Often teeth can be aligned without requiring multiple visits to the dentist or major intervention. One such procedure is enameloplasty which is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that helps to improve the appearance of the teeth. It is normally carried out only on the front teeth and does not bring about any improvement in functioning. Simply put, it is reshaping of the tooth by removing or shaving the enamel. Though it involves only minimal shaping it can make a remarkable difference to one’s smile. It is a simple, inexpensive and quick method to improve facial appearance. It is also known as odontoplasty, slenderizing, or sculpting.
Who should go for it?
This procedure is advisable for persons whose teeth are either uneven in length or pointed. Besides this, it is also carried out where the teeth may be chipped or the enamel may be simply worn out. It can be undertaken only if the surface has been damaged through biting hard substances, injury or by grinding of teeth. It is not appropriate where enamel damage has been caused by decay.
Why is it done?
Though enameloplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure, it also has additional benefits.
It is easier to keep well-aligned teeth clean and free of food particles. Thus, it improves general dental health.
As it aligns the teeth, it enhances the look of the face.
This is a conservative treatment involving minimal intervention. It is commonly carried out as it offers immediate re-contouring of the teeth without extensive treatment. However, there are situations where it is not recommended. The enamel is a hard surface that protects teeth and removing it is not always desirable. In some cases where the enamel becomes too thin it can even lead to sensitivity in the teeth. In addition to this, excess removal can compromise the strength of the enamel making it susceptible to decay. Dentists may not advise it under the following circumstances.
If the layer of enamel is too thin and reshaping is likely to expose the inner dentin.
If the teeth are too misaligned, then enameloplasty may not offer much improvement.
If there are deep cracks that extend to the dentin.
If reshaping is likely to worsen the bite.
The dentist checks for the thickness of the enamel as well as the position of the dental pulp that contains nerves and blood vessels. This is important as enamel cannot be replaced once it has been removed. Where the enamel is too thin, the dentist might advise other procedures, such as bonding to reshape the teeth.
As enameloplasty involves only the enamel surface without touching dental pulp or nerves, no anesthesia is required. Once the tooth has been cleaned it is re-contoured with the help of a shaping instrument. The tooth is then polished to smooth out the surface after the desired shape has been achieved.
It is a safe procedure that does not need any recovery time. One can easily eat, drink or go about normal activities immediately. There may be slight sensitivity in some cases, but this clears out on its own.
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