Teeth can become crooked, chipped, cracked, and even overlap as a result of many factors, including traumatic injury, bruxism (grinding) or even heredity.
Cosmetic contouring and reshaping procedures can remedy, and in many cases, greatly improve these conditions. For example, an uneven or crooked tooth can be gently reshaped by removing a small amount of enamel (generally 1 to 2 millimeters), to correct the alignment.
Tooth reshaping can shorten long teeth, round off pointed teeth, and help create a pleasing smile that gently follows the contour of the lower lip. The procedure is quick and painless (the enamel has no nerves), and is usually completed in less than 30 minutes. A small minority of patients gets slight sensitivity after tooth shaping. This can be remedied with prescription strength fluoride or in-office desensitizers. The procedure does not appear to cause any long-term damage to the teeth.