The Ultimate Guide to Shaving My Teeth

Approx Reading Time: 13 minutes

Teeth come in various sizes and shapes, and sometimes, we might feel uncomfortable because of the way they appear. Some people claim that their teeth appear too large when they smile, while some are not very pleased with the shape of their teeth. There isn’t much we can do to change the appearance of our teeth. However, it is important to know that it is quite rare for a person’s teeth to be larger than what is considered normal. Here’s why: sometimes, some people might have small jaws, and this could make their teeth appear larger. This is where teeth shaving comes in.

Shaving my teeth:

Teeth shaving is the process of removing a small piece of the tooth enamel to fix minor aesthetic issues and improve the appearance of your teeth. This process is usually a quick, pain-free, it is cheap compared to other options, and it doesn’t cause lasting damage to teeth.

The Ultimate Guide to Shaving My Teeth 1

They are usually considered cosmetic dentistry procedures that are capable of dealing with subtle changes on the teeth. Problems like irregularly shaped teeth, tiny chips in the teeth, slightly overlapping teeth or excessively pointy cuspids, can be fixed with tooth shaving. This procedure usually becomes necessary for people with overcrowded teeth. This will cause problems in alignment if the individual requires braces.

Teeth shaving helps braces to straighten the teeth as opposed to crowding together with awkward aligning. With this, you wouldn’t need an orthodontic to remove your teeth. Do you have chipped, fractured or uneven teeth that make you self-conscious when you smile? Are you interested in learning about tooth shaving? Then you’re in the right place. This article will provide you with adequate information about the process, why it is needed, what the risks are, and how to go about the procedure.

What Is Tooth Shaving?

Tooth shaving is just how it sounds: a tooth doctor or dentist will use a tool to shave down part of a tooth or parts of many teeth. To a lot of people, this technique may seem a little confusing than not, this is because having a part of our teeth shaved just does not seem to make any logical sense. Yes, this may seem a little odd, but the practice itself is quite common for many reasons, all of which work towards improving the dental health and life of people who require this service.

It may sound somewhat scary, teeth shaving isn’t scary at all, and it is a very beneficial procedure to those who receive it. The process is often carried out in the following manner: a dentist will first measure the teeth in your mouth using the result of an X-ray. He will then compare the size of all the teeth to the actual size of your mouth. If he notices that your teeth are crowding your mouth (that is, if your teeth look larger than your mouth or jaw), then the dentist will first recommend shaving your teeth before recommending the use of braces.

Tooth shaving, which is also known as shaping, filing, reducing, sanding, or stripping, involves the removal of a small amount of enamel from the tooth or teeth. In this process, the dentist uses certain tools specifically made for the procedure, to sand down and shape the edges of your teeth. The dentist will then level and polish the tooth surface to prepare for the new gold crown. Since shaving gets rid of a layer of enamel from the teeth, it is important to practice proper dental hygiene even if you are going to be getting gold crowns.

Teeth shaving is a simple procedure, however, it can only be performed on teeth with adequate enamel. Here is why: beneath the enamel, teeth have a material referred to as dentin. Now because this dentin is capable of feeling sensations, there must be enough enamel to protect it. Knowing if you have enough enamel or not can be easily determined by your dentist. This is done by taking an X-ray of your teeth.

The actual process of teeth shaving usually involves the dentist using shaving tools like a saw and grinder to narrow the teeth. This does not narrow the teeth by a noticeable amount since the narrowing is usually just a few millimeters for each tooth, however, it does add up when all the teeth in your mouth are taken into account. Also, tooth shaving does not require any care or follow-up except for when it is combined with other cosmetic procedures.

Why Do Some People Have Their Teeth Shaved?

There are several reasons why people receive the teeth shaving procedure, and all these reasons are usually important to the person receiving the treatment. In this case, teeth shaving is an important procedure that your dentist must carry out before placing braces in your mouth especially if your teeth are too crowded. The extra space between your teeth allows for the braces to properly align themselves in your mouth. If the teeth are not shaved before installing braces, your teeth may not become straight from the braces.

For some adults, teeth shaving is sometimes an important procedure as their pallets and jaws have already stopped developing. This means that the dentist cannot make further adjustments to them. Normally, the dentist can adjust the structure of the teeth by trying to change the hard pallet and soft pallet. But for adults who have stopped developing, this is hardly an option. If after undergoing the process, you notice spaces or gaps between teeth, don’t worry about them. The orthodontist should adjust the wires in your braces so that all the gaps gradually close up. The gaps are usually so small that most people may not even notice them. Here are some of the reasons why people have their teeth shaved:

● Reshaping the Teeth

Some times, we end up with a chipped or damaged tooth, teeth in some cases. Now, this may not be a problem, but when it begins to affect daily living, it becomes important for it to be taken care of. It calls for the teeth to be reshaped to help keep the mouth healthy. Usually, when the teeth are broken, it could lead to possible infections, as the jagged edges of our teeth can cut the inside of our cheeks, which can lead to further discomfort and infections.

● Giving the Mouth More Room

As mentioned earlier, the mouth may sometimes become too small for the teeth. When this happens, a dentist may decide to shave the parts between the teeth to allow more room in the mouth. If more room is created in the mouth, it becomes easier to clean the mouth and keep bacteria away.

The Ultimate Guide to Shaving My Teeth 2

● Replacing Teeth

This is another reason why people shave their teeth. If you have a broken or missing tooth, the dentist may decide to shave the adjacent teeth to ensure that the artificial tooth fits just right. It may not be a common reason why people have their teeth shaved, but it does happen occasionally. So when you hear the term “teeth shaving,” don’t be scared. This is a perfectly normal procedure for getting a replacement tooth. It is especially common for pointed teeth because of the closeness of the teeth.

● Cosmetic Reasons

This is one of many reasons why people have their teeth shaved. Sometimes, people can just decide to have a different looking smile. Other times, they may want to have some of their teeth looking different (that is, a lateral incisor is removed and a canine is moved in its place. In this case, the “canine” may need to be shaved to look like a normal lateral incisor). Also, their teeth may sometimes not look uniform, and having them shaved might be the best option. 

● The Fit of Dentures

Teeth shaving is generally performed before the use of any type of dental hardware including dentures. This allows the hardware to fit correctly onto the teeth…

● A Necessity for Adults

As discussed earlier, teeth shaving is usually a necessary procedure for adults. This is because the jaws and pallets of adults are already fully developed and have stopped growing, hence the orthodontist is unable to make any adjustments. This means that shaving the teeth is more or less the best option when an adult requires braces. The wires of the braces are then adjusted by the dentist to make sure the braces close up all the gaps between the teeth, and these are usually unnoticeable.

The Ultimate Guide to Shaving My Teeth 3

Teeth Staging

There are certain cases where the braces are applied before the teeth shaving procedure. This is referred to as staging. Staging ensures that the teeth are in the appropriate positions before they are shaved. The orthodontist can also use their tools without having to come in contact with any of the other teeth. This is a fairly common procedure, however, it is not necessary for every patient. That being said, there are two types of teeth staging methods:

By Hand: here, the orthodontist uses a diamond-coated abrasive strip to carry it out. The strip is worked in a backward and forward motion between the teeth. This procedure is quite effective especially when a greater reduction is required.

Using a Dental Drill: Here, the orthodontist uses a diamond-coated, spinning disk or burr to shave the teeth. This procedure is often used when less reduction is required.

Now the teeth shaving procedure is not necessary for every patient. Several patients have orthodontic treatments to close the gaps between their teeth without needing to shave their teeth. Shaving the teeth has become so common, that the procedure has been perfected. This means that the risk factor of this procedure is extremely low. The amount of enamel removed by the orthodontist depends on the specific requirement of each patient.

What to Expect From Tooth Shaving

Yes, tooth shaving removes a part of the enamel- the tooth’s protective component, but the layer that your dentist will shave off is extremely thin and will not affect the strength of your teeth. However, some patients who have lost a significant amount of enamel in the past may experience increased sensitivity following a tooth shaving procedure.

The Ultimate Guide to Shaving My Teeth 4

but in general, tooth shaving does not have any adverse side effects. In fact, during the reshaping process, you will barely experience any severe pain, anesthetic is not even necessary. You may, however, experience a little discomfort which is a result of the vibration of the shaving tool and this is normal. On average, the process takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much filing your teeth requires to achieve the desired shape. Then after shaving, your dentist now creates a mold of your newly shaped teeth and sends it to a dental laboratory to create a fabrication of your crown.

● Does it Hurt?

No. Teeth shaving does not hurt. It is safe to assume that a lot of people think that shaving with a saw and a grinder sounds extremely painful. However, the procedure doesn’t hurt since it simply removes the outer layer of the tooth. Usually, the outer layer doesn’t have any nerve endings, so it will be hard for you to feel anything. Hence, you don’t need to use any kind of anesthetic for the procedure. However, if you are nervous about feeling any pain you may request an anesthetic.

● Does Teeth Shaving Require Anesthesia?

As mentioned earlier, the outer layer of the teeth has no nerve endings so you won’t feel any pain. This means that it doesn’t require anesthesia.

● Does it Damage to Tooth Enamel?

Tooth shaving will damage the enamel at first. It can’t be avoided. However, your dentist will repair the damaged enamel to prevent tooth decay.

● Does it Make My Teeth Whiter?

No. Teeth shaving does not make the teeth whiter. Although, often when teeth are shaving done, the dentist whitens the teeth at the same time. So this has people to believe that teeth shaving makes the teeth whiter.

Cost of Tooth Shaving

Tooth shaving is not very expensive. They cost less than porcelain veneers and bonding because you wouldn’t have to pay for the materials or lab work. What you’ll be paying for will be the dentist’s time, expertise, and specialist tools. There is no specific price for tooth shaving, so you’ll need to ask your dentist for a personalized quote as each clinic has different rates for the procedure. Naturally, it will also depend on how many teeth the dentist will be working on and how much work is required for your teeth. On average, you should be expecting to pay between $50 and $300 per tooth or more depending on the clinic. The cost of tooth shaving may also vary if done as part of permanent gold crowns installation. When you compare this with the cost of a single porcelain veneer (which costs £400 – £1,000), you’ll realize that it is a less expensive way to cosmetically improve your smile. One more thing is that while veneers must be replaced every 5 to 10 years, teeth shaving is permanent.

Finally,  if you need to have your teeth filed as part of the orthodontic treatment, this procedure will be included in the overall cost quota. Make sure you consult with your dentist on what you should be expecting to pay and for ideas on how to finance this procedure. Investing in permanent gold crowns is a great way to make a statement, but be sure to consult a professional cosmetic dentist to install your crowns to avoid or minimize the risk of dental complications.

Is There Any Risks?

Tooth enamel is a hard coat that protects the teeth, giving them their strength for chewing, biting, and grinding. But as the enamel wears away, less protection is offered and the layer of yellow dentin underneath is exposed. Hence, enamel loss can lead to:

  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Yellow teeth
  • Increased chance of chipping or breakage

Removing a thin layer of the enamel on certain parts of a tooth shouldn’t cause any lasting damage. But since the enamel is only about 2.58mm thick, there is not much room for error. So if too much enamel is shaved, it can cause the teeth to become weak and can lead to the problems listed above. Therefore, it is important to look for a dentist who is experienced in carrying out this procedure.

Final Remarks

Finally, I think it should go without saying that this procedure cannot be done at home! If you try to shave your teeth without professional knowledge, you can cause even greater damage to your teeth. It is also unlikely that you have access to the special tools dentists use to shave teeth surfaces. If the surfaces are not polished properly, they become harder to clean, making them more vulnerable to plaque build-up and decay. We hope that this article has been helpful. Good luck!