Is your front tooth longer than the other front tooth?
One front tooth being longer than the other is something that we see on occasion. Most of the time the amount of difference is negligible and no one really notices. However, there are cases where the front tooth is much longer and is very noticeable or the length discrepancy really bothers the person. Today’s case of the week will show how we treat these situations.
Causes of a front tooth being longer than the other.
First off it is important to know that the front teeth should not all be the same length. The two middle teeth, or central incisors, and the two pointy teeth, or canines, should be on the same plane and be the same length. However, the two smaller teeth next to the central incisors, lateral incisors, will look best if slightly shorter than the rest. The laterals should also be the same length as each other but should be between .5 and 1.5mm shorter than the canines and central incisors. The ideal lengths can be seen in our high resolution photos of dental veneers. Below is an ideal length photo of the front teeth.
You can wear down one tooth more than the other.
This will most often happen because there is a misalignment in your teeth, usually the bottom ones, and when you chew or grind one tooth hits more than the other. Can also happen because of habit you have like chewing your nails. It may also be just the side that you favor when grinding, which you have no control over.
Dental implant is the short tooth making the other front tooth appear longer
Our bodies continue to grow and change throughout life. A dental implant stays put and does not change with us. Over time some people will end up with the dental implant tooth being shorter than the other teeth. Typically this will be when we place a dental implant on someone that is too young. However, there are some people that even later in life have this happen.
It’s just the way you are OR you just got your braces off!
How do we fix a front tooth that is longer?
Options depend on the cause. These options range from enamelplasty to dental veneers on all the teeth. The most common solution is also the simplest; assuming the only issue is that one front tooth is longer than the other.
If the cause is from grinding we need to address the cause with treatment and a night guard to protect our work. Grinding often has more damage and will possibly need dental veneers or crowns to make the smile ideal.
If the cause is growth changes and involves dental implants the solution may be replacing the crown on top of the dental implant.
If the cause is just bad luck or minor wear then enamelplasty or selective grinding of the tooth may be the solution. This is also something very common to have done after braces.
Example of a patient with a tooth that is longer than that other.
Sara came to see us asking about dental veneers to fix her smile. Her main concern was that one front tooth was longer than the other front tooth.
We did a simple re-contouring of the teeth and made them the same length. This does not require any numbing as you will not feel this at all. This is a very simple and cost effective treatment with a big impact.