Enameloplasty: When Do You Need It & What Is the Cost?
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Table of Contents
- What Is Enameloplasty?
- When Is It Needed?
- Odontoplasty vs. Enameloplasty
- The Procedure
- How to Fix Teeth without Enamel
- Recovery & Aftercare
Enameloplasty is also called odontoplasty, and it involves reshaping, or recontouring, your tooth’s enamel. This can be done to fix shape, size, or minor imperfections, such as chips in the tooth.
Enameloplasty can enhance your smile and improve your oral hygiene by helping to smooth out areas that can be difficult to keep clean.
This procedure is quick and painless, with virtually no recovery time. It is a relatively inexpensive cosmetic procedure in the world of cosmetic dentistry. It is not generally covered by dental insurance.
What Is Enameloplasty?
Enameloplasty can improve self-esteem by giving you a “smile makeover.”
Over half (61 percent of Americans) wish they could change something about their teeth, and 7 out of 10 Americans are self-conscious about their teeth.
Enameloplasty reshapes the top layer (the enamel) of your teeth to make them more even, aesthetically appealing, and easier to care for. During the procedure, a dentist uses specialized tools to contour your teeth to the desired shape and size, and buff out any imperfections.
When Is Enameloplasty Needed?
Enameloplasty can help to fix small and minor imperfections in the teeth. It is not ideal for bigger issues, as it involves removing some of the tooth enamel.
If you have thin enamel, you probably want to look at a different procedure. Once enamel is removed, it will not regenerate. Enamel is essential to protect your teeth.
Enameloplasty is fairly conservative. It is best for people who are looking to fix minor details with their teeth. It can be used to:
- Fix chips and small cracks.
- Reshape irregularly shaped teeth.
- Remove minor tooth overlapping.
- Even out poorly aligned teeth.
Enameloplasty can be more than just a cosmetic procedure in some instances. It can be used to remove tooth decay and prevent future damage to the teeth. It can also be combined with additional procedures, such as placing sealants or tooth bonding to restore teeth and prevent future teeth decay.1
Enameloplasty can be useful during restorative procedures, like crown lengthening procedures, to reshape the teeth in a minimally invasive manner.2
Additionally, when your teeth overlap slightly, it can be difficult to clean in those spaces. Enameloplasty can smooth out the area and make it easier to brush and floss, helping to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
Odontoplasty vs. Enameloplasty
The term odontoplasty is also used as a term for enameloplasty. These are not two different procedures.
Other terms for this treatment include tooth reshaping and dental recontouring.
The Procedure for Reshaping the Tooth
Enameloplasty is a short procedure that usually takes around 30 minutes or so to complete.
The dentist will usually start by taking x-rays to determine the health of your teeth, depth of the enamel, and whether or not you are a good candidate for the procedure. If you are, the dentist will usually mark the areas of your teeth that need to be sculpted.
There are no pain receptors in your tooth’s enamel, so no medications are needed, and you will not feel any pain. The dentist will generally use a sanding drill with a laser or a diamond bur to slowly remove a small part of your enamel to reshape the tooth.
Chips, factures, pits, or grooves can be smoothed out. Abrasive strips are used between your teeth to make them more even and smooth.
Your dentist will then check to ensure that your bite is aligning the way it should and polish your teeth. The procedure is fast and painless. It can generally be completed in one visit.
How to Fix Teeth without Enamel
If you have thin or damaged enamel, you are likely not a candidate for enameloplasty, as the procedure requires part of the tooth enamel to be removed. This can also be an issue for those who experience tooth sensitivity. Removing enamel can make the teeth more sensitive.
Those with enamel issues may want to consider other cosmetic procedures, including these:
- Inlays and onlays
- At-home clear teeth aligners
Costs Involved with Enameloplasty
Enameloplasty is one of the least expensive and invasive cosmetic dentistry procedures, ranging from around $50 to $300 per tooth on average. This cost can vary based on how extensive the reshaping needs to be, the location of the tooth or teeth being contoured, your geographical location, and your overall oral health.
Insurance does not generally cover cosmetic procedures. However, if enameloplasty is needed due to trauma to the tooth or as part of a procedure to remove tooth decay or stabilize a tooth, your dental insurance may help to cover a portion of the costs.
Recovery & Aftercare
There is virtually no recovery time for enameloplasty, and you will feel ready to continue with your daily life right away. It is important to take good care of your teeth after the procedure by practicing good oral hygiene.
You can take care of your teeth best after an enameloplasty by doing the following:
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day.
- Use a soft-bristled and angled toothbrush.
- Brush for at least two minutes each time with a fluoride and nonabrasive toothpaste.
- Minimize sugary, starchy, and sticky foods, and limit snacking between meals.
- Floss daily.
- Stay away from tobacco products.
- Do not chew on things that are not food, which can further wear down your enamel or cause chips or cracks.
- Keep up with regular dental checkups and cleanings.
More Than Half of Americans Feel Insecure About Their Teeth. (January 2019). New York Post. Date Fetched: July 25, 2021.
Tooth Reshaping and Dental Contouring. (August 2009). Everyday Health. Date Fetched: July 25, 2021.
Tooth Contouring and Reshaping. American Cosmetic Dentistry Date Fetched: July 25, 2021.
What Is an Odontoplasty? Colgate. Date fetched: November 13, 2022.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry? Costs and Types. Crest. Date fetched: November 13, 2022.
1 Evaluation of the Effects of Enameloplasty and Air Abrasion on Sealant Micro-Leakage. (November 2014). Journal of Dentistry of Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Date Fetched: July 25, 2021.
2 Odontoplasty Associated With Clinical Crown Lengthening in Management of Extensive Crown Destruction. (January – March 2012). Journal of Conservative Dentistry. Date Fetched: July 25, 2021.