A 'Cosmetic Dentistry on a Shoe-String Budget' digital smile makeover. Photo submitted by website visitor.
Related Makeovers - by category.
1) Closing the gap using bonding. -
Dental bonding could make a good choice for making the changes we've illustrated in our "after" picture. We would, however, like to bring two points to your attention, so to give you an idea of what a dentist deals with when making a decision about what results can be (or should be) achieved.
a) Some contours of a tooth shouldn't be changed with bonding.
Dentists usually close a space between teeth by making each of the teeth framing the gap slightly wider. You may notice, however, that in our "after" picture we still show a hint of a space up by the gum line.
When a dentist places bonding they have a great deal of control over the final shape of those portions of the tooth that lie above the gum line. But the contours of the tooth right where it emerges from the gums cannot be significantly altered or masked. Here's why.
- Bonding can't just be bulked on a tooth in this region (so to give the illusion of a different shape or alignment) because doing so may create a dental plaque trap (an area that is hard to clean when the patient brushes or flosses).
- In our "after" simulation this is why you see a small space still remains. We're suggesting that creating contours for the bonding that are easy to clean may result in a small portion of the gap still being left. (This scenario does not always take place but is a possibility that you may need to discuss with your dentist.)
b) Closing a gap may widen the teeth too much.
There's another possible complication with this type of work that may need to be considered. Since the teeth on this person's left side will now be wider than they were before, will this person's smile still look symmetrical and uniform?
Most people we interact with will not pick up on small tooth-width discrepancies. But the patient and dentist both need to consider this possibility before treatment is begun.
2) Making corrections for the shape of other teeth. -
Our "after" picture also illustrates some shape changes for the remainder of this person's upper front teeth. In regard to making them, the biting edge of the patient's center right tooth could probably be brought into alignment just by trimming it with a dental drill. The shape of other aspects of this tooth, as well as others, could be refined and idealized with the addition of dental bonding.