Two days ago, I saw a dentist about my small teeth. He recommended crowns for my front teeth and the four teeth behind them on each side. That would be ten crowns total. I was shocked and asked about porcelain veneers, but the dentist said that he gets the best results with crowns and would not recommend veneers. I thought I knew my options for small teeth, but I never thought of crowns being the solution. What are my options? Thanks much. Audra from Indiana
Thank you for your question. We are happy that you are seeking advice. We highly recommend that you not return to a dentist who will grind down ten teeth for crowns to make your small teeth look larger. Crowns are an excellent way to restore teeth with severe wear or damage, but they are not the preferred option for tooth enlargement only. The dentist you saw is probably not comfortable using porcelain veneers and will not admit it.
Dr. Sirin would need to examine your teeth for definite treatment options, but we will explain some possibilities.
Making Small Teeth Look Larger
A skilled cosmetic dentist can enlarge your small teeth with porcelain veneers, gum contouring, or dental bonding. A cosmetic dentist will ensure that your larger teeth are proportionate with your lips, gums, and facial features. And in your case, crowns are not the answer.
- Gum contouring – Sometimes, a gummy smile makes teeth look small. A skilled cosmetic dentist can use a handheld laser to remove excess gum tissue and lengthen the amount of tooth structure that shows when you smile. The procedure is brief and painless. After treatment, you will experience mild to moderate gum swelling in response to the treatment, but the swelling will improve as your gum tissue heals.
- Porcelain veneers – After preparing your natural teeth conservatively, a cosmetic dentist can work with a dental lab to make custom shells of porcelain for your teeth. You will wear temporary veneers to ensure you are delighted. Then, the lab will make your final veneers. Porcelain veneers fit the fronts and sides of your teeth and can help them look longer.
- Dental bonding – Blending dental composites to match the shade and color of your natural teeth, a highly skilled cosmetic dentist can lengthen your teeth. They will apply bonding by hand while you relax in the dental chair.
You can schedule consultations with two or three advanced cosmetic dentists to discuss and compare your options for lengthening the appearance of your teeth. If you want whiter teeth, let the dentist know so that you can complete whitening treatment first. The dentist will ensure any cosmetic work matches your brighter teeth.
Best wishes on your new smile, Audra.
Elgin, Illinois cosmetic dentist Dr. Steve Elgin sponsors this post.