When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, many people think of teeth whitening and “invisible” teeth straightening. But what if you don’t like the shape of your teeth? Some people have misshapen teeth that don’t seem to fit the shape or size of their faces. The good news is that we can change the shape of teeth to improve a smile through a variety of dental treatments.
For the sake of this article, we will stick to scenarios in which the teeth and gums are healthy, and the dental treatment is for cosmetic purposes only.
We can make minor changes to the shape of teeth through enamel recontouring. Recontouring means removing minute amounts of enamel to achieve the desired changes. Because it is removal of tooth structure, it must only be used to make small changes. With enamel recontouring, we can round off sharp or square corners and shorten areas that appear too long.
Enamel recontouring often follows orthodontic treatment, especially in adults. After you straighten teeth, there may be uneven edges from the wear they experienced in their prior position. With enamel recontouring, we can even out the biting edge of the front teeth quickly and easily.
Enamel recontouring is not a painful procedure and requires no anesthetic.
In cosmetic dentistry, we use composite restorations (sometimes called “bonding”) to add to the shape of a tooth. This tooth-colored filling material can blend in perfectly with the natural tooth. With it, your dentist can change the shape of a tooth by adding material. This means, we can make teeth longer, close gaps between teeth, rebuild areas that have chipped away, etc . . .
We can typically perform this type of dental treatment without the need for anesthetic because we are not removing any of your natural tooth structure. Composite restorations build up a tooth that is too small, shorter than its neighbors or uneven.
The difference between composite veneers and composite restorations is that veneers cover the entire visible surface of the teeth. While a composite restoration simply fills in any deficient area, a veneer rebuilds the entire “face” of the tooth.
At Prosper Family Dentistry, our pre-operative planning for composite veneers provides a smile result that most closely matches your natural teeth and the smile goals you communicate with us. Your dentist builds the veneers by hand based on the precise measurements and shading necessary to create the appearance you want.
Composite veneers require very little removal of natural tooth structure, so they are a conservative option for making major smile changes. Composite also carries the advantage of being repairable. If something chips or breaks, it is not necessary to replace the entire veneer. We can repair it with the matching composite material in a relatively short dental visit.
For those wanting a “Hollywood smile” or needing drastic changes to the appearance of the teeth, porcelain veneers are the best option. A porcelain veneer, like a composite veneer, covers the entire visible surface of a tooth.
In order to make drastic changes (i.e. cover up darkly discolored teeth), the porcelain must be relatively thick. In order to make room for the thickness of porcelain and maintain a natural shape to the teeth, your dentist removes natural tooth structure. A certified dental lab technician, skilled in the art of making beautiful teeth, creates porcelain veneers based on detailed instructions from your dentist.
Once affixed to your teeth, porcelain veneers will not stain, maintaining a beautiful white smile for their lifespan. Because porcelain is brittle, it can crack and chip. These restorations are not repairable and must be replaced completely. (Most people with porcelain veneers need to wear a protective nightguard to prevent damage from any nighttime clenching and/or grinding habits.)
More Questions about Cosmetic Options to Change the Shape of Teeth?
Call 972-347-1145 today to schedule a cosmetic consultation with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara. We can assess your specific situation and smile goals to determine which options will best meet those goals!