Digital smile makeovers

- Using porcelain veneers to fill in tooth gaps.

One of the ways a dentist can fill in the space between two teeth (a diastema) is by placing porcelain veneers. This page features two digital smile makeovers showing how this might de done.

Case #1: Closing in a small space between teeth using porcelain veneers.

Dental history and concerns:

1) This person's center four upper teeth are her primary cosmetic concern.

There's a small tooth gap (diastema) between her two central incisors. Her right lateral incisor has some type of shape deformity. And both laterals have are slightly crooked.

From a distance, this smile probably looks pretty good. But up close it's easy to see how it could be improved.

Treatment solutions:

1) Closing the gap with veneers. - The results we've illustrated in our "after" picture for her two central incisors could be made by placing porcelain veneers. The veneers could be used to both idealize the shape of these teeth and also serve as a way of closing the space (the diastema) that lies between them.

2) Another approach. - As an alternate plan, the same type of result could probably be accomplished by placing bonding. Dentists have been filling in tooth gaps with dental bonding for decades.

Bonding is a much less involved process than placing porcelain veneers. It's also cheaper. The drawback is that this type of fix is not usually as lasting.

The bonding would need to be placed on the sides of the teeth that frame the gap. Their biting edges could then be straightened by trimming across them with a drill (instead of placing bonding there).

Dental bonding that's placed right on the biting edge of a tooth can often be difficult to keep in place. Trimming the tooth back usually offers the more predictable solution.

3) The changes we've illustrated for the other two teeth (the lateral incisors) could probably also be made by placing porcelain veneers. If not, then dental crowns would need to be used.

The treating dentist would make this decision based on how much these teeth need to be trimmed back so the crown or veneer placed on them is able to give the proper look (in terms of alignment). ( What is the difference between porcelain veneers and dental crowns? )


Case #2: Closing a tooth gap and evening out a smile by placing porcelain veneers.

Dental history and concerns:

1) When looking at this person's "before" picture, we noticed the following points.

A) The color of their teeth is not uniform. It ranges from blue to white to yellow.

B) There is a relatively large gap between their two center teeth. (This type of spacing is also referred to as a "diastema.")

C) His lower front teeth are especially crooked.

Treatment solutions:

1) Using veneers. - We've simulated the placement of dental veneers on this person's six upper front teeth.

Some dentists might feel that placing dental crowns would be the better choice. This would simply be a matter for the treating dentist to decide. The cosmetic end result of either approach would be the same.

In regard to the degree of difficulty of the dentistry involved, we'd expect that making the changes we show for the upper teeth would be relatively routine.

2) Treating the lower teeth. - As for the lower teeth, it's the importance of their color that will determine which treatment approach should be taken.

If it's not an important factor, or if it can be corrected using teeth whitening treatments, then using dental braces to realign these teeth would be an option.

(This could be a good choice. And, in fact, if the color of the upper teeth isn't a factor either, this whole case, upper and lower, might be best treated orthodontically.)

If the color of the lower teeth can't be satisfactorily corrected using whitening treatments, then dental crowns or dental veneers would have to be placed. (It's possible that some minor tooth realignment might be needed before this could even be done. The treating dentist would have to decide.)

 

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