The pros and cons of having your teeth contoured

25 November 2019
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Tooth contouring, or enameloplasty, is a procedure in which a dentist files off parts of the teeth's enamel in order to re-shape them to make them more attractive. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure?

The pros

Firstly, this is a very simple procedure. The dentist will use a small file or a laser tool in order to remove parts of the enamel. Only very thin strips will need to be removed, so it is not a complicated or lengthy procedure. Because of this, it is usually inexpensive compared to other types of cosmetic dentistry.

Tooth contouring is also painless. As it is only the enamel that is being taken off, there is no exposure of the nerves, so you should feel only small amounts of discomfort. You should not need anaesthetic, although your teeth may feel sensitive afterwards.

This procedure can be used for a wide variety of problems, such as smoothing down sharp or pointy edges, shortening teeth that are too long, removing any small chips in the teeth, and generally improving the alignment of the teeth and their appearance in the mouth. It is therefore very versatile and can lead to a much more attractive smile.

The cons

Firstly, your teeth will need to be in good condition in the first place. If they are already badly worn, there may not be enough enamel left on them for it to be safe to remove any more. Taking off too much can result in exposing the tooth's nerve, which can be painful and require corrective treatment.

Although only the enamel is being removed, this results in weakening the tooth. There is, therefore, a risk that your teeth could become more sensitive after being filed and could also become more prone to tooth decay. They may also be more prone to chips. This shouldn't be a large problem with a skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist. However, they may become more of a problem if too much enamel is removed.

You should also bear in mind that this procedure can only have subtle effects. If you need substantial alterations made to your teeth, you may need other kinds of treatment.

Tooth contouring is a painless and inexpensive method of making changes to the shape of your teeth to improve their appearance. If you think this may be an option for you, talk to your dentist about the cosmetic dentistry treatments they offer.