Are your two front teeth too long? Do you feel uncomfortable when smiling because you fear what others might think or say about your teeth? According to a recent survey by Bupa, about a quarter of people hate smiling for this very reason. The fact that almost everyone on TV and in magazines has gleaming, straight, white teeth doesn't help matters either.
People are under more pressure than ever before to look their best, and teeth are a big part of what makes a person physically appealing. If you feel that your two front teeth are too long, you don't have to hide your smile in silence. There are several cosmetic and orthodontic dentistry treatments available to you, that could shorten your two front teeth.
Overly long central incisors can be shortened by wearing clear aligners, Invisalign being one common version of this. While Invisalign is generally used to correct minor spacing or overcrowding issues, this treatment has also proven to be effective at gradually intruding teeth, in other words, pushing teeth upwards into the bone.
It is simply a matter of millimetres, and depending on the state of your periodontal (gum) health, it may take a few months to shorten your teeth.
Also called reshaping or contouring, the term enameloplasty refers to the removal of tooth enamel in order to reshape or shorten teeth. Your dentist will first X-ray your teeth to determine the amount of enamel present and the position of the inner tooth pulp, before deciding if this option is viable for you.
In general, teeth have up to 1.70 mm of enamel protecting the more sensitive, underlying layer called dentin. If your teeth are in good condition, a cosmetic dentist may be able to remove up to 1 mm of this enamel to shorten your central incisors, which should be enough to bring them closer to the surrounding teeth.
However, if your enamel is too thin, the dentin underneath may be exposed. Dentin is connected to a tooth's nerves via thousands of channels, meaning exposure will lead to tooth sensitivity.
Enameloplasty can be combined with veneers to protect the weaker dentin underneath. Porcelain or plastic veneers can be fitted once your teeth have been shortened via enameloplasty. Of the two materials, porcelain is the more expensive but sturdier option. However, when compared to bonding, veneers are superior in that they are stain resistant and last much longer.
An alternative option to reshaping and placing veneers on the central incisors is to place veneers on the two teeth to either side. Not only will this be cheaper, but it will also mean your two front teeth retain their structure and protective layer of enamel whilst matching the size of the surrounding teeth to create an attractive smile.
If you feel your two front teeth are too long, discuss your options with your dentist, and together you can settle on an option that is financially convenient for you.