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What is cosmetic contouring?
Cosmetic contouring (also known as odontoplasty or teeth reshaping) is a simple procedure that removes some of your enamel to change the form of one or more teeth. The goal of cosmetic contouring is to alter your teeth’s shape, length, or appearance to improve how you look.
Your dental professional uses a drill or laser to remove enamel from your teeth. Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects the vulnerable inside of your teeth, so the amount of enamel that can be removed is limited by your individual tooth structure. It is important not to expose your tooth to risk or potential damage.
This procedure is usually quick and painless, and it requires no recovery period. Typically, your dental professional can complete it in a single visit without using a local anesthetic.
What Are the Benefits?
Cosmetic contouring is only meant to improve your appearance. However, this procedure may offer other perks, even if you’re mostly focused on improving the look of your smile. Whether or not these apply to you will depend on your individual health history and the structure of your enamel.
Benefits of contouring may include:
- Improving your appearance by altering the shape or size of your teeth
- Fixing cracked, chipped, crooked, or improperly aligned teeth
- Mitigating damage created from grinding your teeth (also known as bruxism)
- Making it easier to clean the areas between your teeth
This procedure is often combined with dental bonding to add material to your tooth and increase its volume or shape.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Contouring is limited by the layout and structure of your teeth and enamel. As this procedure involves removing enamel, it can only be done in spots where the enamel is thick enough. This means that it can only be used to repair minor cosmetic problems, and will not make drastic changes to your bite or appearance.
Want to Improve Your Smile?
See what clear aligners, crowns, veneers, teeth whitening, bonding, cosmetic contouring, implants, laser gum reshaping — or even a complete dental makeover — can do for your smile.