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The Truth About Enamel Shaping

The Truth About Enamel Shaping

Is the surface of one of your teeth a little uneven? Do you have a small chip in a tooth? Does a rough spot on the inside of a tooth irritate your tongue?

If any of your teeth have such minor surface flaws, a quick, inexpensive procedure called enamel shaping may be the solution.

Understanding Canker Sores — Symptoms

Symptoms of canker sores can include:

Tingling or burning in the mouth; this sensation often occurs six to 24 hours before a canker sore appears.
Small, painful, crater-like ulcers.
Sores appear singly or in clusters on the inside of the mouth, including the inside of the cheeks and lips, on the tongue, at the base of the gums, or on the soft palate.
Sores that usually last five to 10 days.
Sores that are grayish white or pale yellow with red borders.


Read the Understanding Canker Sores — Symptoms article

Making Fine Adjustments to a Tooth

“Enamel shaping is used when a tooth needs very fine adjustments — when the surface is a little rough, for instance, or one tooth is a little squarer than a matching tooth,” says Kellee Cattleman Stanton, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in private practice in Eagan, Minnesota, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Enamel shaping can be used to smooth small chips in teeth. It can also be used to straighten the tips of teeth to match in length.

How Enamel Shaping Is Done

To reshape enamel, dentists use the same kind of tools used to polish teeth during a routine cleaning. The goal is to remove a very small amount of enamel from the surface to create a smoother look. Enamel shaping is typically done without an anesthetic.

The opposite of enamel reshaping is bonding. Here, a small amount of tooth-colored resin material is added to fill holes or small gaps in teeth. After bonding, dentists use a polishing tool to smooth out the surface. Together, enamel shaping and bonding offer quick and easy ways to make small cosmetic adjustments to tooth surfaces.

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