Porcelain Veneer Gap Issue

Hello, My front tooth is slightly black, so I'm considering a porcelain veneer to improve it esthetically. My dentist suggested that since the black tooth is slightly larger than its neighbour tooth, placing a porcelain veneer only on that tooth would create an unaesthetic gap between the two front teeth. therefore, he suggested two porcelain veneers on both front teeth. Is it a known challenge for you dentists? Thanks you, Alon

Doctor Answers 17

Veneer options

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Alon, that is a great question.  Often times it is very difficult to crown or veneer just one tooth in front.  Often times if there is space or rotation, or anything that would keep from having a uniform look to the veneer/crown and it's neighboring tooth, we may recommend veneering two teeth instead of one to achieve better esthetics.  If your dentist can do some cosmetic imaging and show you the difference of one versus two restorations, it will help you visualize what he is recommending before you commit.  Good Luck!

Single Veneer to Correct Dark Tooth

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As you can see, there are multiple answers to your question.  This can be done both ways, single or both front teeth.  It really depends on the esthetic skill of the dentist and technician. In these cases, a custom shading to paint the porcelain shades on the veneer when the veneer is being tried in is often the difference between a good result and excellent result.  

How does the adacent tooth look?  If you are happy with it and can find a dentist whom you feel has the skills to do a single tooth, then it might be worth doing it.  Be prepared to pay a higher fee as it can take longer and you will need someone who can deliver what they promise.

Good luck


Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF

Ronald Konig DDS
Houston Dentist

Veneers may not be the answer.

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You most certainly need at least two teeth restored. You may however need a full crown on the "Black tooth to completely mask the very dark color.  Depending on the restorative state of the second tooth, two Lava crowns may be the answer.

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Different Tooth Sizes

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Two veneers would certainly be the best option from your description.  Possibly if your other tooth's appearance is very good, bonding could be added to the side of it to equalize the widths and do only one veneer.  Controlling the black appearence of your tooth will be a challenge to your dentist which ever way you do.

Veneer Options For Front Gap

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Typically, when closing a space between your front two teeth, your result will be better if both teeth are veneered. This gives the lab the opportunity to make them the same width, giving you a more desirable result. If your tooth is black that typically means that the nerve has died in the tooth. Have your dentist check that tooth prior to doing the cosmetic work to ensure that the tooth is restorable. It may need a root canal prior to cosmetic treatment.

Why Is Your Tooth Black?

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Before you consider any cosmetic dentistry, find out why your tooth is black. Once you know why the tooth is black, find out your options-Does it have a root canal? Does it have a silver filling on the inside? Is it alive? Does it need a root canal? Can you whiten it internally? Will minor tooth movement improve the esthetics? It is always easier to do the two front teeth for balance if veneers are your only option.

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

Front tooth crown, veneer, bond, or bleach

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The other dentists have given some very excellent answers.  One of the most challenging procedures in dentistry is to do a single front tooth as any degree of color, shape, or texture difference can show up so easily despite the best of dental procedures.  Having said this, it is possible to do a single front tooth in some situations, and we have achieved a very natural undetectable result.  Your dentist is the best person to tell you if he feels it is possible.  Also as said previous,  the size, position, and degree of darkness also affect the procedural recommendations to achieve best results.  Listen closely to your dentist if you have good confidence in him.  Also a discussion of the reason for the darkness should be had, as sometimes a dark tooth may need a root canal due to a dead pulp and then an internal bleach can be done.

Two veneers close a gap better than one

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Alon,  Definitely go for two restorations on the two front teeth instead of just one.  It has been shown through research that when someone is looking at a smile the two front teeth are the most obvious.  Unlike the lateral teeth next to them, the two front teeth (central incisors) should look like twins.  Both teeth need to be almost identical to achieve the balance of a natural smile and be considered within optimum esthetics.  It is worth it to get it done right.

Porcelain veneer gap issue

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Hi Alon,

I would take it one step further and look beyond the two front teeth and look at the entire smile.  Many times there are issues that can be improved throughout the entire smile.  This makes the dentist a smile dentist instead of a tooth dentist.  Also, color is always an issue when not treating comprehensively.  Light refracts differently through porcelain veneers than it does through enamel and your natural teeth fade color over time as your porcelain veneers will not.  It is always better in my opinion to be comprehensive instead of compromising.  Good luck.

Dr. David Frey DDS

Symmetry is pleasing to the eye

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Since you want to improve the colour of your dark tooth I am assuming that esthetics of your smile is important to you.  The 2 front teeth or central incisors are the focal point of a person's smile.  The eye is drawn to those teeth.  Ideally they are slightly longer than the lateral incisors (the next teeth over).  Their length and width should be the same.  This creates symmetry which is pleasing to the eye. 

One of the most difficult things to do esthetically in dentistry is to place a crown on a single front tooth and get a perfect colour match, but it can be done.  If one crown or veneer can create the esthetic you are looking for then I say GREAT.  But if one tooth is already wider than the other, most likely restoring both front teeth will give you the appearance that you are looking for.

Martin Frankel, DDS
Toronto Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.