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Cosmetic Dentistry Series: Tooth Reshaping and Dental Contouring

If you have chipped or cracked teeth, or if your teeth are irregularly shaped, tooth reshaping – also known as dental contouring – will turn your frown upside down. This inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure helps millions of people reclaim their smile, with Americans spending nearly $3 billion in cosmetic dentistry each year.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering tooth reshaping and contouring.

Tooth Reshaping: What is it?

Tooth reshaping is a dental procedure that involves removing small amounts of tooth enamel – or a tooth’s outer coating – to change its shape. With just a few millimeters, dentists can transform a crooked set of teeth into a straight smile.

Most people who decide on dental contouring combine it with bonding, which is another cosmetic dental treatment that involves the application of composite resin.

Before reshaping your teeth, a dentist will take x-rays and ensure they’re healthy. Afterward, he or she will mark your teeth to highlight the precise spaces that will get sculpted. Your dentist will then use a sanding instrument to remove the marked parts of the surface and minimize all imperfections, polishing them smooth.

The Pros of Tooth Reshaping

The biggest benefit of tooth reshaping is that it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your smile and self-confidence. Generally, it costs $50-$300 per tooth. It’s also a relatively painless procedure, with no need for anesthesia. Many people choose tooth reshaping as a substitute for braces, too, which can be a major pro.  

The Cons of Tooth Reshaping

If you’re looking for drastic results, dental contouring likely isn’t the solution. It’s a simple procedure that produces subtle results. If you’re looking for a completely transformed look, perhaps you might want to consider veneers.