Shaving, Grinding And Shaping Your Teeth: How A Cosmetic Dentist Does These Procedures

Most people are not born with perfect teeth. In fact, even after you get your adult teeth, they may still appear a little strange. There are some procedures that a cosmetic dentist can perform to make your teeth look more "normal" and attractive. Here are those three procedures and how a cosmetic dentist like All About Smiles Incorporated will probably complete them.

First Thing's First: Anesthesia

If you are particularly uncomfortable with the sounds and sensations of your teeth being shaved, ground down or shaped, your dentist will give you general anesthesia. If you think you can handle the sounds and sensations, a local anesthetic (probably novocaine) is used instead just so that you do not feel any pain. Then the dentist will start with the most extreme procedures and work his or her way back to the least extreme of these three procedures before finally polishing your newly shaped teeth.


Shaving is used to create more space between your teeth. Creating a little more space means you can now wear braces to realign your teeth when you could not before. Shaving may also take very sharp points off of natural teeth or broken teeth so that your dentist can fix the broken teeth more easily.


Just as it sounds, your dentist will use grinding wheels to grind down teeth. This may be necessary for caps, crowns, tooth jewelry applications and even cavity repair. Grinding may also be used to break teeth intentionally in order to remove them and possibly replace them with implants. It differs from shaving in that grinding uses different instruments to accomplish a more extreme result.


Shaping has two meanings here; the first refers to altering the shape and appearance of your teeth, while the second meaning refers to using bone saws and bone snippers to shape the teeth. It is the most extreme of the procedures, which is why it is reserved for only the most oddly shaped teeth. If your dentist cannot use grinding or shaving to reduce the size and/or alter the appearance of the tooth or teeth in question, he or she may resort to shaping.

For example, if you have one front tooth that is significantly longer than the teeth on either side of it, shaping may be used to "cut" the tooth back to the point where the chewing edge meets the chewing edges of the other teeth close by. Then the dentist might apply a sealant or light cap to protect the rest of the tooth.