Cosmetic Contouring is the technical term used to describe the reshaping of natural teeth for cosmetic purposes. Minor reshaping of front teeth can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of a person's smile. Making teeth follow the curvatures of the lips symmetrically can change an awkward looking smile into a pleasant one without compromising the integrity of the teeth or adding any artificial material which would need replacing in the future.
In modern Dentistry cosmetic contouring is used to improve the appearance of the teeth by creating the illusion of uniformity and alignment. When performed successfully, it is by far the preferred method of treatment since it requires no anesthesia, is relatively inexpensive, takes little time, and leaves you with no artificial material on your teeth to wear out.
If you have slightly misshapen or crowded teeth, cosmetic contouring may provide an excellent solution to your problem. It is usually easy to correct long front teeth/"rodent teeth" or long canine/"Dracula" teeth in one visit.
Several factors should be considered before pursuing cosmetic contouring. First, your dentist should evaluate your natural teeth and the effect that contouring may have on them. The bite must be correct for the health and proper function of the teeth to be maintained. Second, the thickness of enamel must be determined. The removal of too much enamel can result in temperature sensitivity as well as discoloration if the dentin layer is exposed. Occasionally there is a tradeoff between maximum function and maximum esthetics which requires a compromise of the esthetic component. If this is unacceptable, other treatment options such as Bonding, Porcelain Laminates, or Crowns may need to be considered.