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Can I Change the Shape of My Teeth?

Yes, you can, our dental expert says, and it doesn't necessarily involve orthodontia.
By Gwen Cohen Brown, DDS
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Q: Can I change the shape of my teeth?

A: Yes, and to do so, you can choose from several dental procedures.

Dental bonding is a procedure in which your dentist applies a tooth-colored resin to the tooth surface, which hardens with a special light that bonds the material to the tooth. Bonding can fill gaps between teeth, repair small chips, and smooth out rough edges.

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped "caps" placed over teeth. Cemented into place, crowns encase the entire visible portion of a tooth. Crowns are made of porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal, and restore the tooth's natural shape, contour, and appearance.

Veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials, either porcelain or resin, that are bonded to the front surface of teeth.

Recontouring or reshaping removes small amounts of tooth enamel to change a tooth's length, shape, or surface.

These options differ in terms of cost, durability, and "chair time." Talk to your dentist to see what's right for you.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of WebMD the Magazine

Reviewed on April 02, 2012

How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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