Cosmetic Contouring

As the name implies, cosmetic contouring is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that involves reshaping one's teeth. Also referred to as enameloplasty or odontoplasty, cosmetic contouring involves extracting tiny pieces of enamel to enhance the teeth' surface, form, or height. Contouring can rectify common dental issues such as chipped or misaligned teeth. Dr Joseph Goodman is one of the renowned Beverly Hills dentists who offer affordable and effective cosmetic contouring procedures. You can visit our clinic or contact us to see how we can help you.

An Overview of Cosmetic Contouring

Cosmetic dentistry is any dental procedure that enhances the appearance of a patient's gums, teeth, or bite. It mainly focuses on improving dental aesthetics, particularly the color, size, shape, alignment, position, and general smile appearance.

Some of the oral conditions that can be addressed using cosmetic contouring include the following:

  1. Small Chips on Teeth

Dental contouring or reshaping can be an ideal treatment choice for teeth with tiny chips or fractures. Cosmetic contouring can also treat issues like small bumps or bulging teeth.

  1. Extremely Long Canines

Canine teeth are used for tearing and biting. They usually are long and positioned in the front. If your canines are too long, they could compromise your smile’s appearance. That is why reshaping is necessary to achieve a proper length.

  1. Minor Tooth Overlap

Enameloplasty, or cosmetic contouring, is often used to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth. It also helps reduce cavities and plaque buildup. Flossing and brushing allow you to reach all parts of the tooth when the teeth are not overlapped. This, in turn, improves your dental hygiene and leads to good oral health.

Also, the cosmetic procedure works well if you want to place porcelain veneers on your teeth. Small portions of enamel are extracted from the tooth's surface to allow it to fit properly. Enameloplasty can help people with overly sharp, too flat, or unevenly shaped teeth achieve a more subtle shape.

If you prefer a masculine or feminine shape in your oral cavity, tooth contouring can be your technique. The procedure can be utilized instead of braces to modify or alter the teeth' surface, alignment, and shape, restoring a stunning smile. General or cosmetic dentists can perform this procedure.

Eligibility for Cosmetic Contouring

Anyone looking to fix their chipped, overlapping, or crowded teeth can consult a qualified dentist about cosmetic contouring. However, surgery is not recommended for patients with unhealthy teeth because it weakens teeth during enamel extraction.

This procedure is designed to help people with minor oral problems. If you suffer from major dental issues requiring remodeling, more of the tooth coating could be extracted. This can cause teeth to weaken. You will have solved one issue but caused another. Therefore, if you have serious dental problems, you should seek alternative treatments like bonding or dental implants.

The procedure does not require much preparation like dental crowns do. A single session with a dentist could help you address the oral issue with no pain. This procedure could worsen your condition if you have had previous experiences with thin enamel, gum problems, or dental restoration.

Cosmetic Contouring Procedure

Unlike other dental procedures, contouring and reshaping teeth is quite painless. The procedure can be performed without using any numbing agents. During the procedure, you might feel pressure and a vibrating sensation caused by the dental equipment. If you suffer from anxiety, you can choose to use sedation to ensure that you remain calm throughout the procedure.

Sedation options can include general anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or oral sedatives. Oral sedatives are drugs that are administered orally to help with relaxation. Intravenous sedation is injected through a blood vein, leaving the patient conscious but relaxed. General anesthesia is provided via an intravenous line and causes the patient to fall asleep for the entire duration of the procedure.

Once the procedure begins, your oral surgeon can use lasers or drills to remove dental enamel to shape or lengthen the teeth. If you are undergoing an operation due to fractures, the dentist will smooth out the teeth and round the pointed angles to give you a perfect smile.

A dentist can also examine your bite to ensure the teeth are properly aligned. After drilling, the rough surfaces of the teeth are smoothed and polished to give them a more youthful appearance. Teeth whitening can be done after contouring for optimal results.

Dental contouring usually takes around thirty minutes per tooth, and the outcomes are noticeable immediately after the treatment. Also, you may experience sensitivity on the reshaped tooth for a few days after the dental procedure. When the whole procedure is over, your dentist will recommend rinsing with water to remove any debris from the procedure.

Complications and Risks of Cosmetic Contouring

This procedure involves extracting the tooth's enamel, which is permanent and not reversible. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome, it is impossible to undo the initial treatment by removing and replacing the original tooth enamel. Cosmetic contouring also causes tooth sensitivity. If the discomfort lasts longer than two days following the procedure, you should return to your dentist for help.

When you undergo cosmetic contouring, you risk fracturing and cracking your teeth, which is common, especially when chewing. Losing enamel weakens the teeth. Healthy enamel ranges in thickness between 0.3 and 4 millimeters. This implies that the more the outermost layer of the tooth is removed, the more fragile it becomes.

After cosmetic contouring, you should refrain from applying excessive force when chewing or participating in contact activities unless you put on a mouthguard.

Benefits of Cosmetic Contouring

Below are some benefits of cosmetic contouring:

  • You can enjoy the beautiful smile you have always wanted
  • The procedure addresses minor dental issues such as misalignments and overlapping, enhancing the appearance of the teeth
  • The procedure is not painful since there are no dental nerves in the enamel, and only the topmost layer is removed. This eliminates the necessity for anesthesia, which is required for several other cosmetic dentistry operations. Therefore, teeth contouring is ideal if you have been ignoring cosmetic dentistry operations because you are afraid of pain or stress
  • The dental procedure is affordable, especially if you have a chipped or damaged tooth. You can undergo quick treatment to restore your smile without exceeding your budget
  • You can also see the outcome of this procedure right away. You do not have to wait years or months to see the desired results. Minimal reshaping and elimination of overbites can be achieved in a single visit
  • It eliminates more serious issues, such as overbites, tooth decay, and gingivitis, that could have adversely affected your dental health
  • The procedure gives the teeth a more natural-looking appearance than other treatment options, such as dental veneers and implants, which require regular care and replacement over time
  • The operation is permanent since tooth enamel does not grow. Once your teeth are back in their proper shape, you will not need to repeat the dental procedure in a few years

The Disadvantages of Using Cosmetic Contouring

Although this procedure has several benefits, it is essential to be aware of its drawbacks. They include the following:

  • Once the outer coating of the tooth is removed, the operation cannot be reversed.
  • Tooth enamel is only 2.5 millimeters thick. Extracting teeth from such small surfaces reduces the tooth's outer coating. This makes it more vulnerable to chipping and fracture
  • The tooth enamel is very thin. Removing too much tooth enamel can cause sensitivity. Severe problems may require dental veneers or braces

Other Cosmetic Procedures Offered With Cosmetic Contouring

Cosmetic contouring procedures are not designed to replace braces. However, if the metal braces are removed, tooth contouring can be performed to correct minor abnormalities in the teeth. This surgery is typically performed alongside other cosmetic procedures such as bonding, veneering, and teeth whitening. These steps are detailed in the next section.


Contouring alone is insufficient in cases where the patient's teeth require reshaping and have serious problems. Therefore, dentists have the option of combining the dental procedure with bonding. Similar to contouring, this process can be performed in a single day and does not need anesthesia.

During the procedure, the dentist adds layers of composite resin to the particular tooth being shaped. The bonding resin is applied to any spaces between teeth and chipped parts to restore natural color and shape to the teeth.

The dentist applies a substance to assist the adhesive stick to the tooth's surface before applying the resin. After the composite resin has solidified, the specialist will polish and smoothen the surface, achieving your wish for a radiant smile.


Cosmetic dentists use dental veneers. These thin, tooth-colored composite shells are attached to the tooth's surface to fix issues like discolouration, chipping, fissures, and misalignment. Veneers aid in tooth alignment and shaping, giving your teeth a beautiful appearance, similar to cosmetic contouring. However, cosmetic contouring can be performed alongside or in place of veneers for more effective results.

Teeth Whitening

One popular cosmetic dentistry procedure is teeth whitening. Various options are available to whiten teeth, catering to different budgets, time constraints, and personal preferences. You can use over-the-counter whitening kits at home, a beauty spa, or even a dentist's office.

Choosing teeth whitening as your treatment of choice will significantly enhance your smile. Teeth whitening and cosmetic contouring are combined when a patient has stained or uneven patches that diminish the aesthetic appeal of the smile. Because cosmetic contouring removes dental plaque, tartar, and stains, it can be used as an alternative to teeth whitening to achieve whiter teeth.

Bleaching is sometimes mistaken for whitening. The distinction between these two lies in the fact bleaching involves whitening teeth way over their natural color. However, teeth whitening restores the natural appearance of one's teeth by removing discoloration and debris.

Teeth whitening carries certain risks, just like cosmetic contouring. After the procedure, you may feel some mild discomfort in your gums. Additionally, bleaching increases the skin's sensitivity to temperature and touch.

Because dentists use plenty of bleaching agents on teeth, people who choose tooth whitening frequently have sensitive teeth. There is also a likelihood that the bleaching agent you use will lighten the enamel more than usual, giving you technicolor teeth.

Veneers are an excellent option for people with misaligned teeth, worn-out tooth enamel, or discoloration. When the teeth that require veneers are also stained, your dentist may propose a teeth-whitening treatment alongside the veneers.

When combined with bonding, cosmetic contouring might take 30 minutes to an hour to complete. Also, if you are scheduled for bonding, the procedure will take multiple appointments instead of cosmetic contouring, which requires just one session.

Besides bonding, cosmetic contouring may be used along with veneers and crowns, among other procedures. All these treatments aim to transform teeth and give you a gorgeous smile.

How to Take Care of Your Teeth After Cosmetic Contouring

One thing you need to be careful of when your teeth have been reshaped is biting down with too much force. However, it is best to avoid staining beverages and food when undergoing a bonding and contouring treatment. These include items like tobacco, tea, and coffee.

The resin substance is prone to chipping. Thus, breaking the practice of biting on hard items is a good idea. You must practice good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and avoiding meals that stains are hard and could stain your teeth.

Picking the Most suitable Cosmetic Contouring Service

Your general dentist or another licensed dentist can perform cosmetic contouring. That being said, not all these experts are the same. Because of the large number of practitioners in this field, choosing a competent teeth contouring dentist could be challenging.

Despite not being a specialization, cosmetic dentistry is becoming more common among dentists who perform procedures like tooth contouring. As a result, choosing the best dentist practice for the operation could be difficult. We've included some things you should consider when finding a specialist.

Use Referrals

Speaking with your family or general dentist is a good place to start. Cosmetic contouring is a technique offered by a small number of dentists. If your general dentists do not provide cosmetic contouring, you might want to bring up the subject so they can direct you to a professional who will.

If your regular dentist can perform the procedure but finds that you have other underlying oral problems, like gum disease, they will refer you to a dental specialist for treatment. This is done because these pre-existing dental conditions can greatly affect how long the cosmetic contouring procedure lasts and how well it works.

Likewise, suppose you know someone who received cosmetic contouring and the outcome is satisfactory. In that case, you might want to take the contact information and name of the dentist who performed the treatment.

Narrow Down on Your Alternatives

You should first compile a list to find recommendations for professionals who fit your interests. Your list may include a few dentists, but you are only required to choose one.

Make an appointment for an assessment with an experienced professional who has performed numerous procedures in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Additionally, the professional must have handled many cases involving cosmetic contouring.

Once you have narrowed your potential choices, make appointments to see the other dental specialists. The first questions with prospective candidates should center around whether they perform cosmetic contouring themselves or refer patients requiring surgery to other professionals.

It is also possible to investigate whether the practitioner is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. To become a member of such groups, one must first complete a test, conduct significant studies, and commit to certain ethical standards. You can rest assured that your experience with your dental professionals will cause a beautiful smile.

When visiting their dental facilities, request pictures of other patients' cosmetic contouring. This will give you a basic concept of what to expect after completing the process. No anesthetic or sedation is necessary for cosmetic contouring. As a result, you could ask how comfortable patients feel while inside the medical facility receiving treatment.

What to Expect at a Consultation Session

When you come in for your first appointment, you can tell the dentist everything you love and hate about your smile. It is also up to you to decide what outcomes you hope to achieve from the procedure. This session will include the following:

  • X-rays
  • Assessing your teeth on a computer provides an in-depth assessment of what has to be repaired
  • A comprehensive oral examination and evaluation of any previous dental procedures
  • Looking through smile design magazines that have cosmetic contouring comparison pictures
  • Accentuating the color of your teeth
  • Examining different tooth types and sizes to see which is most appropriate for you

During the appointment, you might also discuss various financing and payment methods to help keep the treatment expenses minimal. Additionally, because insurance companies do not typically cover cosmetic contouring, you could consider in-house financing alternatives. This will lower the procedure's cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding this procedure.

How Can I Determine If Cosmetic Contouring Is Right For Me?

Schedule a consultation with your dentist to determine whether enameloplasty is the most suitable procedure for you. A seasoned cosmetic dentist can help you assess and evaluate all available treatment alternatives. You can choose the procedure that suits your dental needs, preferences, and finances.

Does Enameloplasty Cause Tooth Damage?

No. Although a tiny quantity of enamel is removed during enameloplasty, the procedure's reach is quite limited. This procedure is extremely delicate and will have no impact on the integrity of your teeth whatsoever.

As this procedure only touches the uppermost layer of the outermost layer of the tooth's architecture using a gentle dentistry tool, numbing is not necessary. You can be confident that the teeth will be as strong and in good shape as they were prior to the contouring procedure.

How Long Does Cosmetic Contouring Last?

The benefits of cosmetic contouring can last a long time. However, it is crucial to note that those results can differ depending on certain factors.

One of these factors is how much enamel was removed during the process. If just a tiny bit of enamel had been removed, the results will be seen for a long time. However, when more tooth enamel is extracted, the results may be less long-lasting.

Another element that could affect the long-term effects of teeth contouring is oral hygiene habits. Routine flossing and brushing will go a long way in preserving the benefits of this procedure. On the contrary, poor oral dental hygiene could cause cavities and other issues that could jeopardize the procedure's results.

How Much Does Cosmetic Contouring Cost?

This surgery can cost fifty to three hundred dollars per tooth. The dentist performing the procedure and your location will determine the cost. Even though the price is affordable, you will still have to pay for it using cash because most health insurance plans do not cover this operation or similar cosmetic procedures.

However, it is a good idea to check with your insurance before using your funds to pay. Your insurer could be ready to pay for any necessary procedures following an accident, saving you money. It is also a good idea to speak with your dentist. They can offer you alternatives for payment, making it simpler to cover your medical expenses.

Is Cosmetic Contouring Worthwhile?

A beautiful smile can undoubtedly be your most valuable attribute. Many individuals are dissatisfied with the condition of their teeth and feel self-conscious about smiling. Cosmetic contouring can help with this.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures could help you achieve the stunning smile you've always desired. Moreover, when you consider their benefits, they are unquestionably worthwhile. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a trustworthy dentist who can assist you in selecting the most suitable option for your particular needs.

Find a Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Cosmetic contouring is a great option for individuals with dental issues such as uneven tooth length, cracks, chips, or breakages. We invite you to contact Dr. Joseph Goodman Clinic at 310-860-9311 today if you want a Beverly Hills dentist who offers various options like cosmetic contouring.