3 Causes of Short Adult Teeth and How to Find the Best Dentist to Lengthen Them
Short adult teeth can make you self-conscious about your smile. Some people smile less so their short teeth won’t be noticed. But what prevents adult teeth from fully developing or erupting? What can be done about it? And how can you find the best dentist to lengthen them?
What Causes Short Teeth?
There are many conditions that contribute to the development of short teeth. A few of them are listed below
- Excessive gum tissue – Gingival hyperplasia is the growth of excessive gum tissue. When gum tissue is dominant, teeth will look small.
- Genetics – Genetics can cause teeth to form incorrectly. Peg ateral incisors are common. The tooth on either side of the front center teeth is small and does not develop correctly.
- Microdontia – This term describes adult teeth that are
abnormally small. Some contributing factors include:
- The health of a mother while pregnant – Diabetes, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions affect the growth development of the baby, including tooth development.
- Radiation or chemotherapy during infancy – These treatments affect the development of primary and permanent teeth.
- Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions, syndromes, and craniofacial abnormalities can prevent teeth from fully developing.
Options for Lengthening Short Teeth
- Gum contouring – If you have gingival hyperplasia—or a gummy smile—excessive gum tissue can be removed with a dental laser. This is a comfortable procedure that is completed in the dental office. The removal of excess gum tissue might be all that is needed to help your teeth look longer.
- Cosmetic bonding – Dental composite, or dental bonding, is made of a mixture of plastic resin and silica or quartz. Various shades of composite are blended to match the color, translucence, and gloss of your natural teeth. It is applied, shaped, and polished while you’re sitting in the dental chair. An experienced cosmetic dentist achieves lifelike results with composite. Composite can stain over time. If you smoke or drink coffee, tea, or dark beverages, you’ll need periodic maintenance from your dentist to keep the composite bright. If you take good care of it, composite lasts about ten years. It is not as durable as porcelain veneers.
- Porcelain veneers – A very thin shell of porcelain can be bonded to the front of each short tooth. Porcelain mimics the characteristics of natural teeth. This is the most costly form of cosmetic dentistry, but it is also the most costly. With regular maintenance by a cosmetic dentist and dental hygienist who are trained to care for them, your porcelain veneers can last 15 to 20 years or longer.
- Porcelain crowns – This option can be considered if a short tooth is severely damaged. A porcelain crown covers an entire tooth. Your natural tooth will need to be shaved for the crown to fit over it. This aggressive reduction of your natural tooth structure isn’t recommended unless it is necessary. A crown can last 15 years of longer if it is well maintained.
How Can You Find a Top Dentist to Lengthen Your Teeth?
Although any dentist can lengthen your teeth, the results you receive will vary. A general or family dentist might not have received post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. And he or she might not be an artist. Although cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty, producing beautiful results requires additional training and experience. So what should you look for? Consider a few ways to find a top cosmetic dentist and get beautiful results.
- Ask for recommendations – If you have friends or family members who have received cosmetic dentistry, ask what they do or don’t like about their cosmetic dentist, as well as the results of their smile.
- Training and credentials – Search on the Internet for cosmetic dentists in your area. Look on the websites of at least two or three cosmetic dentists to find the following information:
- Advanced training in cosmetic dentistry – True cosmetic dentists continually participate in training.
- Accreditation by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry – If there are no accredited cosmetic dentists in your area, look for membership in cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry associations.
- Awards or achievements in cosmetic dentistry – Many top cosmetic dentists have been recognized for producing amazing results with patients’ smiles
- Smile gallery – A cosmetic dentist’s website should feature a smile gallery of patients’ before-and-after photos. Examine them closely.
- Consultations – We suggest that you schedule at least two consultations with cosmetic dentists. You should be given information about your options for lengthening your short teeth, as well as a rough estimate of the cost.
The before-and-after photos below show how Dr. Hurley used porcelain veneers and crowns to lengthen this patient’s teeth and make them whiter.
If you’re on a budget, ask your cosmetic dentist about financing
or payment plans to make lengthening your teeth affordable.
This post is sponsored by award-winning accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Allyson Hurley.