Answers From Your Dentist: What’s The Purpose Of Tooth Shaving?

What Is The Purpose Of Tooth Shaving

Chances are that most of us have personal experience with fillings, crowns, and teeth whitening. If you don’t have the experience, you probably know a family member or friend who does. While these three seem to be the commonly talked about terms in dental, there are many other “normal” dental procedures that you may have never heard of! Now that you are curious, we are also curious…have you ever heard of “tooth shaving”?

What Is Tooth Shaving?

As funny as the term may sound, tooth shaving, or tooth filing, is not referring to using a razor on a hairy tooth. Rather, it’s referring to the recontouring, striping, or slenderizing the tooth. It is when a dentist removes small amounts of enamel from a tooth to change the tooth’s length or shape.

How Do You Shave A Tooth?

Tooth shaving is a simple process. Your dentist may use a drill and a variety of burs or discs to shave down the tooth, but sandpaper strips may also be used manually to help file down teeth. Since very small amounts of tooth structure are being removed, it is a painless process and anesthesia is not needed.

Why Would Someone Choose To Teeth Shaving?

There are many reasons for having tooth shaving done. While this is not a comprehensive list, it does give several ideas for choosing this easy procedure:

1. Reshaping A Damaged Tooth

Maybe you chipped a tooth and your tongue won’t let you forget that you now have a sharp edge on your tooth. Tooth shaving will remove the slightest amount of tooth structure while removing that sharp edge so that your tongue can rest peacefully where it is supposed to! Your eyes will also thank you as they won’t be continually focused on the chipped tooth when you look at yourself in the mirror.

2. Creating More Room In The Mouth

Perhaps you have crowded teeth and removing a little tooth structure will allow the overlapping teeth to move easily into their position with orthodontic appliances or braces.

3. Cosmetic Reasons

Some people have their teeth filed down for esthetics. Maybe you have one tooth that seems to not fit with the rest or maybe you have several teeth that could benefit from being reshaped to give your smile a more appealing look. To learn more about cosmetic dentistry, please visit our cosmetic dentistry page.

4. Adjusting Your Bite

Sometimes our teeth don’t come together properly. Some teeth may hit harder than others and this can create problems with jaw pain, recession, and even sensitivity. Tooth filing can be an option to help relieve excessive contact pressure between your teeth. Once the high spot or heavy contact is eliminated, the jaw pain and sensitivity usually also subsides.

What Are Some Of The Risks?

Tooth shaving is not typically considered to be a risky procedure. It is usually a very conservative procedure in that only small amounts of the enamel layer are removed. As with most things, there is such a thing as going overboard and this also holds true for tooth shaving. This would include removing generous amounts of enamel instead of conservative amounts. We wouldn’t want to do that as the enamel is a very important layer of the tooth. Since enamel covers and protects the softer dentin layer of the tooth, we would only remove very small amounts of enamel when tooth shaving.

Dental work can help your mouth feel and look its best! Whether you have a chipped tooth, crowded teeth, or you just want to recontour your teeth, it’s important to remember that tooth shaving may be an easy and painless solution for you. If you would like to learn more about tooth shaving or if you would like to schedule your next appointment, please contact us or schedule your appointment online.

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