What is odontoplasty?

Odontoplasty (also called enameloplasty) is a procedure that adjusts a tooth’s size, shape, or length, via the selective removal of small amounts of enamel. We use specialized instruments to “file” the tooth down in order to give it the desired shape. As part of the procedure, the tooth will be polished in order to give it a smooth, glassy, natural feeling. Odontoplasty is often a quick, and non-invasive way to improve the appearance of your teeth. X-rays may or may not be needed prior to performing odontoplasty.

When should I consider odontoplasty?

An initial examination is needed to determine whether odontoplasty is a good option for you. First of all, the less tooth enamel to remove, the easier and more ideal or predictable the outcome. Also, odontoplasty is not a suitable procedure if you want to have a big adjustment or have unrealistic expectations. Odontoplasty works best to correct minor imperfections in shape, length, and width. If large adjustments are needed to bring about the optimum cosmetic result, we often recommend bonding or porcelain veneers. Orthodontics may even be needed.

Pros and cons of odontoplasty

Pros: odontoplasty produces instant results, is relatively non-invasive, and is relatively fast to perform. Also, odontoplasty tends to be 100% painless, because we remove only surface enamel.

Cons: although odontoplasty is relatively non-invasive, it still requires the removal of a small amount of enamel. Therefore, in a strict technical sense, we are performing an irreversible procedure on the tooth.  Also, there are limits to what you can achieve with odontoplasty. Trying to achieve too much with odontoplasty may worsen the appearance of your teeth.  As mentioned, if you need moderate to major changes in tooth form, you may need restorative dentistry, perhaps in the form of bonding or veneers.

Is Odontoplasty safe?:

–Odontoplasty is a very safe procedure that has been done for many years. It is safe because only minor amounts of tooth structure are removed. For example, if someone has two front teeth that are healthy, but the edges of each are slightly uneven, doing odontoplasty on each one can make them symmetrical. For a minor correction like this, it is better to do an odontoplasty as opposed to a much more expensive procedure like porcelain veneers.

Does Odontoplasty hurt?

–In general no. The amount of tooth structure removed, by definition, is minor. Thus there should not be any pain. If done within reason, it is very safe. It only involves removing very small amounts of tooth structure in order to improve the appearance of a person’s teeth.

Is Enamel Shaping safe?

–Yes. “Enamel Shaping” and “Odontoplasty” (see above) are interchangeable terms. And it is painless due to the minor amount of enamel that is removed. Special instruments are used in order to safely remove the enamel, and then to buff/polish the area to ensure a smooth, natural feeling after the shaping procedure

To discuss whether odontoplasty is right for you, contact Pure Dental Arts in Seattle or Everett today.