For many people, having a healthy and beautiful smile is an important component of their overall confidence. But few are born with a perfect smile. Thanks to modern dentistry and advancements in the field, there are a plethora of options to help you get the smile you desire.
Here at Riverside Dental, we don’t just consider ourselves smile technicians, we are smile designers. Our dentists and staff have expertise in cosmetic dentistry. We aren’t just looking to create cookie-cutter smiles. We assess the condition of your teeth, consult with you about your smile goals, and then we help you bridge the gap in a beautiful and natural way. For example, did you know that the shape of your lateral incisors can be adjusted to make your smile look more feminine or masculine? Women’s smiles tend to have shorter and slightly smaller lateral incisors while men’s teeth tend to have less of a variation incisor length. There are even statistical ratios that dentist have formulated to achieve aesthetically pleasing smiles! Smiling is a science and an art to us.
Here are a few options for changing the shape of your teeth and designing the smile of your dreams.
Veneers are one of the top choices for changing the shape of your teeth. In fact, the Dental Economics Journal reports that cosmetic dentistry, especially veneers, have grown 12.5 percent within the last five years.
Veneers are thin shells, most often made from porcelain and resin, that are applied directly to your teeth — giving you the size and shape you want. It is not uncommon to place several veneers at a time. The most common number of veneers placed at a time is 4 or more.
Getting veneers involves taking impressions and x-rays, sending those images to a lab where the custom shell is created, preparing the tooth by roughing it up, placing the veneer, making adjustments and then curing them to harden the bond.
One of the biggest benefits of veneers is that they are a very quick solution. They can be placed in a couple appointments. Porcelain veneers are also stain resistant.
The biggest disadvantage is the price. They are one of most expensive options for changing the shape of your teeth and insurance rarely covers this cosmetic procedure.
If you are missing a tooth, changing the shape isn’t the problem — the absence of a tooth is! Dental implants are the way to go in this situation. Dental implants completely replace your missing (or decayed) tooth, starting at root where a titanium post is placed and then with an artificial crown that is placed on top. The crown that is placed on top can be the exact shape and size you want it to be.
Dental implants are definitely one of the most time-consuming and involved approaches to changing the shape of your teeth. The process involves preparation of implant site (sometimes bone grafting is needed), implantation, the osseointegration process, post placement and implant placement.
But, if the tooth in question has decayed or damaged, choosing a dental implant is a fantastic option because it will simultaneously give you a healthier and more beautiful tooth.
Implants are also long lasting. A well placed and cared for implant can last your entire life! They are also extremely durable. Placing them doesn’t affect the surrounding teeth like bridges do, and they have an extremely high success rate — 98.5 percent to be exact!
Enamel shaping is a great quick fix for changing the shape of your teeth. It is not meant for overhauling your smile, but simply refining it. It often involves no more than a few millimeters of enamel, but it can improve the look of your smile significantly.
Shaping can include either removing tooth material or adding it.
Bonding is when we add material. If you have a chip or crack, we fill it in with resin to give your tooth a smooth appearance. Then we cure the resin with a special light that hardens it.
Reshaping is when we remove tooth material. This can also be called contouring and we use a special instrument to sand away imperfections and give your teeth a polished look.
If you hate your “gummy” smile, we can help! If your gums make your teeth appear smaller, we can actually remove gum tissue to expose more of your tooth and help you achieve a bigger, brighter smile.
On the flip side, if your gums have receded and make your teeth appear abnormally long, we can graft gum tissue from another part of your mouth to improve the look of your smile. This can also aid in the health of your smile as gum recession can lead to bone loss, tooth loss and sensitivity.
A PERSONALIZED SOLUTION
Many patients find that their smile solution is a combination of the procedures and treatments described above. Come in for a consultation to discuss which option is right for you.