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Tooth recontouring and gum contouring

Recontouring is a cosmetic dentistry procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth's length, shape or surface.

Because this is done for cosmetic reasons, it is not likely to be available as an NHS treatment. Private prices can vary, so make sure you get a written quote for treatment before going ahead.

Why have tooth recontouring?

Tooth recontouring may be recommended for improving the look of minor issues with teeth, including:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Irregular shaped teeth, smoothing out bumps and pits
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Shortening long 'canine' pointed teeth.

Is it just about looks?

Recontouring also helps general oral health by removing places where deposits can build up causing problems.

When is recontouring not recommended?

This technique is not suitable for larger areas of damage to teeth or larger imperfections. A dentist can recommend other approaches in these situations.

What risks are associated with tooth recontouring?

There is a risk of thinner tooth enamel after the procedure making the tooth more sensitive.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure to re-shape gums around the front teeth to improve their look.

A person may request this procedure if they are unhappy with their smile, perhaps feeling it is too 'gummy'.

Not all dentists offer this treatment, so ask your dentist for a referral.

A treatment plan will be written after an initial consultation. Like tooth recontouring, the likely benefits will be explained and the costs set out in writing.

Gum contouring is usually done using a laser that cuts away unwanted gum tissue and seals the gum afterwards without stitches being needed.

The procedure itself is not painful, but the gums may feel tender afterwards.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 05, 2016

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