Uneven teeth: What are your options?

Laughing and smiling wholeheartedly is one of life´s greatest pleasures. Having uneven teeth is a common condition that tends to make people self-conscious. Many will refrain themselves from smiling or even cover their mouths when doing so. There are many causes for uneven teeth: genetics, teeth grinding, age and accidents are all common causes. Apart from the esthetic considerations, uneven teeth can cause an array of dental conditions and problems too, like the accumulation of plaque, gingivitis, sensitivity and TMJ. Nonetheless, there are several solutions for tooth unevenness available ranging from more conservative to more invasive treatments. Here are four solutions to unevenness that you can consider:

  • Orthodontic treatments: These treatments are the most conservative option because they involve cero to minimal adjustment or change in the structure of your teeth. Ortho treatments consist on applying progressive and continual forces over teeth in order to shift their position. There are different types of orthodontic treatments, but all of them require patience (as treatments last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years) and discipline (treatments are not pain free and they require monthly visits to the dentist). Also, orthodontic treatments are not able to solve unevenness caused by chipped or broken teeth.
  • Composite bondings: A bonding is essentially a composite resin placed over your natural tooth and sculpted in order to give your teeth a different appearance. These are good options to correct minor chipping, close small spaces between teeth, and minor shape corrections. Bondings are minimally invasive because they can be removed and your tooth will remain intact, but they are limited and require changes over the years.
  • Porcelain veneers: These are thin, custom-made wafers of porcelain that are cemented over the front surface of your teeth. They hide larger imperfections such as chips, gaps and cracks. Veneers are more invasive than composites because they require the grinding of the enamel of your front teeth. This is done because the porcelain will replace this layer but it means that it is a permanent procedure. However, you will be able to accomplish more dramatic changes in your smile with veneers.
  • Porcelain crowns: There are cases where small changes will not do. Unevenness due to grinding or due to bite problems, for example, cannot be corrected with anything but crowns. This is because you need not only addressing the cosmetic aspect but also addressing the main problem, which is that your teeth need additional protection. Also, where there are bite problems, less permanent procedures are likely to fail (break or fall). Crowns require the grinding of all the surfaces of your enamel. A custom-made porcelain cap will then be cemented over your natural tooth. A combination of crowns allows the dentist to redesign the shape, length, color, and sometimes position of your teeth, making it one of the most versatile solutions for smile design.  

There are many options available to correct tooth unevenness. One option is not better than the other, it is just that some options are better for some patients than others. It is necessary to have a dentist evaluate you and give you the most appropriate solution for your particular situation. At the Costa Rica Dental Team, our aim is to provide a long-lasting, high-quality solution. We are located in Costa Rica and have been providing patients new, bright smiles for more than 10 years. Feel free to contact us to find out how to get yours!

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