Do minor dental imperfections make you afraid to smile? Tooth reshaping, aka dental contouring, may be right for you! There are actually a lot of different names for it – enameloplasty, odontoplasty, stripping, slenderizing – but they all refer to the same simple cosmetic dental procedure that can fix slightly imperfect teeth quickly, painlessly and affordably.

man showing teeth

How Dental Contouring Works

Tooth reshaping is a simple and painless procedure. Your dentist uses tools like drills, lasers or professional tooth files to gently remove very small areas of your tooth’s enamel to change the tooth’s shape or length. Once your tooth has been contoured to your and your dentist’s satisfaction, it will be polished to ensure the surface looks and feels smooth and natural. And that’s it! The entire process usually takes under 30 minutes, after which you’ll be able to enjoy your new smile right away.

Is Cosmetic Dental Contouring Right For You?

Dental contouring is great for people with minor cosmetic dental issues, who wish their teeth were just a bit shorter or more even in size. However, more serious issues like crooked, crowded or very misshapen teeth typically require a different cosmetic procedure, such as dental bonding, veneers, crowns, or orthodontics. We can help you choose the procedure that’s best for your smile.

Cross section of a tooth

Dental Contouring Pros and Cons


  • Instant results: The entire process typically takes less than half an hour.
  • Painless treatment: Because there are no nerves in tooth enamel, gently reshaping tooth enamel is painless – making it a great choice for anxious patients.
  • Permanent results: Enamel doesn’t grow back, so once your teeth have been beautifully contoured you don’t have to worry about needing to get the procedure redone in the future.


  • Limited Use: Because tooth enamel is only up to a couple millimeters thick, dental contouring can only be used to alter limited types of minor cosmetic issues: teeth that are slightly too long or slightly misshapen. Some enamel needs to stay in place to keep your teeth strong and protected, so your dentist is limited in how much enamel they can remove when reshaping a tooth.
  • Potential Tooth Sensitivity: Your tooth enamel will be thinner after dental contouring, so you may need to be more careful about protecting it. Avoid tooth sensitivity by: drinking fluoridated water (very important in remineralizing and strengthening enamel), brushing gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and perhaps use a fluoridated mouthwash as well.

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