Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

Smaller-Than-Average Teeth? Dental Veneers Might Be Your Solution

by Wyatt Morgan

Cosmetic dentistry provides a number of solutions to dental problems—which can be both functional and cosmetic. There is a medical term for small, undersized teeth (microdontia), and the condition requires dental restorations, as it can affect the functionality of a person's bite. But while you might not have microdontia, your smaller-than-average teeth can still be modified with cosmetic dentistry — namely, dental veneers.

A Porcelain Shell

The principle of dental veneers is somewhat similar to dental crowns. While a crown surrounds the tooth in its entirety, a veneer is a small, tooth-sized porcelain shell affixed to the outward-facing side of a tooth. When a patient has smaller teeth than average, veneers attached to teeth in the smile zone (the teeth that are visible when you smile) can make these teeth appear larger, while still being proportionate.

The Mass of a Tooth

Veneers for smaller than average teeth are arguably more straightforward than veneers intended to disguise a cosmetic flaw in an average-sized tooth. It's important that a dental restoration doesn't increase the mass of a tooth, and veneers are no exception. Many patients who need veneers must have a small amount of their dental enamel removed to accommodate the veneer. This means that the patient must always wear veneers (or an acceptable substitute), as their dental enamel has been compromised. Without the restoration, the tooth will be far more vulnerable to deterioration. This isn't necessarily the case for smaller teeth.

No Enamel Removal

When the goal is to make your teeth appear larger, an increase in mass isn't going to be an issue. Instead of removing enamel, your dentist will simply apply an etching solution to your teeth to improve the strength of the bonding agent (used to attach the dental veneer). No dental enamel will be lost, meaning you could conceivably have your veneers removed at a later stage without compromising the strength of the underlying teeth. While possible, it's unlikely that you would have them removed, as your smile would immediately revert back to its former self. 

Veneers provide an effective solution for small teeth. This option is also less invasive than needing dental crowns or having your dentist bulk up your teeth with composite dental resin. If the relatively small size of your teeth is bothering you, it might be time to talk to your dentist about veneers.

For more information about cosmetic dentistry, contact a local professional.