As seen in:

By Dr. Rob Gausmann, DDS  – Printed October 1, 2012

Q. I'm not happy with the shape of my teeth. What are my options?

A.  Although some things in dentistry have a clear answer, this is best determined on a patient-by-patient basis. However, some general considerations can be reviewed. The following are a few of the available options.

Prior to discussing the options, it is important to communicate your expectations with your dentist. The dentist’s interpretation of a perfectly shaped tooth may not be what the patient has in mind. Are the teeth too big, too small, too long or short, rotated or fractured, are there spaces between them, is there a single tooth or several – why is a change in tooth shape desired? Depending on the above answers, detailed treatment can be determined. 

Orthodontics: Sometimes teeth have a good shape, but spacing and rotation distort their appearance. In this case, the teeth alone may not need treatment, but instead the spacing evaluated. Orthodontics is a part of dentistry that may involve moving teeth into better fitting positions for a more pleasing and natural appearance.

If the patient’s desire is to only change one or two teeth, several options are available.

Reducing Size: If the tooth is too long or too thick, the dentist can remove some of the existing tooth using a handpiece (drill) in order to create the desired shape. 

Increasing Size: If the tooth is too small, a simple treatment may be to add “tooth-colored” filling material to increase the size. 

If the tooth is too wide or if multiple teeth are to be changed, other treatment options may be considered. 

Veneers:  A veneer is a thin, custom made piece often created of porcelain or a porcelain-like material that covers the visible surface of a tooth.  The idea is similar to furniture – veneered furniture uses a fabricated wood as the base and then a thin piece of natural (esthetic) wood for the outer visible surface.  A veneer works well on healthy teeth that have a poor shape or color. It often does require some minor modifications to tooth structure. 

Crown: A crown is also a custom made piece that completely covers a tooth. Crowns are a great option to change the shape of a tooth when large fillings have already been placed, the tooth is fractured, or when the patient’s bite (how the upper and lower teeth come together) would not be a good match for veneers. Prior to putting a crown on a tooth, it may need to receive some initial treatment.

These are only several of the great options for changing the shape of teeth.  Remember the importance of knowing exactly what you would like and communicating this with your dentist. 

Dr. Rob Gausmann, DDS  – Gausmann Family Dental

© Gausmann Family Dental 2016