might have accumulated. In the long run, this minimizes the risks of dental issues, including periodontal disease and tooth decay.
Odontoplasty can sometimes substitute costly treatment procedures such as dental braces. Odontoplasty is also designed to correct teeth misalignment and minor overlapping, making the teeth look straight.
Ultimately, the odontoplasty treatment procedure is relatively pocket-friendly. Although this can vary depending on the amount of work to conduct, you can’t compare it to other corrective approaches. Furthermore, the treatment costs of the broken or chipped tooth caused by trauma or accidents are covered by the insurance. However, it’s essential to first inquire with the insurance provider.
Side Effects of Odontoplasty
Odontoplasty procedure should be cautiously considered since the tooth enamel is usually irreplaceable. While the entire process might be safe, it carries a risk of the thickness of the enamel.
Furthermore, if the tooth enamel is exposed to the dentin layer or becomes too thin after recontouring, it causes various issues. For instance, it can result in adverse tooth sensitivity to cold, sweets, and heat.
Everyone deserves a good perfect smile. Luckily, odontoplasty is a dental cosmetic treatment procedure that can help you achieve the appearance and smile you desire. It’s also the best alternative if you want to straighten your teeth and improve them. Odontoplasty is generally suitable for addressing uneven teeth, minor teeth crowding, and minor chipped teeth.
CloudHospital is dedicated to addressing any dental issue and helping you achieve the dental appearance you want. It works with several qualified dentists and medical providers from various related fields to correct and repair teeth defects and injuries. They also provide effective measures to help you maintain the results and avoid any additional damage.