Using porcelain veneers to make a smile look more even and uniform.

Porcelain veneers have become a very popular dental procedure. That's because they offer a minimally invasive way to make a big change with the appearance of teeth.

The digital smile makeover featured on this page illustrates how a set of veneers can be used to improve the overall uniformity of a person's smile.

Dental history and concerns:

  • While generally speaking the alignment of this person's upper teeth is fairly regular, overall this smile gives the impression of being ragged and uneven.
  • There's a hint of space between the center two upper teeth.
  • The alignment of the lower teeth is somewhat irregular, especially their biting edges.
  • The color of this person's teeth is already pleasantly white.
  • This smile has a ragged, uneven appearance.
    This smile has a ragged, uneven appearance. This smile has a ragged, uneven appearance.
  • After porcelain veneer placement.
    After porcelain veneer placement. After porcelain veneer placement.
 

Photo submitted by website visitor.

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Treatment solutions:

1) Evening out the smile.

Our "after" picture shows how just making some relatively minor shape changes, primarily with just the upper teeth, gives this smile a much more uniform and even appearance.

a) Placing porcelain veneers on the upper teeth. -

The changes we've illustrated for the upper teeth could be made by placing a set of porcelain veneers. As an alternative, some dentists might feel that dental crowns might make the better choice.

Although entirely different types of restorations, either veneers or crowns (or some combination of both) could be used to get the same cosmetic end result we've illustrated above. It's simply for the dentist treating this case to determine which type of restoration would be the most appropriate. The decision would most likely hinge on what degree of restoration "strength" they felt was needed. (Related page: What's the difference between porcelain veneers and dental crowns?)

b) Smoothing off the lower teeth. -

The minor changes we've illustrated for the bottom teeth could probably be made by just buffing down their biting edges a little bit with a dental drill. This is typically a quick and easy procedure that doesn't even require the use of an anesthetic.

While nothing has been done to change their actual alignment, just evening out the biting edges of these teeth does make them seem straighter.

2) An alternate approach. -

In the case that treatment costs are a concern, it should be possible to achieve results somewhat similar to those shown in our "after" picture by adding dental bonding to some tooth locations and trimming down and straightening out others.

As compared to porcelain veneers, bonded restorations typically won't last as long (due to deterioration and staining). However, as an advantage, it's usually fairly inexpensive to replace or patch bonding when it's required. Additionally, if this approach is chosen, veneers or crowns could always be placed at a later date when finances aren't such a concern.

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