What is tooth shaping?

Tooth shaping is a simple procedure your dentist can perform to give your teeth a more uniform appearance and eliminate uneven edges and sharp points. In tooth shaping, a dentist uses a sanding disk or other device to remove a small amount of enamel from misshapen teeth. The procedure is best for making minor improvements to your appearance. Tooth shaping is also called enamel shaping, tooth recontouring, and tooth reshaping.
Tooth shaping involves removing a small amount (usually 1 to 2 millimeters) of the tooth's enamel. Tooth shaping can shorten teeth that look too long, can round off pointed teeth and can help create a smile that gently follows the contour of the lower lip. Tooth shaping procedures are quick and painless (the enamel has no nerves). It is usually completed in less than 30 minutes.

A small number of patients experience slight sensitivity after tooth shaping. A dentist can help this with prescription strength fluoride or in-office desensitizers. Tooth shaping does not appear to cause any long-term damage. It is relatively economical, generally costing about $25 to $75 per tooth.
If your front teeth are uneven along the edges, or your canine teeth are too "pointy," your dentist may recommend enamel shaping to improve their natural appearance. Enamel shaping involves contouring tooth enamel to create a smooth line. The process, which often is combined with bonding (a cosmetic procedure that uses tooth-colored materials that are attached or bonded to the tooth surface), usually is quick and comfortable. The results can be seen immediately.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.