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Is Tooth Trimming Painful?


Posted on 2/17/2017 by Dr. Frank Sallustio
A woman suffering from severe tooth decay.
Tooth trimming is a term that refers to the process of removing some of the enamel of your teeth. This process is used for several reasons and goes by a few different names - tooth shaving, interproximal reduction, interproximal enamel reduction.

The images conjured up by the name "tooth trimming" can be frightening, however, it really isn't as bad as it sounds.

Why Might You Need Tooth Trimming?

There are multiple reasons you might require tooth trimming:

•  Tooth decay. If you have a significant amount of tooth decay on the enamel, tooth trimming may be the only way to help get rid of it, as the process can remove an entire section of decay.
•  Orthodontic work. If your teeth don't fit together properly, or are overcrowded, orthodontic work might be the only way to get them back into place and align them properly. Trimming a small amount of the enamel away before beginning orthodontic work ensures that your teeth will fit together properly once they are back in the position they need to be.
•  Long teeth. If you have some teeth that are longer than the rest of your teeth, it can throw off your smile. Trimming down the longer teeth makes them uniform with your other teeth, making your smile even and beautiful. It can also be used to take care of teeth that are wider than their matching tooth on the other side of your mouth.

Does it Damage Your Teeth?

The short answer is: no, tooth trimming does not damage your teeth. Over time, your teeth wear naturally, and tooth trimming takes that wear into account, removing only a small amount that you experience anyway through regular wear, and still leaves some enamel intact. Studies have found that there are no risks associated with tooth trimming. In fact, it is a better alternative to other options, such as tooth extraction, which could cause you to lose bone density in your jaw, leading to other problems.

Does it Hurt?
While it sounds bad, tooth trimming is not painful. The process can be done with a drill or by hand. Your dentist is trained, and will take care not to trim away too much of the enamel. During the procedure, you might feel more nervous or uncomfortable than anything else as you hear the drill or feel its vibrations. But your dentist won't go past the enamel, which means you won't need an anesthetic.

Tooth trimming is a pain-free procedure that has many applications. Contact our office if you want to see if it is right for you.

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Frank Sallustio, DDS
Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics
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Sun City West, AZ 85375-4486
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Frank Sallustio, DDS, 13802 West Camino Del Sol, Sun City West, AZ, 85375-4486 - Key Phrases: Prosthodontist Sun City West AZ / dental implants Sun City West AZ / dental implants Sun City West AZ / (623) 738-2639 / www.drsallustio.com / 11/20/2017