Your Madison Dentist Can Reshape a Tooth
Enamel shaping is a cosmetic procedure also known as enameloplasty, odontoplasty, tooth contouring, or simply tooth reshaping. Enamel shaping involves contouring natural teeth to improve their overall appearance by removing small amounts of tooth enamel in order to change the length, shape, or surface contours of a tooth.
The goal of an enamel recontouring procedure is to correct problems in the aesthetic harmony and balance of the mouth to achieve a more attractive appearance.
Commonly Asked Questions About Esthetic Shaping Procedures
To put it simply, what is esthetic shaping?
Esthetic shaping is a quick, easy, and economical way to correct many minor irregularities in the shape or texture of teeth. It may be used to correct the look of misshapen, oversized, rough, crooked, chipped, or overlapping teeth.
Tooth contouring can provide a solution to:
- correct uneven front teeth
- correct small chips or surface flaws
- round-off pointed canine teeth
- shorten teeth that appear too long (common problem with canines)
- correct minor overcrowding problems
- adjust teeth to create a smile that follows the contour of the lower lip
Beside the cosmetic effects, enamel shaping can improve overall dental health by removing minor crevices (chips and other surface flaws) or overlaps (crowded teeth without enough interdental spaces) in which plaque or tartar can accumulate.
What is the procedure like?
During the enamel shaping treatment, the cosmetic dentist will use a sanding disk or fine diamond burs to remove small amounts (generally not more than one to two millimeters) of tooth enamel where needed. If there are imperfections between teeth, he or she may use strips of sandpaper to shape and smooth the sides.
Once the teeth are reshaped properly, the dentist will polish the teeth. Because dental recontouring involves only the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth that has no nerves), without affecting the living part of the tooth (dental pulp), it usually can be done without anesthetic.
The procedure is quick and painless, typically completed in only one appointment. The results can be seen immediately.
Are there any risks associated with esthetic shaping?
The enamel loss during teeth shaping is permanent and irreversible, so the dentist must carefully discuss the effects of the recontouring with the patient before the treatment. If the enamel shaping procedure is planned and performed properly, there shouldn’t be any complications. However, the removal of tooth enamel makes it thinner and in some cases the treated tooth may become sensitive. In-office application of fluoride gel or varnish, and regular use of a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, are recommended after a tooth contouring treatment in these cases.