How Can I Fix My Gummy Smile and Be Less Self-Conscious?
I am self-conscious about my gummy smile and small teeth. Would I be a candidate for gum contouring? I guess porcelain veneers are an option, but you know…money. I can’t afford to get veneers on all my teeth, and they are all small. I consulted with one dentist, and she said I have naturally small teeth. I know that. She encouraged me not to alter my teeth but to embrace them. Okay… That’s a nice philosophy, but I’m still self-conscious. I know your dentist would need to see my teeth in person to really recommend anything, but can you list the options for a gummy smile? Thanks! Bethany – Canton, OH
Most family dentists lack advanced cosmetic dentistry training to improve a gummy smile, so be careful when choosing a dentist. Do not allow a dentist to alter your teeth with dental crowns; it’s too aggressive and unnecessary unless your teeth have extensive damage. Nor should a dentist refer you to an oral surgeon to shorten your jaw. You can trust an advanced cosmetic dentist for healthy, natural-looking results.
What Is a Gummy Smile?
A gummy smile is an excessive amount of gum tissue around your teeth. You may feel that too much of your gums show when you smile, making your teeth look small. A gummy smile can make you feel self-conscious and hesitant to show your teeth when you smile. However, cosmetic dentistry can address your concerns and give you a healthy, attractive smile.
How Can You Improve a Gummy Smile?
You can improve a gummy smile with one or more treatments, including a gum lift, porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or orthodontics. However, an expert cosmetic dentist will complete a comprehensive exam and take X-rays to determine the causes of your gummy smile before recommending treatment.
Gummy Smile Treatment Options
An advanced cosmetic dentist will explain whether you can benefit from the following treatment options.
- Gum lift (gingivectomy) – Removing a small amount of gum tissue and supporting bone can expose some upper front teeth to lengthen their appearance. A 2019 article in the International Journal of Oral and Dental Health confirms that a great advantage of a gum lift is easier oral hygiene in gum pockets around your teeth, which helps prevent gum disease.
- Porcelain veneers – A skilled cosmetic dentist can take impressions of your teeth and work with a master dental ceramist to craft custom porcelain veneers for the fronts of your teeth. Only an expert cosmetic dentist understands how to lengthen your teeth without interfering with your bite or speech. High-quality veneers can last 15 to 20 years, making them a long-lasting solution for a gummy smile and small teeth.
- Dental bonding – Advanced cosmetic dentists skillfully blend dental composites to reshape small teeth and make them look larger. A dentist will apply bonding by hand to each tooth after roughening the surface. Your cosmetic dentist will expertly shape the bonding to enlarge your teeth, harden it, further shape it, and polish it to a natural gloss. Well-maintained dental bonding can last five to ten years. It costs less than porcelain veneers, but a dentist will eventually need to replace the bonding due to wear and staining.
- Orthodontics – Misalignment can make adult teeth look small. Your cosmetic dentist will determine whether your teeth are in healthy positions. Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign or other braces can improve your teeth’s appearance.
Consult with an Advanced Cosmetic Dentist
It is essential to consult a dentist who understands how to improve your gummy smile and small teeth while protecting your oral health and ensuring a healthy bite. To keep your smile healthy, a dentist must have advanced cosmetic dentistry, occlusion, and bite training. Look for dentists with the training we mentioned and schedule consultations with at least two of them to discuss and compare your options. You will get options to help your gummy smile look better so you can smile more confidently.
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski of Rocky Hill, Connecticut, sponsors this post. Dr. Michalski provides cosmetic dentistry services to patients in Hartford, Wethersfield, Newington, Cromwell, Portland, New Britain, and surrounding areas.
My Dentist Wants to Replace My Veneers with Crowns
I got eight upper veneers in September 2022 to hide my dark teeth. My dentist was so confident that I would love them, but I could see the darkness of my teeth behind the veneer. My dentist has returned the veneers twice, trying to get the color right to hide my dark teeth, but she cannot do it. During my last exam and cleaning, my dentist asked me to think about getting crowns to replace the porcelain veneers. Why should I consider crowns because my dentist can’t get my veneers right? Shouldn’t she have known that it wouldn’t work before I agreed to veneers? Thanks. Tabitha
Thank you for contacting Radiant Smiles of Rocky Hill regarding your porcelain veneers. We recommend that you do not agree to dental crowns from your dentist.
When Dark Teeth Show Through Porcelain Veneers
Advanced cosmetic dentists often prefer opalescent porcelains to hide dark teeth. Opalescent porcelains scatter light to create a perception of translucence while blocking out darkness from your teeth. Most dentists do not understand the technique and prefer dental crowns. Sometimes, even dental crowns will not prevent the color of very dark teeth from showing through.
Should You Replace Your Veneers with Crowns?
You should not replace your porcelain veneers with crowns unless your teeth are no longer healthy enough to support porcelain veneers. Dental crowns require shaving your teeth on every side for crowns to fit over them.
Schedule a Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation
Please look for an advanced cosmetic dentist in your area with post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. The dentist will examine your teeth, bite, and veneers. A trained cosmetic dentist can determine how to manipulate porcelain to hide teeth discoloration while ensuring your smile looks natural.
The good news is that a dentist will not need to grind down your teeth for dental crowns. Consult with a trained cosmetic dentist first.
Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist sponsors this post.
Can I Get Porcelain Veneers Removed If I Don’t Like Them?
I have thought about getting porcelain veneers for the last two years. Six of my top front teeth are discolored, and teeth whitening hasn’t helped them much. Two of the teeth are chipped, too. I have hesitated to get veneers because I don’t want to be stuck with something I don’t like. Can I get the veneers removed if I don’t like them? Thank you. Isadora from FL
Thank you for contacting Radiant Smiles of Rocky Hill. We understand your concerns about dental treatment and how it can affect your smile and self-esteem.
Can You Remove Porcelain Veneers Removed If You Don’t Like Them?
If you don’t like your porcelain veneers, a dentist can remove and replace them with new veneers. But we encourage patients to research the porcelain veneers process and choose a dentist carefully to ensure they are satisfied with the results.
If you choose a highly skilled cosmetic dentist, they will ensure you are delighted with your veneers using these steps:
- Listen to your concerns and your description of your ideal smile
- Show you smile photos to help you make decisions about your tooth shape and shade
- Use your facial features and personalities to design veneers that are customized for you
- Create temporary veneers for you to wear and try out to ensure you will love your porcelain veneers
- Work with a master dental ceramist who uses high-quality materials to craft natural-looking porcelain veneers
How Can You Select a Cosmetic Dentist for Veneers?
You can select a cosmetic dentist for porcelain veneers with these steps:
- Ask friends or family members for recommendations.
- Read patient reviews and look for comments about porcelain veneers.
- Search each dentist’s website for their training and credentials, including advanced cosmetic dentistry training.
- Look at each dentist’s website for a smile gallery of patient photos, including porcelain veneers.
- Schedule at least two consultations with cosmetic dentists to discuss your smile goals and the dentist’s experience with cases like yours.
- Take notes during the consultations.
- Ask each dentist how they will achieve your ideal smile. The dentist’s technique should include temporary veneers for you to try out.
Your efforts to find a skilled cosmetic will ensure you love your porcelain veneers and do not want them removed.
This post is sponsored by Rocky Hill, CT, cosmetic dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski.
When Will I Need to Replace My Porcelain Veneers?
I got my porcelain veneers in 2019. When will I need to replace them? I ask because two have fallen off within the past six months. I got the veneers when I lived abroad for two years because they were much more affordable than U.S. prices. My dentist in TN says that the dentist who placed the veneers didn’t bond them correctly, so my dentist bonded them back. My dentist doesn’t do a lot of porcelain veneers cases, though. How long are porcelain veneers supposed to last, and when will I need to replace them? – Thank you. Klaus
Thank you for your question.
When Will You Need to Replace Your Porcelain Veneers?
Ordinarily, you will need to replace your porcelain veneers every seven to 20 years. The May 2021 issue of the European Journal of Dentistry published an article on the survival rate for porcelain veneers. In a sample of 499 porcelain veneers, the long-term survival rates were reported for five, ten, fifteen, and twenty years. The survival rates for porcelain veneers in the sample are as follows:
- Five years – 98%
- Ten years – 96%
- Fifteen years – 91%
- Twenty years – 91%
The lifespan of your veneers depends on several factors, including:
- Porcelain quality
- Bonding quality
- How well you take care of them
Porcelain veneers are stain resistant, and well-bonded veneers do not fall off. You can ask a skilled cosmetic dentist to examine your veneers in anticipation of future concerns.
What Should You Consider Before Replacing Your Veneers?
We hope your dentist can help you preserve your existing veneers. When it is time for new porcelain veneers, consider the qualifications and credentials of the cosmetic dentist you choose. We recommend the following:
- Look for dentists with extensive post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training.
- Ask family or acquaintances for recommendations.
- Read the dentists’ patient reviews.
- Schedule consultations with at least two cosmetic dentists.
- Ask to see pictures of each dentist’s porcelain veneers cases.
- Express your concerns about your existing veneers and receiving long-lasting replacement veneers.
Best wishes for the health and beauty of your smile.
Rocky Hill, Connecticut, cosmetic dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski sponsors this post.
Is Replacing One Porcelain Veneer Risky?
My dentist wants to replace a veneer because I have sensitivity from exposed dentin. I am concerned about damage to adjacent veneers and that my dentist will not be able to match the veneer. Another dentist placed the veneers six years ago when I lived in Chicago. Now that I moved to rural Georgia for family reasons, I am concerned about whether to let this dentist replace one veneer or if I should drive two hours to a larger city. My current dentist does a great job helping me maintain my surfaces, but she has not completed any significant work on my teeth. So, I am unsure of her skill level. I would love to leave the veneer, but if the sensitivity gets worse, that is not ideal either. Is it worth it to replace one veneer, or is it too risky? Thank you. Ciara from Georgia
Thank you for your question.
Is Replacing One Porcelain Veneer Risky?
Replacing one porcelain veneers is not risky for a trained cosmetic dentist. It is worth replacing one veneer when your tooth’s health is at risk. When the dentin (the layer beneath the enamel) is exposed, irritation and sensitivity will increase with time. Dentin tubules connect to the tooth pulp and cause sensitivity. If bacteria contaminate the pulp, you can get a tooth infection that requires root canal treatment.
Will Replacing One Veneer Damage the Adjacent Ones?
A skilled cosmetic dentist will not damage adjacent veneers when replacing one. They carefully use tools designed to treat individual teeth without harming others.
Will One New Porcelain Veneer Match the Others?
Trained cosmetic dentists are adept at matching veneers with your natural teeth or other veneers. They understand how to manipulate color to achieve a match. Also, cosmetic dentists collaborate with dental ceramists and laboratories that keep patients’ color formulas for future work.
Look for a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training to replace your veneer, even if you must travel to get quality work. Your new cosmetic dentist can contact your dentist in Chicago to request your dental records and get information on the color formulas for your veneers and the lab that made them.
Rocky Hill, Connecticut cosmetic dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, sponsors this post.