Realigning and repairing worn teeth with dental crowns.

This person's front teeth, both top and bottom, show a great deal of wear. Most likely it's the result of bruxism (the term dentists use for tooth clenching and grinding).

This digital smile makeover shows how a dentist can repair this type of damage, and simultaneously improve the general alignment of teeth, by placing dental crowns.

Case history and concerns:

  • The biting edges of the upper teeth have worn quite a bit.
  • The center two upper teeth (the central incisors) are crooked.
  • The two teeth that lie to each side (the lateral incisors) are retruded.
  • This person appears to have a deep overbite (the teeth overlap quite a bit when this person closes their teeth all of the way together).
  • Due to poor tooth alignment and wear, the lower teeth have a worn, irregular appearance.
  • Teeth that show significant wear.
    Teeth that show significant wear. Teeth that show significant wear.
  • After dental crown placement.
    After dental crown placement. After dental crown placement.
 

Photo submitted by website visitor.

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Treatment solutions:

1) Rebuilding the upper front teeth with crowns.

Our "after" picture illustrates how dental crowns could be used to repair the worn edges of the upper front teeth and simultaneously improve their apparent alignment.

2) Why crowns make the best choice for this makeover.

One treatment alternative for this case might be to place porcelain veneers. This approach, however, probably wouldn't provide the most durable solution.

Porcelain veneers can give an excellent cosmetic result but when they are exposed to excessive forces (like those that have worn down these teeth) they can chip or break.

Since this person most likely bruxes (clenches and grinds his teeth), crowns would make the better choice. They can give the same cosmetic result as veneers but they have the advantage that they are much stronger and therefore can be expected to provide the more lasting repair.

3) Improving the apparent alignment of the upper teeth.

The dental crowns fabricated for the retruded upper teeth (the lateral incisors) could be made in a fashion where their front surface is brought forward slightly. If so, they would create the illusion of a more perfect tooth alignment (as we've illustrated in our "after" picture).

4) Changes for the bottom teeth.

The minor changes we've illustrated for the biting edges of the lower teeth could be made by trimming them slightly with a dental drill.

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