Porcelain Veneers for Small or Misshaped Teeth
By Joe McIntyre, DDS on May 10, 2021
Are you considering porcelain veneers for small or misshapen teeth? Veneers are frequently used for this purpose because they cover teeth to alter their size, shape, coloring, and alignment.
Smiles for Life Dental Care serves patients in Greater Harrisonburg. Our dentists apply porcelain veneers to the front of teeth to correct a variety of smile imperfections. Let’s take a closer look at what makes veneers a good solution for this issue.
What Causes Small or Misshapen Teeth?
Here are some reasons why people have small or misshapen teeth:
- Genetics: Tooth size is hereditary. Genetics can cause abnormal tooth formation.
- Gum tissue overgrowth: People with “gummy” smiles can have teeth that look tiny, uneven, or boxy teeth because the tooth-to-gum ratio is unbalanced. Veneers or a gum lift can alleviate these cosmetic issues.
- Spacing: Large gaps can make teeth appear smaller overall.
- Alignment: Improperly aligned teeth can look smaller than they actually are.
- Bruxism: Chronic teeth grinding and jaw clenching wears teeth down and can make them look smaller or uneven. In these cases, a solution such as porcelain veneers needs to be preceded by treatment for teeth grinding in order to avoid damaging the veneers.
- Trauma: Often, a blow to the mouth will chip a tooth.
How It Works
Before any cosmetic dental treatments, the dentist performs a comprehensive assessment to ensure that the teeth and gums are healthy. If your teeth appear shorter due to trauma, it’s possible that they may be more susceptible to decay or infection. In these cases, a practical solution is the priority.
But if your tooth is otherwise healthy, veneers may be a viable solution. Dentists prepare teeth for veneers by removing a minimal amount of enamel from the front surface. This allows the veneer to lay flush with the surfaces of surrounding teeth, avoiding a bulky or protruding result.
Next, the dentist takes impressions of the reshaped teeth and color-matches ceramic to neighboring teeth. At this time, the dentist may place temporary veneers for the patient to wear while permanent restorations are made. Impressions and the dentist’s designs are sent to a dental laboratory so that ceramists can hand craft the patient’s veneers. The veneers will be carefully crafted to complement the size and shape of surrounding teeth for a healthy and natural-looking appearance.
After two to four weeks, the veneers are ready for placement. The dentist will assess how the veneers fit, as well as the patient’s bite, before permanently affixing them. Once adjustments have been made, the dentist bonds the veneers in place.
Good candidates for veneers have excellent oral health, including being free of gum disease. If patients have cavities or other oral health issues, they must be resolved before moving ahead with veneers.
If you don’t qualify for veneers, other options are available at our Harrisonburg practice to correct small or misshapen teeth. Your dentist may suggest crowns if a tooth is severely compromised, for example. In some cases, a gum lift or orthodontic treatment might be a good plan.
Schedule a Consultation Today
For more information on improving the appearance of small or misshapen teeth, call us at (540) 828-2312 or message us online to book an appointment at one of our locations in Bridgewater or Staunton, VA, serving Greater Harrisonburg.