If you wish to correct a minor flaw in your tooth, the solution could lie in visiting your dentist for dental contouring, commonly known as tooth reshaping. Dental contouring is a cosmetic dental technique that deals with minor modifications of the teeth.

Flaws or issues such as mildly overlapping or unevenly shaped teeth, minor chips, or overly pointed cuspids can frequently be corrected using dental contouring and tooth reshaping. At Beach Dental Care Anaheim, we provide cosmetic contouring procedures in Anaheim. Contact our dental practice today to learn more.

The Cosmetic Contouring Procedure

Enameloplasty, also known as tooth reshaping, odontoplasty, or dental reshaping, is a dental procedure used to reshape the teeth so that they are uniformly spaced and have an appealing smile. Odontoplasty is the process of removing tooth enamel to alter the shape of the teeth, particularly the front incisors.

In general, contouring is preferable for patients with minor flaws like cracks, stains, overlaps, or marks, among others that do not call for invasive operations. Now we'll delve into the specifics of this cosmetic procedure and what you should know to gain a better comprehension:

  • Dental Evaluation
  • Dental Bonding
  • Contouring or Shaping
  • Teeth Marking

Dental Evaluation

It is crucial to contact an experienced dentist before you can go on with this procedure. Before beginning dental contouring, it's customary to examine the teeth.

To ensure that teeth are strong and healthy, dentists take a few X-rays and carefully inspect the teeth. They examine the quantity of enamel that is currently present to determine whether the teeth can be reshaped.

If there isn't enough enamel, the dentist will probably suggest veneers. That's why having enough enamel is among the most crucial requirements for contouring.

Teeth Marking

Following the dental checkup, your dentist will label and mark your teeth, taking extra precautions to note their precise shape. Then they will digitally scan your teeth and modify the digital imprint. Many dentists perform this phase manually before beginning the reshaping process. At this stage, your discretion is vital so that you can voice your desires.

Dentists concentrate on areas that have cosmetic problems during the marking procedure, such as marks, stains, or cracks. They mark the teeth using tools like orthodontic pens to ensure precise adjustments.

Contouring or Shaping

Dentists first mark the teeth's trouble spots before beginning the contouring process. To reduce the amount of pressure placed on the tooth, a small layer of the enamel is removed using sanding tools or a drill. For instance, dentists may utilize a sanding disk to lightly polish away the enamel of a single incisor to remove a stain.

Dentists frequently recommend this procedure before orthodontic interventions like aligners or braces. Preparation is required before performing these procedures to achieve the desired outcome. However, this technique can be performed without the need for orthodontic treatment.

If you have slight flaws that prevent you from being confident with your smile, you can choose to contour. This procedure is ideal for achieving uniform teeth if your teeth have irregular edges and don't match the other teeth. Sometimes patients want tiny teeth, and tooth reshaping is a good non-invasive technique to get them.

Dental Bonding or Composite

The most crucial and final step in this procedure is to repair the areas of the teeth where the tooth enamel has been removed. For instance, bonding is required to restore a person's incisors with noticeable black stains to ensure the tooth looks natural.

Tooth bonding is an essential step in the contouring procedure since the tooth becomes more fragile when certain quantities of tooth enamel are stripped. Rehabilitation of the teeth is also necessary for their health and to prevent future dental issues. To have a more real and natural appearance, the bonding should be the same tint as your tooth.

How Long Does it Take to Complete the Procedure?

Dental reshaping is a rather quick and easy procedure. Usually, it doesn't take longer than 30 minutes. However, it also varies depending on how many teeth have to be contoured. The technique doesn't need anesthetic or any kind of preparation because it's non-invasive.

As a result, there are no complicated procedures involved, and the treatment is fairly quick and painless.

The Benefits of Cosmetic Contouring

Dental contouring has several advantages, however cosmetic contouring is just intended to enhance your look. Having said that, although your primary concern is enhancing the appearance of your smile, this process may have other advantages. Depending on your health background and the make-up of your teeth, these may or may not apply to your case.

Some advantages of contouring include:

  • Changing your teeth's size or shape to enhance your appearance
  • Tooth restoration for crooked chipped, cracked, or misaligned teeth
  • Minimizing the damage caused by teeth grinding (referred to as bruxism)
  • Simplifying the process of cleaning the spaces between the teeth

This technique is frequently used in conjunction with tooth bonding on your teeth to expand their size or shape.

The Disadvantages of this Procedure

One drawback of dental contouring is the structure and layout of the enamel and teeth. The thickness of the tooth enamel at the areas that need to be reshaped determines how much enamel can be removed during this process. This means that this operation won't significantly alter your appearance or bite; it will only fix slight cosmetic issues.

Fortunately, your dentist can help you decide whether aesthetic contouring is the right choice for your goals. They will conduct an inspection and generally conduct X-rays to gather information about your tooth enamel and determine whether the operation is necessary.

If this procedure causes the enamel to become thinner, you run a higher chance of eroding it and experiencing related dental issues such as tooth sensitivity. As a result, it's essential to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen after getting contouring.

If you undergo cosmetic teeth contouring, make sure you do the following:

  • Use a soft bristle brush as well as non-abrasive toothpaste to brush your teeth
  • Avoid utilizing tobacco products or smoking
  • Avoid biting on ice or other items that aren't food to protect your enamel
  • Ideally, you should see a dentist two times a year

Dental contouring may have the following negative effects:

Even though tooth reshaping is a non-invasive, painless treatment, there are several negative consequences. As you are already aware, contouring often results in irritation because it removes enamel to correct aesthetic flaws.

There's a possibility of dental sensitivity when the dentist extracts too much enamel. Long-term issues caused by excessive enamel loss include teeth being more susceptible to tartar buildup and decay. Additionally, the excessive extraction of the enamel might cause gum inflammation. In extreme circumstances, contouring may also result in weak or loose teeth.

Dental Contouring and Braces

Dental contouring is often referred to as filing or reshaping. In orthodontic dentistry, shaving or contouring is often used to make little modifications both before and after braces. Before and after installing braces, a dentist can make minor changes to your teeth. The teeth are filed to obtain the best outcomes from the dental procedures.

There's no anesthesia used during the operation, and dentists adhere to standard procedures. Dentists could also file the teeth before installing Invisalign or braces to create room for them to move. It's a little uncomfortable for most patients, but it goes away after a while once the braces are installed.

Teeth Whitening and Contouring

When there is significant discoloration, dentists can combine contouring with dental whitening, which is a different process. The main goal is to find a way of making the teeth appear clean and straight. If you have stains on the teeth, cleaning or whitening is an excellent way to remove them. Your teeth will look even better if you have contouring and teeth whitening after the procedure.

Bonding, filing, and whitening/cleaning are some of the treatment options available to improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth. Dentists often provide individuals with at-home whitening products, but this is only a temporary solution.

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy After Cosmetic Contouring

Teeth contouring involves a non-invasive dentistry procedure that is used to treat minor tooth problems. These problems include pointy canines, cracks, discoloration, and slightly overlapping teeth. If individuals don't take care of their teeth properly, the results of the dental procedure would be temporary.

Maintaining your dental health is important for enhancing the effectiveness of reshaping. Basic dental hygiene, such as brushing, rinsing, and flossing after meals, is critical to maintaining good oral health after treatment. It undoubtedly helps to prolong any therapy, including contouring. Aside from the basic routine, regular visits to a dentist play an important role in the preservation of your oral health.

Polishing and deep cleaning improve your teeth's appearance and promote their health. Furthermore, your dentist would advise you to use non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging the teeth with intense brushing and abrasive substances.

Is Cosmetic Contouring Right for You?

When deciding whether the cosmetic contouring look is good for you, it's best to seek advice from your dentist. They will be able to provide an accurate picture of the benefits this operation can provide given your unique medical background and requirements.

Since "cosmetic" means that the operation isn't medically necessary, a large part of the decision-making to get this contouring relies on you. When making this decision, two things to consider are your emphasis on physical appearance and your budget.

The cost of contouring a tooth varies depending on where you live, your dental expert, and your insurance coverage. It is important to keep in mind that cosmetic procedures are frequently not covered by insurance policies. If you choose to undergo cosmetic contouring, keep your smile attractive for a very long time by maintaining good dental hygiene and incorporating healthy habits.

Cosmetic Tooth Reshaping Alternatives

When your dentist believes that you're not a suitable candidate to undergo this procedure, there are several other treatment options available.


Braces are among the most effective treatments for severely misaligned teeth. Braces could be the initial step toward a multi-stage management approach in certain cases. Because dental technology has advanced, we can use more contemporary types of braces, like Invisalign.

By doing away with unsightly metal brackets, Invisalign provides a more subtle option for teeth alignment. Among the main reasons patients choose this course of treatment is because having straighter teeth has both aesthetic and health benefits.

Porcelain Veneers

You could be a good candidate to receive porcelain veneers when the teeth are permanently discolored, crooked, cracked, or damaged. Porcelain veneers are tooth-colored casings that are custom-made to match your teeth. Because the porcelain materials are compatible with natural gum tissues, there is little risk of adverse responses.

First, the dentist will extract a considerable portion of the enamel from the outermost layer of the teeth. After that, they will use a powerful bonding cement to secure the veneer to the tooth. These veneers can be sculpted to provide a beautiful yet natural-looking smile after the cement has completely dried.

Although teeth reshaping and porcelain veneers can both achieve some of the same goals, veneers require a far larger financial commitment.

However, porcelain veneers might deliver the best results for people with more severe damage or flaws.

Dental Bridges or Crowns

Dental bridges or crowns are among the most intrusive cosmetic dentistry procedures. Although they are occasionally used to treat tooth decay, crowns could also be utilized to replace your teeth that lack aesthetic appeal. While bridges and crowns can assist you in achieving your dream smile, they are often most useful when the damage is structural or has an impact on your overall health.

When considering any kind of cosmetic dentistry operation, it's critical to carefully look for a dentist that focuses on that field of dentistry. Despite being less invasive, cosmetic contouring still has long-lasting impacts. Working with a dentist who can meticulously and strategically remodel each tooth is crucial. Excessive enamel removal might have a long-term negative impact on the tooth's health.

A dentist with expertise in cosmetic teeth contouring will also be able to help you save money and time. While there isn't much of an investment required for this treatment, it's still advisable to research before getting started.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're thinking about having your teeth reshaped, you need to be informed about certain things. Below are the most frequently asked questions about tooth reshaping.

Is Contouring Bad for the Teeth?

Although there are contradictory opinions about dental contouring, it's a simple procedure to correct and realign teeth. Although this procedure is not particularly difficult to perform, shaping the teeth to the appropriate form requires removing a very thin coating of the enamel.

Your tooth's enamel serves as a protective coating, shielding them from possible harm. As a result, when the teeth are sanded, their vulnerability increases. The tooth becomes sensitive if your enamel becomes too thin during the process. Additionally, if there's insufficient enamel to cover the tooth, the tooth becomes weak, which raises the chances of dental decay.

Dentists typically provide recommendations on how to care for the reshaped teeth following treatment. They consist of using a toothbrush designed to reduce friction and abrasive movements while brushing, and a less corrosive toothpaste.

How Long Does Cosmetic Contouring Last?

This is determined by several factors, one of which is your oral hygiene. If you follow a consistent and comprehensive dental hygiene routine, the treatment will last longer.

Maintain essential oral hygiene habits like flossing, brushing, and rinsing with mouthwash regularly. In addition to these practices, schedule a monthly dental exam appointment with your dentist, who should be visited every few weeks. These simple actions could significantly enhance your dental health.

Does Cosmetic Contouring Hurt?

This procedure can be carried out without any feeling of pain because it's entirely non-invasive. While the enamel is tough, there are no nerves in the tooth's hard outer surface, so you won't feel anything. After all, your dentist will only remove a few millimeters of the enamel. This could also be done during your routine cleaning sessions, making it easy to get positive results whenever you want them.

Is the Teeth Reshaping Procedure Permanent?

Teeth reshaping is an irreversible procedure because it involves physically polishing down and reshaping your teeth. As a result, it is important to take great care when deciding whether to proceed with this treatment. Due to the irreversible nature of tooth contouring, you and your dental practitioner will have to assess its potential effects.

Is Teeth Contouring Covered By Insurance?

Insurance companies will only pay for tooth contouring procedures if they are necessary for medical reasons. In other words, you might be partly or completely covered when the contouring is required to repair teeth that have been broken or chipped due to falling or an accident.

Find a Anaheim Cosmetic Dentist

Deciding whether to invest in teeth reshaping can be hard. Thankfully, Beach Dental Care Anaheim is dedicated to putting every patient's needs first. We only recommend cosmetic dental treatments that we think will offer our patients the outcomes they want. Call us today at 714-995-4000 to discover more about teeth contouring or any other cosmetic dental services we offer at our clinic.