Enameloplasty is a cosmetic dental procedure to remove small amounts of tooth enamel to change a tooth’s size, shape, length, or surface.

Enameloplasty is also known as:

  • odontoplasty
  • tooth recontouring
  • tooth reshaping
  • tooth stripping
  • tooth shaving

The procedure is typically performed on front teeth for aesthetic reasons, such as fixing a chipped tooth or making teeth a more uniform length.

Using an instrument such as a burr, drill, or sanding disc, your dentist will remove enamel to shape and contour a tooth to the desired appearance. Once the tooth is shaped to the desired appearance, your dentist will polish it.

Does it hurt?

Your enamel does not have nerves, so there is no pain.

How long does it take?

The length of time for the procedure depends on how many teeth need to be shaped. It typically takes no more than 30 minutes.

What’s the recovery time?

There is no recovery time. The procedure is simple, quick, and painless.

How often does this need to be done?

Since enamel does not grow back, the procedure only needs to be done once. The results are permanent.

Since enameloplasty is primarily a cosmetic procedure, your insurance plan may not cover it. But you should still check with your insurance provider about coverage.

You can expect no side effects beyond the changes to tooth length, size, shape, or surface you discussed with your dentist before the procedure. Along with the cosmetic change, your bite could be altered slightly.

With an enameloplasty, your teeth lose enamel, which is the hard surface area that covers your teeth and protects them from decay. Since enamel does not contain living cells, it cannot repair itself and will not grow back.

Along with enameloplasty, other ways to alter the shape and size of your teeth include:

  • bonding: application of a tooth-colored plastic that can be shaped and polished
  • crowns: a porcelain, ceramic, or resin cover that is put over and covers a tooth

Often, enameloplasty is used in combination with other procedures such as bonding and veneers. Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that cover the front of a tooth.

Talk with your orthodontist if you have braces. Enameloplasty to level your teeth after your braces are removed is often considered part of your orthodontic treatment. It’s commonly offered at no additional charge.

Some people use enameloplasty to improve the appearance of their smile, which may also boost their self-confidence.

A 2013 study from the American Association of Orthodontics indicated that 75 percent of surveyed adults felt their post-orthodontic smile improved their personal and professional relationships.

In addition, 92 percent said they would recommend the same treatment to others because of their improved self-confidence.

Enameloplasty is a quick dental procedure that can make minor adjustments in tooth size, shape, length, or surface. This can fix aesthetic issues such as a chipped tooth or teeth that are uneven in length. Some people also use the procedure to improve the appearance of their smile.