Cosmetic Contouring is not a well-known phrase for most people outside of the dental industry, but it may just be one of the best low cost and least invasive ways to enhance the appearance of your smile.

When it comes to smiles, did you know that it is rated second on the list of most important attractive features by both women and men (personality being the first)? Also, nearly half the respondents to a recent UK survey indicated that they are unhappy with their teeth (48%), leading us to the question, why is cosmetic contouring not a more commonly used term?

What is Cosmetic Contouring?

Cosmetic contouring (also known as dental contouring, tooth reshaping or enameloplasty) is a dental procedure that aims at improving the structure and appearance of your teeth. Cosmetic contouring is performed by a professional dentist who uses a particular set of tools, such as sanding discs, a diamond bur, drill or laser to complete this minor procedure resulting in uniformity between the contoured tooth and the surrounding teeth. If you suffer from shallow pits, worn-out edges, grooves or even a chip on your teeth, then tooth contouring is the fastest solution to restore your smile.

If you have any pressing dental issues or questions, you can book an appointment online or contact us directly on (+356) 2125 7253 (Skyparks Business Centre, Malta International Airport), or (+356) 2155 7323 (Dingli Street, Victoria, Gozo). For international patients, it is recommended to request a free e-consultation where we can discuss your individual case and treatment options.

What Are The Steps Involved In Cosmetic Contouring


Just like any other medical procedure, the first stage of a tooth reshaping process is the consultation. During this phase, a qualified and experienced dentist examines your teeth to ascertain whether there are any underlying dental problems.

The dentist may also request an X-ray to establish the thickness of the enamel layer as well as the location of the tooth pulp (contains the nerves & blood vessels) to ensure there will be no unforeseen complications during this routine procedure.

If your dentist finds that your enamel is too thin or the pulp is situated too close to the surface of the tooth, then they will advise an alternative treatment (most likely dental veneers or simply bonding for less complex cases)

Tooth Reshaping Procedure

Once the consultation has been completed, and the dentist has given you a clean bill of dental health, the actual process can begin. Your dentist will use either a fine diamond bur or a sanding disc to remove the required tooth enamel. The dentist may also use strips of sanding materials to reshape between teeth as well as give an overall smoothness to the entire tooth surface. The final part of the process is a fine-tooth polish, leaving your teeth looking and feeling great.

Is Anesthetic Required?

Thankfully, no anaesthetic is required as the procedure does not involve treating the pulp of the tooth and therefore no chance of your nerves being affected.

How Many Visits Is Required?

Tooth Contouring only requires one visit and usually lasts between 30 minutes and 1 hour. No more follow up appointments are required unless requested by you.

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Benefits Of Cosmetic Contouring

Below are the advantages of cosmetic contouring:

  • Inexpensive: As the treatment is a straightforward procedure, the price is usually similar to that of a couple of new fillings.
  • No Pain: As cosmetic contouring only involves removing of the tooth’s enamel and not affecting the pulp, no anaesthetic is required.
  • Teeth Health: Contouring removes minor imperfections and overlaps which previously would harbour tartar and plaque buildup.

dental contouring and tooth reshaping at Savina Dental Clinics

Are There Any Disadvantages To Tooth Reshaping?

With every dental procedure there are always some risks which are outlined below:

  • Minor Changes Only: Dental contouring can only fix minor imperfections, therefore for major smile makeovers, more sophisticated treatments are required, such as dental veneers.
  • Irreversible: Once enamel is removed it cannot be put back. If too much enamel is removed, it will make teeth slightly weaker and possibly lead to hypersensitivity and possible further chipping. However, this issue is extremely rare and will not happen if you use an experienced Dentist.

Why Is Bonding Combined With Tooth Contouring?

Dental bonding is always combined with tooth contouring. Bonding is a process where a dentist covers minor imperfections on the teeth using composite resin. The resin covers gaps, discolourations and other minor flaws that might have remained after the contouring procedure. It makes the teeth look shiny, natural and flawless.

What Aftercare Is Required After Cosmetic Contouring?

After going through cosmetic contouring procedure, you need to take good care of your teeth so that they can maintain their new attractive look. Keep in mind that the process does not make your teeth immune from stains or chipping. So, you need to avoid chewing hard foods or anything hard such as fingernails or pens. Avoid beverages that can stain your newly shined enamel including tea, red wine, cigarettes and even coffee.

Is The Procedure Right For You?

If you suffer from minor tooth imperfections such as unevenness on the teeth, irregularly-shaped tooth, pitted tooth surfaces, overlaps and chips, then you are a perfect candidate for cosmetic contouring. Cosmetic contouring is a relatively inexpensive and non-invasive procedure that can help rejuvenate your smile.

Have you tried our free e-Consultation service?

If you are looking for a dental check-up in Malta or Gozo, please contact us using our online appointment form or call us now  (+356) 2125 7253 (Skyparks Business Centre, Malta International Airport) / (+356) 2155 7323 (Dingli Street, Victoria, Gozo).

Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.

Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.