If any of your teeth are uneven, crooked or misshapen, this could affect your confidence and self-esteem. Misshapen teeth aren't only a cosmetic issue either, as teeth that overlap can also be harder to brush and floss. This can increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and related oral health problems.
Some people naturally have overlapping or misshapen teeth, while other irregularities may be caused by everyday wear and tear, tooth decay, damage from teeth grinding or dental injuries. Fortunately, there are also many options to reshape teeth and give you a smile you're happier with.
If you want to change something about your smile, ask your dentist about any of the following treatments or other services they offer. They'll give you all the information you need to help you decide what's best for your situation.
If you think your teeth are too large or the wrong shape, your dentist might suggest a tooth contouring or reshaping procedure to modify their appearance. Tooth recontouring involves removing thin layers of the hard surface of teeth (the enamel) to create a more balanced and pleasing smile.
Your dentist will mark the areas on your teeth where reshaping is needed and gently reduce their size and alter their shape. Even removing just a few millimetres of enamel can make a big difference to how your teeth look, feel and function. After a tooth has been recontoured, its surface will be polished smooth.
Since there might not be any restoration involved, tooth contouring is usually a cheaper option than other cosmetic dentistry treatments. It can usually be completed quickly and painlessly, with no anaesthesia required because your dentist only works on the enamel.
Reshaping a tooth often involves adding as well as subtracting. If any areas of your teeth need to be built up, your dentist may use a tooth-coloured composite resin, similar to what's used for white fillings. This is applied in thin layers and then hardened using a UV light.
Bonding can fill in small pits, grooves and cracks in teeth to give them a smoother finish and make them more resistant to bacteria and decay. It can also seal minor gaps between teeth and smooth out sharp or uneven edges. Your dentist will adjust the colour of the resin to match your natural tooth shade for a seamless finish.
Dental crowns or caps are often used to restore or strengthen a tooth that's been damaged, worn down or undergone a dental treatment such as a root canal, but they can also be chosen for aesthetic reasons. A crown is custom made to fit over an existing tooth and then cemented into place.
Modern crowns are usually made from tooth-coloured porcelain, which can be selected to match your natural tooth colour. For molars in the back of the mouth that need to stand up to more force, porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns may be recommended, as they have a stronger metal core. Full metal crowns are another option, but are less popular because of their artificial appearance.
To make a crown, your dentist will first grind down the underlying tooth and take an impression. This may be sent away to a dental laboratory, where your custom crown will be designed and manufactured, or your dentist may be able to make the crown right there in the dental clinic, if it's equipped with CAD/CAM technology. You'll be fitted with a temporary crown to wear while your permanent crown is being made.
Another way to change the appearance of your teeth is to cover one or more teeth with dental veneers. These are very thin shells of porcelain or hardened composite resin that are bonded to tooth enamel to reshape or whiten a smile.
Porcelain veneers are custom made to fit your mouth and cemented into place. Composite veneers are applied directly to the tooth surface and hardened with UV light. The surface of your teeth will need to be reduced in size slightly before veneers can be placed, so they won't protrude in your mouth.
Veneers can be an effective solution for fixing teeth that have minor defects, but they won't be an option for more severely crooked teeth or correcting an oral health problem. Once your veneers are fitted, you should follow your dentist's advice to prevent them from breaking or coming loose.
Orthodontics is a longer-term option for bringing crooked or protruding teeth into alignment and closing gaps. If your teeth are too crooked for veneers or crowns, orthodontics using braces or aligners may be recommended instead, but this can be a long-term commitment taking a year or more.
Orthodontic treatment isn't just for teenagers. Modern braces are more discreet and comfortable than those of the past, so you won't have to worry about a 'train track' smile. If you're concerned about your appearance, your dentist may offer 'invisible' brace options, such as:
- Tooth-coloured ceramic braces selected to match your natural tooth shade
- Lingual braces that attach behind the teeth rather than in front, hidden out of sight
- Removable aligners made from clear plastic that fit over the teeth like a mouthguard
Transparent aligners can be effective for treating mild to moderate orthodontic problems, but you may need braces to correct a more serious issue. Your dentist in Brisbane will explain what options are available for you and answer any questions you have so you can make an informed decision.
Talk to a cosmetic dentist Brisbane
Whatever you want to change about your smile, Swish Dental's cosmetic dentists in Brisbane can help. We'll examine your mouth and listen to what you want to change so we can recommend the most appropriate treatments for your needs and your price range. We also offer flexible finance plans to help you spread out the cost of payments.
To book an appointment with our Brisbane dentists, get in touch with your local Swish Dental clinic today: