Last Updated on March 14, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Also known as dental contouring, teeth shaving is a procedure that subtly reshapes teeth to create a more aesthetically pleasing smile. By removing small amounts of enamel, minor imperfections can be corrected and a beautifully uniform look attained.

But what should you expect to pay for this transformative cosmetic treatment? In this guide, we’ll break down the factors that influence teeth-shaving costs.

Prices vary based on your location, dentist fees, the complexity of reshaping needed, and insurance coverage. While not usually extravagant, costs can range widely. We’ll look at average prices with tips for keeping your out-of-pocket expenses affordable.

How Much Does Teeth Shaving Cost?

On average, teeth shaving can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per tooth. It’s important to consult with a dentist to get an accurate estimate based on your specific needs.

While exact fees vary widely based on the variables above, on average you can expect to pay approximately:

  • $150 to $600 per tooth for relatively quick and simple enamel removal cases
  • $800 to $1,500 per tooth for moderate complexity teeth recontouring cases
  • 2,000 to $3,500+ per tooth for the most significant and detailed reshaping work

For minor aesthetic improvements to one or two teeth with shallow enamel reduction, total fees often range $500 to $1,500 total.

Full smile makeovers with multiple teeth shaving can cost $5,000+ on average depending on the dentist and the amount of work required for your ideal smile vision.

According to Main Street Family Dentistry the average cost for tooth contouring or reshaping ranges from $50 to $250 per tooth, with the procedure involving the removal of a small amount of enamel to achieve the desired appearance.

This cost can vary depending on the provider, and in certain situations, contouring can be a cost-effective alternative to Invisalign or braces.

CareCredit notes that teeth contouring typically costs between $50 and $300 per tooth, with the final price influenced by factors such as the extent of reshaping needed, the location of the tooth, and the dental practice’s location. Insurance coverage for teeth contouring is rare as it is considered a cosmetic procedure.

At Flossy, the cost of tooth reshaping, also known as teeth contouring, can range upwards of $300 per tooth. This cosmetic procedure involves sanding down enamel to improve the shape of teeth and is not usually covered by insurance.

Flossy offers a pay-as-you-go dental service that can help save up to 50% on dental procedures like tooth reshaping.

Beyond Dental & Implant Center writes that cosmetic contouring, which involves reshaping teeth by removing small amounts of enamel, typically costs around $50 to $300 per tooth depending on the amount of work needed.

This procedure is considered an alternative to more expensive treatments like braces and can be covered by insurance if the damage is due to accidents or trauma.

What is Tooth Shaving and How is it Performed?

Known clinically as dental contouring and reshaping, teeth shaving is a procedure that noticeably alters the size, shape, length, position, and/or surface appearance of one or more teeth.

Using extremely fine specialized dental burs and advanced tools, the dentist removes minuscule amounts of outer enamel thickness to “shave down” slight imperfections or disproportionate dimensions with an artist’s eye, leaving smooth natural aesthetically improved teeth in their place.

It is an extremely conservative cosmetic approach, with the dentist taking off only tiny fractions of enamel thickness – usually less than half a millimeter – to produce the desired uniform shape and enhanced visual appearance. This is quite different than dental bonding, which applies composite resin material to teeth rather than removing native enamel.

Goals and Benefits of Undergoing Teeth Shaving

Some of the most common goals and benefits of professional teeth shaving include:

  • Subtly correcting slightly crooked, uneven, chipped, irregularly overlapping, or disproportionately sized teeth
  • Reshaping teeth to better complement existing smile characteristics and facial aesthetics
  • Safely removing small areas of enamel that overlap with adjacent teeth that can trap plaque and bacteria, improving overall oral hygiene
  • Refining imperfections or minor intrinsic stains and discoloration for brighter, whiter-looking teeth
  • Providing a more appealing uniform smile with beautifully balanced and properly proportional pearly whites
  • Minimally invasive procedure compared to dental veneers or crowns
  • Short in-office visit with potentially quick transformative results depending on scope

You might also like our articles about the cost of tooth extraction, dental cleaning, or dental bridge.

What Factors Influence Teeth Shaving Costs?

Several important considerations affect the overall cost of undergoing teeth shaving:

  • The individual dentist’s base pricing structure and fees – which often range from $100 to $500+ per tooth depending on location
  • The exact number of teeth requiring enamel recontouring during treatment
  • The degree of complexity involved in the enamel removal and intricate reshaping required to achieve the desired look
  • Additional dental visits needed beforehand for exams, x-rays, molds, and diagnosis
  • Geographic location where the dental practice resides – fees in major metro areas are generally higher

The more teeth needing reshaping and the more complex cosmetic adjustments required, the higher the total price tag will be. Rarely is teeth shaving needed for just a single tooth.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Teeth Shaving?

If the teeth shaving process is deemed medically necessary by your dentist to correct issues causing oral health problems, insurance may cover some portion of the cost after deductibles. But cosmetic teeth shaving performed strictly for beautification reasons is often not covered.

Potential payment options include:

  • Filing an insurance claim for reimbursement – confirm coverage details and estimated co-pay costs in advance
  • Using a discounted dental savings plan – provides fixed reduced fees for services not paid by insurance
  • Payment installment plans – pay the agreed fee over weeks or months in more affordable installments
  • Charging to a flexible spending (FSA) or health savings account (HAS)
  • Using credit cards – useful for financing costs over time but can mean high-interest charges

Discuss payment with your dentist upfront to stay on budget.

Selecting an Experienced Cosmetic Dentist

Dentist Shaving TeethSince teeth shaving requires advanced skills and artistic precision for subtle yet transformative enamel removal, it’s vital to choose a dentist with specialized expertise and experience specifically in cosmetic procedures like dental contouring. Important traits to look for include:

  • An extensive before and after photo gallery highlighting beautiful recontouring treatments
  • Many years of accumulated experience performing nuanced cosmetic smile makeovers and enhancements
  • Strong reputation for continuing education in mastering the latest cosmetic dental techniques
  • Dozens of online reviews praising the dentist’s artistic talents and stunning teeth shaving results
  • Free consultations and clear cost estimates with flexible financing options discussed upfront

This is one cosmetic procedure where you shouldn’t simply go with the dentist offering the cheapest rate or a Groupon deal. Don’t simply go with the cheapest. Seek proven expertise.

What to Expect During the Teeth Shaving Procedure

The teeth shaving cosmetic contouring process performed by your dentist involves:

  • Administration of local anesthetic to maximize your comfort during the procedure
  • Highly controlled, incremental removal of ultra-thin layers of outer enamel thickness using fine diamond or carbide dental burs on an extremely low speed
  • Frequent progress checks and further minimally invasive smoothing and polishing of reshaped teeth before finalizing the new shape
  • Total treatment time spanning 1-2 office visits depending on the number of teeth being re-contoured

The procedure is designed to be as comfortable and painless as possible for the duration thanks to modern anesthesia.

Is Teeth Shaving Right for You?

While a cost-effective smile enhancement option, teeth shaving isn’t right for major alignment issues. Discuss your options with an experienced cosmetic dentist.

Be sure to address any concerns about enamel removal or sensitivity before proceeding. When done properly and judiciously, teeth shaving can have beautiful, affordable results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to have your teeth shaved down?

When performed precisely in conservative yet transformative amounts by an experienced cosmetic dentist, teeth shaving is extremely safe and does not impair tooth health, function, or longevity. But removing too much enamel beyond reason can lead to issues, so leave it to the professionals.

Does teeth shaving cause sensitivity?

Mild to moderate sensitivity when eating hot, cold, or sweet foods is very common for the first several weeks after enamel is reduced. Proper home care and allowing time for the nerves inside teeth to recalibrate helps this temporary sensitivity dissipate. Some residual sensitivity can linger long-term for some patients.

How long does teeth reshaping last?

When skillfully performed by an artistic dentist, reshaped teeth can maintain a gorgeous, uniform look for years or even decades to come with proper ongoing oral hygiene and dental care. However, some patients eventually opt for minor touch-ups over time or additional cosmetic treatments as styles, preferences, and beauty standards change

How long is the teeth shaving procedure?

For most patients, the teeth shaving process takes approximately one to two office visits depending on the exact number of teeth being recontoured. Thanks to modern high-speed handpieces, the direct smoothing itself can often be performed relatively quickly by an experienced dentist. But planning, anesthesia, and Checks take time.

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