Aesthetic improvements to a smile are just one of the reasons to schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist. Many people choose to visit these types of dental health professionals to enhance their teeth through a variety of treatments, such as whitening procedures, veneers, or dental onlays. While these can help your smile look whiter,…
Changing Tooth Length [Smile Makeover]
The goal of a smile makeover is to improve the overall appearance of the smile by correcting perceived imperfections, such as crooked or discolored teeth or teeth that appear too long or too short. Multiple techniques may be used to alter tooth length, either separately or in combination.
Options for changing the length of teeth
Several procedures can be used to make teeth appear longer or shorter. Dentists recommend different procedures based on the desired outcome and the amount of adjustment needed to achieve it.
Tooth reshaping, also known as dental contouring, is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change the shape, length or surface of one or more teeth. Tooth enamel does not have nerve endings, so the reshaping should be pain-free. Depending on how many teeth need to be shaped, the procedure can usually be completed in 30 minutes or less and the results are permanent.
This procedure does not dramatically change the look of teeth and is usually used in cases where subtle adjustments are desired. Tooth reshaping is sometimes used as the first step in a smile makeover and is often combined with whitening, veneers or bonding.
Dental bonding is an option for patients who want their teeth to appear longer. In this procedure, tooth-colored resin is applied to the teeth and then hardened with a special light that bonds the material to the tooth. This added material can give the teeth a longer appearance.
Veneers are custom-made, tooth-colored, thin porcelain or resin shells that are applied to the front of the teeth to change the size, shape, color or length. These restorations are permanent and can not be removed once put in place. They can dramatically change the appearance of the smile and may be recommended in cases where the patient wants to change the color or shape of the tooth, in addition to changing the length.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that entirely enclose the visible portion of the tooth. The caps can be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic and usually last from five to 15 years. Crowns can be custom-made to achieve the desired appearance of a tooth.
Teeth can sometimes be made to look longer by removing and contouring a small amount of the surrounding gum tissue. Excess bone tissue is also sometimes removed.
In cases where tooth crowding causes teeth to appear oversized or the patient has a few teeth that are significantly larger than the rest, dentists may remove some teeth to improve the appearance of the smile. When large teeth are removed, they may be replaced with dentures or implants that match the size of the remaining teeth.
Patients who want their teeth to appear longer or shorter have multiple smile makeover options. By using one or more of these techniques, dentists can make subtle adjustments or completely transform the appearance of your smile.
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