Perfecting the symmetry of a smile by placing dental bonding and tooth recontouring.

This dental makeover showcases a smile that's in the middle of having orthodontic treatment.

Evidently while examining their teeth, this person has noticed some minor tooth shape and alignment irregularities. What we've done with this makeover is to illustrate some of the ways dentists can remedy these types of issues.

We should state, this person is obviously in active treatment and there's no way we could possibly know what plans their orthodontist has for the final outcome. Our makeover is simply based on the premise: If this "before" picture represents the alignment of this person's teeth at the end of their treatment (which it may not), here are some frequently used solutions.

Case issues and concerns:

Tooth shape.

  • In their email, this person requested that we "simulate bonding in between my front two teeth because the little gap bothers me!"
  • Beyond that issue, we also noticed that the biting edge of the upper right central incisor has some minor wear or chipping, and as a result doesn't exactly mirror the shape of the left one.

Tooth alignment.

  • Also in their email, this person requested that we make it "so the tops of my bottom teeth are even."
  • We noticed that the left/right symmetry of this person's smile (at this point in their treatment anyway) wasn't exactly perfect, so we improved upon that too.
 
  • This orthodontic case has a fair amount of asymmetry.
    This orthodontic case has a fair amount of asymmetry. This orthodontic case has a fair amount of asymmetry.
  • After placing dental bonding and trimming and buffing selected teeth.
    After placing dental bonding and trimming and buffing selected teeth. After placing dental bonding and trimming and buffing selected teeth.
 

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Treatment solutions:

As we stated previously, if this person was at a point where their braces were off and the above mentioned issues still existed, here are some ways a dentist could address them.

a) The upper teeth.

Our "after" picture illustrates how placing dental bonding could improve the tooth shape and left/right symmetry issues that are apparent in the "before" picture.

One aspect of this case that lends itself to the use of bonding is that the improvements needed are, for the most part, quite minimal. Unlike other dental procedures where some tooth trimming is typically required, the placement of bonding can be a simple additive process. One where it's just applied directly onto the tooth, and just in the exact locations where a change is needed.

As a disadvantage, bonding isn't as lasting and durable as some other types of dental restorations. But in cases such as this, the advantages associated with the conservative nature of its placement (as well as less cost) typically exceed any minor inconveniences (chipping, wear) that may occur.

Placement would typically be delayed until after this person's braces had been removed, primarily for reasons related to tooth access. And the fact that there's no reason to make final changes until the teeth have reached their final positioning.

The lower teeth.

Our "after" picture illustrates how minor tooth recontouring could be used to improve the evenness of the biting edges of the lower front teeth. This solution is frequently used by dentists for these types of situation.

Teeth are encased in enamel, and trimming off a portion of its thickness typically doesn't harm a tooth or its long-term outlook in any significant way. The work itself is typically simple, quick and no anesthetic is required. A dental drill is used to buff down and then polish the tooth's edges.

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