One of the more conservative and painless procedures in cosmetic dentistry, dental reshaping or re-contouring is a quick fix to change the shape, length or contour of teeth. Also known as odontoplasty, reshaping is not only a way to repair minor imperfections in teeth, it can also improve overall health of teeth by removing cracks and crevices where plaque and food and tend to accumulate.
Reshaping involves the removal of a small amount of enamel of teeth on order to shorten teeth, round off points and fix misshapen teeth. As a procedure it is fast (usually completed in 30 minutes), and painless since tooth enamel has no nerves.
During a recontouring, a sanding disk is usually used to take away minimal amounts of enamel to create the desired shape. If there are imperfections between the teeth, special sandpaper strips are often used to smooth and shape the sides. Once the correct shape is attained, the dentist will then polish teeth so that they are equally smooth.
It's important that potential patients understand that extensive repairs cannot be handled by re-contouring, and that they have reasonable expectations about results. Although there are very few side effects that are involved in tooth re-contouring, it should be noted that there are some who experience tooth sensitivity.
Healthy teeth are a necessity in order to perform tooth reshaping, and if the enamel of a tooth is thin, or the pulp is too close to the surface, reshaping may not be an option. Healthy teeth however, with limited damage can easily and painlessly be recontoured into a pleasing and confident smile.