Tooth enamel is the thin outer layer of your tooth. When this enamel is shaved down to be reshaped or contoured, it’s called an enameloplasty. A patient may want to alter the size or shape of their enamel for cosmetic reasons. This could be because they have misaligned teeth, bulging teeth, or longer canines.
Enameloplasty is a common procedure that is performed before the attachment of veneers. To attach veneers to the front of the teeth in a way that fits snugly in the mouth, your natural enamel needs to be shaved down by .5mm. This may also be done for lumineers, but is not always necessary at our Dedham dental office.
Yes, shaving down your enamel is permanent, because enamel can not grow back. This is why it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons before committing to this procedure or veneers.
Keep in mind that veneers are not permanent and need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years. However, your natural enamel will be permanently changed once you go through with the enameloplasty and you will have to deal with the consequences of that.
If you would like the benefits and appearance of veneers but don’t feel comfortable permanently shaving down your enamel, you could try lumineers, which do not require prep work of the enamel.
Enameloplasty is not always performed purely for cosmetic reasons. If you have chipped or cracked teeth, an enameloplasty may need to be done to restore the teeth. Other benefits of enameloplasty include:
Consultation – During your consultation, the dentist will perform an oral exam and take x-rays of your teeth to check that your tooth’s pulp (the soft center) is not too close to the surface. You may be ruled out for an enameloplasty if your enamel is too thin or if the pulp of your tooth is close to the surface and could be impacted.
Shaving of enamel – Your enamel will be filed down with a diamond-tipped drill or sandpaper until the desired shape and size have been achieved. There is typically no need for numbing or anesthetic because it is a painless and non-invasive procedure.
Finishing touches – After the enamel has been filed, the tooth will be shaped and polished.
If you would like veneers or just an enameloplasty, our highly experienced team at Digital Dental Studio can examine your teeth to determine if you would be a suitable candidate. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Anna Vishart in Dedham today and achieve the smile you’ve been waiting for.