Cosmetic Dentistry: Four Procedures To Fix A Gummy Smile

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"A smile is the best thing you can wear." Although the phrase is a little corny, it is absolutely true. Your smile is hugely important to your appearance—it effects your day-to-day life, as well as your confidence.

If you are not happy with your smile, you may spend too much time and effort to hide it—think closed-lip talking and smiles. Thankfully, today's advancement in dentistry makes it possible to completely change your smile.

If you have small teeth—or what is known as a "gummy smile"—consider undergoing these four procedures to create a more balanced, healthy, and vibrant smile:

1. Porcelain Veneers

One of the most popular options for creating a better tooth to gum ratio is porcelain veneers. A veneer is a thin piece of material—in this case, porcelain—that is applied to the tooth. It creates a very natural look and is quite durable. Porcelain veneers are custom-made and can be used to create straighter, brighter, and even bigger teeth. Veneers can also be used to change a tooth shape.

The process of applying veneers is very easy and can usually be completed in one dental visit. However, the process for creating veneers and cleaning the teeth may require one to two visits before the veneers are actually applied.

2. Dental Bonding

Another option for elongating the teeth is dental bonding. Similar to fillings, dental bonding uses a tooth-colored resin, which is hardened onto the tooth with a special light. As you might expect, bonding can be used to improve the overall structure of the tooth—as well as straighten and elongate teeth.

Dental bonding provide similar results to porcelain veneers, but are designed for those with tooth issues such as weak, damaged, or eroded teeth. They are an ideal option for those who aren't candidates for porcelain veneers or gum contouring.

3. Porcelain Crowns

An ideal option for those with severely damaged teeth, porcelain crowns provide a natural appearance of straighter, whiter, or longer teeth. Porcelain crowns are essentially caps that are secured over the tooth—or teeth.

A dentist will usually file down the tooth and apply the porcelain crown—or cap—over the tooth. The crown covers the complete tooth, all the way to the gum. Porcelain crowns are quite durable and will usually last several years with proper oral care.

4. Gum Contouring

If you do not want to alter your teeth then gum contouring may be a good option. As you might expect, gum contouring completely changes the way the gums look—therefore, it can be a little painful.

A dentist will use a special laser to cut away small amounts of gum tissue, which will expose more tooth. This is a great option for those with smaller teeth and a "gummy" smile. This procedure can be even more effective if combined with another option from the list above.

If you are unhappy with your smile because of "too much gum," then talk to a cosmetic dentist (such as Roy B. Guster DDS PC) about these four options for creating a better tooth-to-gum ratio.