Using porcelain veneers to 'straighten' teeth.

There are two general cosmetic concerns with this smile. The most obvious one is that it seems to slant to this person's left. The other is the shape and orientation of some of the upper teeth.

As a fix, we're using this digital smile makeover to illustrate how porcelain veneers and/or dental crowns can be used to straighten and even out the apparent alignment of teeth.

We've used the phrase 'and/or' because both crowns and veneers can be used to give the same cosmetic end result. It's just a matter of choosing which seems to be best suited for the patient's particular oral situation (see below).

Case issues and concerns:

a) Probably the most noticeable aspect of this person's smile is the way their lower center teeth lean to the left.

b) The fact that the overall alignment of the upper teeth is fairly symmetrical gives them a pleasant enough appearance. But taking a close look reveals that:

  • Some of them have a relatively strange orientation (the right lateral incisor, the left eyetooth).
  • Some of the teeth (primarily the lateral incisors) seem to have some type of minor shape deformity.
  • The biting edges of the upper central incisors show signs of wear and chipping.
  • This smile seems to slant to this person's left.
    This smile seems to slant to this person's left. This smile seems to slant to this person's left.
  • Porcelain veneer placement creates the illusion of straighter teeth.
    Porcelain veneer placement creates the illusion of straighter teeth. Porcelain veneer placement creates the illusion of straighter teeth.
 

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Treatment solutions:

a) The lower teeth.

With this case, the biggest issue is the appearance of the lower front teeth. And in our "after" picture we've illustrated how porcelain veneers or dental crowns could be use to straighten them up.

They only real question is which to use. This decision (which will be made by the treating dentist) will depend on how much of these teeth will need to be trimmed away when the restorations are placed. And how much biting force it's anticipated that the restored teeth will be subjected to.

In the case where either is significant, dental crown placement makes the better choice.

b) The upper teeth.

The changes we've illustrated in our "after" picture for the upper teeth could most likely be made via the placement of veneers.

The biting edges of the two center teeth do show some wear. And if it's the result of this person grinding their teeth (dentists refer to this habit as 'bruxism'), then dental crowns would probably make the more appropriate choice for them.

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