Many people love the look of large front teeth. This can make your smile look youthful, and it can give your smile an attractive central focus. Especially if people feel their own teeth are too small, they might compliment you on the appearance of your smile.
But if you have these large front teeth, you might not be happy with the way they look. You might feel self-conscious about them, and you might wish you could change them. The good news is: you can fix the appearance of your large teeth, although we won’t always work on those teeth.
Instead, we’ll take a comprehensive look at your smile and recommend the right course of action to get the attractive smile you desire. Here are some of the approaches we might recommend.
Reshape Large Teeth
This is what you might think is necessary: making your front teeth smaller. We can certainly do this, however there are several considerations that might make this not the best choice. Reshaping large teeth could affect your bite, and it may actually make them look worse because it might make them disproportionate: too wide for their height. Just shaving down the teeth usually won’t work, since that is likely to expose the internal layers of the tooth, leading to sensitivity and increasing the risk of decay or cracking. Instead, we’re likely to use veneers to reshape the tooth. This involves removing some of your natural teeth, but then puts a strong, attractive, protective cover on your tooth to reduce sensitivity and increase durability.
Reshaping the large teeth is the obvious answer, but, like so many obvious answers, it’s not always the best.
Reshape Neighboring Teeth
The problem might not be that your central teeth are too large, it might be the teeth on either side are too small. This is obvious if the laterals are either retained baby teeth or peg laterals, but sometimes they are adult teeth that just aren’t quite the right size or proportion.
We can build up these small laterals with porcelain veneers or dental crowns so that they’re more proportional to the central incisors and your face. Often, we recommend reshaping all four front teeth together so that we can better utilize the spacing to create four properly proportioned teeth. This works very well for many people.
It might not actually be that your central teeth are that much larger than their neighbors, they just look that way. This can be caused not by the teeth themselves but by the gums. If your gums are too low on your central incisors and too high on your lateral incisors, the visual size of the teeth can be very disparate, even though the teeth themselves aren’t actually that different in size.
Recontouring your gums can help us make your teeth look more proportionate.
Another effect that can make your central incisors look too large is if they’re forward of your laterals. The combination of being further back, possibly blocked by your centrals, and more shaded, can make the lateral incisors look much smaller.
It might also be that your laterals haven’t fully emerged from your gums. There are full, large teeth in your gums, but they haven’t come out.
We offer several orthodontic approaches that can be used to move your lateral incisors forward, or help move your laterals up. Invisalign and the Inman Aligner are great orthodontic approaches to moving your teeth sideways, while braces are best for elevating teeth. Functional orthodontics are also useful if we need to do more than just move your teeth. This orthodontic technique can reshape your jaw to make more room for large teeth and put them in a more attractive and functional position.
What about Your Bite?
Another potential concern about large front teeth is that they might be contributing to an unhealthy bite. It’s possible that the large front teeth might keep you from putting your jaw in a healthy rest position because they keep the jaw open too wide or push your lower jaw back so the upper incisors can slide in front of the lower ones.
The effects of this can go beyond your teeth: it could contribute to bite problems like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD). We will evaluate your bite and decide whether we should adjust it to improve health and function.
What’s the Right Approach for Your Smile?
When you come in for a consultation, we will listen to your opinions on your smile. We want to understand what you truly want and how we can best achieve it. Sometimes, other goals may dictate the best approach. If, for example, you also want to eliminate a gap in the middle of your teeth, we might recommend orthodontics to close the gap and move your teeth into a more natural relationship. If you are also unhappy with the size or shape of your lateral teeth, we might recommend porcelain veneers to reshape them so they’re a better match for your centrals. Gum recontouring might be recommended if you have experienced receding gums or gum disease.
To learn what’s the best approach for improving the appearance of your large central incisors in the Detroit area, please call (248) 656-2020 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Rochester Advanced Dentistry.