Cosmetic Dentistry: What Is Cosmetic Tooth Shaping?

Cosmetic Dentist Kaysville, UT

Cosmetic dentistry covers a variety of dental procedures that improve the look of a person’s smile. Some cosmetic dental treatments restore the color of a patient’s teeth. Others create an even smile by adjusting the shape, size and orientation of problem teeth. Cosmetic tooth shaping falls under the latter category.

With cosmetic tooth shaping, a dentist can create an even set of teeth by installing dental restorations, sculpting individual teeth, or with a combination of both. So, when do dentists incorporate tooth shaping into their treatment plans?

Creating an even-looking smile with cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic tooth shaping or dental contouring is a common procedure that dentists perform on a large number of their patients. The most common application of dental contouring is the repair of chipped or broken teeth. Dentists also use tooth shaping to adjust the length or width of the teeth as a way of creating a set of teeth that are in proportion to each other.

The term dental contouring also covers additive procedures, like adding a restoration or dental bonding to a chipped tooth. It also covers procedures that sculpt a tooth by removing small portions of said tooth. A dentist will use both aspects of tooth reshaping, depending on the individual patient's situation.

Tooth contouring

This is the process of shaving off a couple of millimeters from the enamel, to resize or reshape a tooth. The technical term for the procedure is enameloplasty. A cosmetic dentist will perform this procedure to:

  • Reshape a slightly chipped tooth
  • Adjust the length of a tooth that is disproportionately long
  • Alter the alignment of minimally crooked teeth

The procedure is simple. All the dentist does is use a drill or laser to shave off a few millimeters of enamel. For an incisor that is too long, the dentist will take a few millimeters off the biting surface. If need be, a dentist may remove enamel off the front surface and sides of a tooth.

The role of bonding in tooth reshaping

Sometimes, shaving off a thin layer of enamel is not enough to reshape a tooth. A dentist may use dental bonding to create an appealing aesthetic to a broken or crooked tooth. In this case, the dental bonding fills in the tooth, either to replace missing enamel or to increase the dimensions of a tooth.

The benefits and drawbacks of tooth reshaping

Enamel removal is permanent so a patient will never need a touchup. This benefit can also be a drawback because the procedure is irreversible. However, this does not have to be an issue if a patient chooses a skilled and experienced dentist. That said, a person with a thinner layer of enamel has to take extra care of their teeth.

Tooth reshaping also has its limits. There is only so much enamel that a dentist can remove. This means that the procedure can only correct small imperfections.

Find out whether dental contouring right is for you

You can find out by talking to our cosmetic dentist. After they examine your teeth, the dentist will advise you on the best way to achieve that attractive smile. Call or email our office to set up a consultation.

Request an appointment here: or call Kaysville Family Dentistry at (801) 546-2439 for an appointment in our Kaysville office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Cosmetic Dentistry in Kaysville, UT.

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