Tooth reshaping (dental contouring) is a simple and quick way to improve the look of a smile. In just one visit, a dentist can manipulate the length, shape and/or position of teeth to create a uniform appearance. Tooth reshaping may even serve as an alternative to braces, correcting minor overlaps and crowding to align bite and bring teeth into proportion with the jaw and face.

Reshaping involves the strategic continuing and reshaping of teeth or even a single tooth. Chips, fractures or deep grooves in teeth can be smoothed. Angles or edges of teeth may be rounded or squared to create a more masculine or feminine smile. Because removing too much enamel can weaken teeth, the procedure is used for minor corrections and may be combined with dental veneers or cosmetic bonding.


Tooth reshaping is used to repair:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Repair a fracture
  • Crooked teeth
  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Chips and fractures
  • Overlaps
  • Pits or grooves in tooth enamel

Treatment Options

Tooth reshaping may be used in conjunction with or as an alternative to porcelain veneers and cosmetic bonding.

  • Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, porcelain shells cemented to the front side of teeth. They are typically used to correct more dramatic imperfections. Veneers require two to three trips to the dentist and are the premium choice. After dental veneers have been applied, contouring may be used to sculpt the smile. See section on Porcelain Veneers for more information.
  • Cosmetic bonding involves a tooth-colored, moldable material applied to or sculpted over teeth. Bonding is generally used to correct imperfections that do not need dental veneers (See section on Cosmetic Bonding for more information).


  • Teeth are easier to clean
  • Corrects bite problems
  • Instant results
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence
  • Cost is usually less than porcelain veneers or bonding.
  • Creates an aesthetically pleasing, uniform smile