The Cleveland Clinic

Recontouring Teeth

Recontouring or reshaping of the teeth (also called odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping or slenderizing) is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth's length, shape or surface.

When Is Recontouring Considered?

Recontouring is the most conservative cosmetic treatment. It is a quick and painless procedure whose results can be seen immediately. The procedure is usually done to improve appearance by "creating more harmony or balance" in the look of the smile.

Recontouring is an effective method to correct minor imperfections, such as:

  1. Fixing small chips
  2. Smoothing out bulges or pits in a tooth's enamel
  3. Adjusting slight irregular tooth shapes caused by too many or uneven teeth
  4. Adjusting the length of the canines (the pointed eyeteeth)

Recontouring can also improve overall dental health by removing crevices or overlaps between teeth in which plaque or tartar can accumulate.

When Is Recontouring Not Appropriate?

Recontouring is not recommended if your teeth have substantial imperfections, such as a substantial chip or deep fracture. Recontouring is not a substitute for veneers or bonding, however, it is often used in combination with these procedures.