Posted on: 25 October 2017
There is no universally correct length of tooth that should be displayed when you smile. Having said that, have you ever thought that your teeth are too long? The prominence of your teeth might be something that you're sensitive about, and yet chances are that you've learned to live with it. While changing the length of your teeth might sound like a major procedure, it's a relatively straightforward matter for a dentist to correct. So what are some of the ways in which your dentist can help?
Lengthening Caused by Periodontal Disease
It might be that the width-to-height ratio of your teeth has been consistent ever since you grew your adult teeth. It might also be the case that your teeth seem to be getting longer as you age. If it's the latter, your dentist will need to rule a few things out. A lengthening of your teeth can be caused by periodontal disease which has resulted in gum recession. While the appearance of your teeth (the amount of surface area that has been exposed) will not be reversed, your dentist can rectify the cause of the periodontal disease, thus ensuring that your gums will not recede any further. Additional work can be performed once your periodontal issues have been brought under control, and this is where dental contouring can be beneficial.
If your teeth have always been somewhat long (or once your periodontal disease has been brought under control), your dentist can perform contouring work on a tooth-by-tooth basis to decrease their length. The first step is usually an x-ray, so the dentist can determine the precise placement of your dental pulp (the nerve inside the tooth). Your dentist will not want to risk exposing any pulp. The placement of your pulp plays a significant role in how much of the tooth can be removed during the contouring work.
Using a File
Dental contouring simply involves filing down the teeth, either with a small manual file or a machine-mounted file. There can be some discomfort involved, and this is logical, as your teeth are actually being buffed with a file. A local anaesthetic can be used to reduce any sensitivity. Each individual tooth can be shaped to achieve the desired result.
It's interesting just how straightforward it can be to reduce the length of your teeth, so be sure to ask your dentist about your best options.Share