Contouring and Shaping Your Teeth

What’s one of the first things you notice when you meet someone new? It’s often the person’s smile. Teeth that look clean, even and healthy help make a positive impression.

If your smile reveals chipped or irregularly shaped teeth, your dentist can provide several options to make it more attractive while protecting your oral health. Tooth contouring and reshaping are simple procedures often used to correct minor flaws and problems such as teeth that are chipped or oddly shaped.


Contouring and shaping are used to smooth out irregular edges and angles of teeth. These procedures, sometimes called enamel shaping, slenderizing or stripping, allow for subtle, minor alterations to the length, shape or position of teeth. Teeth that are uneven or overlapping may also benefit from this treatment.

Your dentist gently sculpts the teeth to artfully eliminate or minimize imperfections and create a smile that makes a lasting impression.

What’s involved?

Tooth contouring and reshaping are quick procedures with very little, if any, discomfort. Anesthetics usually are not required and the entire process may take one or three visits.

Because some tooth enamel is removed during the process, your dentist may take an x-ray to determine the size and location of the tooth’s pulp. The dentist may mark the tooth before removing a tiny amount of surface enamel with a handpiece. Abrasive strips may be used to even tooth enamel on the sides of the teeth before they are smoothed and polished.

stressful situations.

An abnormal bite, one in which teeth do not fit well together, may lead to grinding. Treatment may involve reducing the “high spots” on one or more teeth. For serious cases, your dentist may suggest reshaping or reconstructing the biting surfaces with inlays or crowns.

Grinding is a common occurrence for many people at some time or another. If you suspect that you are routinely grinding your teeth, see your dentist about protecting your smile.