3 Ways Your Dentist Can Help Your Smile More Appealing According To The RED Proportion

Cosmetic dentists use the Recurring Esthetic Dental proportion, or RED proportion, to determine the most esthetically pleasing size of and spacing between the front teeth on the upper jaw. For teeth to meet the RED proportion, the difference in width between two neighboring teeth should remain constant as you move outwards from the middle two teeth.

Do your teeth fail to meet the RED proportion due to a tooth or two that are overly large or small? There are a few different ways your cosmetic dental services provider can help your smile become more proportional and aesthetically pleasing.

Teeth Reshaping or Dental Crown

Large teeth can sometimes be shaved down in a process called tooth reshaping. The procedure requires the tooth to have a thick layer of enamel since the dentist will need to file away enamel to shrink the tooth. Loss of too much enamel can lead to sensitivity issues and make the tooth more vulnerable to damage. 

Does the overly large tooth have less enamel than reshaping requires? Your dentist might still opt to file down the tooth to the point of excess enamel loss. The tooth's exterior can then be covered with a dental crown, which is an artificial tooth cover that bonds onto the natural tooth. The crown will serve as the tooth's new protective layer to replace the lost enamel.

Note that dental crowns do add bulk to your tooth so an overly large tooth will need to be filed down more in order to accommodate the crown and still end up the desired size.

Dental Bonding

Is your RED proportion thrown off by a tooth that is slightly too small? Your cosmetic dentist could fix the problem with dental bonding. The bonding procedure involves painting a malleable resin material onto the front of the tooth, shaping the resin into the desired position and size, and then hardening the resin with a special light.

A dental bond is a great solution for a minor problem. The tooth will need to be filed down slightly to create a rough surface for the bond to adhere, but the finished bond itself will make up the difference.

Note that bonds aren't the best solution if you have frequent problems with teeth staining. The resin can stain like natural teeth but doesn't lighten with the same bleaching agents used in teeth whitening.

Dental Veneers

Teeth that are significantly larger or smaller and/or that have significant cosmetic damage might necessitate treatment with dental veneers. The veneers work similarly to a crown in that a prefabricated artificial piece is affixed over the natural tooth. But the veneers only adhere to the front of the tooth like a bond.

Your dentist can shave down a significant amount of tooth to accommodate a veneer. Contact a cosmetic dentist, like Morrell M Russell DMD, for more information.