Procedure to Correct Longer Tooth?

What is the best procedure when one of your top front tooth is longer than the other? My two top front teeth are in pretty good shape but my left one is slightly longer than the other.

Doctor Answers 10

Correct tooth length

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I seem to remember a similar problem on fixing an uneven moustache in a Grouch Marx movie. It didn't go well.   Since your description is that one is simply longer that the other one, one way is to have a dentist perform enameloplasty.  This is simply recontouring the outer edge of tooth enamel to shorten the longer front tooth evenly with the shorter one.  The other option is to lengthen the shorter one with a veneer to be even with the longer one.  The decision should be made after consulting a dentist who would evaluate both tooth lengths in coordination with the remaining teeth.

Laurel Dentist

Procedure to Make Both Top Front Teeth Equal in Length

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Your question was what the best way was to correct one top front tooth that is longer than the other.  You have choices here that you and your dentist need to explore together by evaluating your whole smile,  If you decide that one tooth is too long,  can be contured and polished to match the shorter one very quickly. However, it the longer tooth looks better and matches the surrounding teeth, you might want to consider lengthening the shorter one to match the longer one.  This is a bit more complicated.  You can do this by a veneer, however, you said your teeth were in good shape, so i would not place a veneer on a perfectly good natural tooth.  You can always make the shorter tooth longer by bonding it which is less invasive and less expensive as  a veneer but does not last as long. There is one more procedure that more dentists are using cosmetically to make a smlle more pleasing and it is crown lengthening which involves surgery to the gum line and cutting back some of it to make the tooth look longer. I would sit down with my dentist and look closely at your smile and decide what procedure is right for you, both cosmetically and financially!  Good luck and i would choose the less invasive one myself!

Robert Fields, DDS
Van Nuys Dentist

Correcting A Smile That Has One Long Tooth

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It is interesting that you are observing that "one tooth is longer" and not "one tooth is shorter."  When patients tell me this I always help them evaluate their smile and we determine the best course.  As a rule of thumb, you would want your front 2 teeth to be the same length and for them to be around the length of you canine teeth (the pointy ones).  If the short one is the length of the canine teeth, then shortening the long one may be an option, but if the short one is much shorter than the canine teeth, then you would be best serve by lengthening the short one to match the longer one.  This may be a little confusing, but your dentist can easily guide you to the best solution...

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Easy fix for a short tooth

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I like to look at the whole smile to decide if polishing down the long tooth would improve esthetics or make both teeth look too short.  A veneer is the longest lasting, most esthetic way to make a tooth longer if significant tooth is missing. 

Cate Vieregger, DDS
Denver Dentist

Sometimes the solution is fairly simple

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There are two ways to make teeth the same length, shorten the longer one or lengthen the shorter one. The easiest is to shorten, simply contour and polish the longer one. This could be 5 minutes. To lengthen would likely require a veneer. The expense and time would be much more, but it may be the last little thing that really makes the smile "pop"!

Aligning teeth with disproportionate lengths.

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When tooth length varies, there are a few options to fix the problem. First, there are a few reasons a tooth may appear longer.

-Receded gum tissue_loss of gum tissue can give the appearance of a longer tooth. In this case a gum graft may be necessary.

-Tooth position_ a tooth in a forward or angled position may appear longer. An appliance to move the tooth into position would work well here.

-Grinding or tooth interference_The adjacent tooth may be worn or interfering with an opposing tooth, causing it to be too short, and surrounding teeth to look long. A bite evaluation would be necessary to find the best resolution.

-Tooth size discrepancy_ Sometimes teeth form too small or too large. Sometimes they don't fully erupt into the mouth or they come down too far. The tooth that is abnormally sized or erupted can have its shape and length modified by a reduction of enamel to reshape it (enameloplasty), or by adding bulk with cosmetic restorative materials such as bonding.

Marielaina Perrone, DDS
Henderson Dentist

Wonder why they don't match?

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Before you have anything permanent done to your front teeth, and polishing the longer/veneering the shorter are two good ideas, be sure to explore why they don't match.

There are many possibilities, but if you've worn down that shorter one, why did your bite do that?  Look into that situation, especially before you have something like a porcelain veneer.  If you make the longer one match, then continue to wear down the shorter one, eventually you'll have them both too short to look good.

Steve Carstensen, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

Long on the tooth...

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Since you said one tooth is LONGER than the other, we might assume you'd like it shorter. You didn't phrase it by saying one tooth is SHORTER than the other.

Shorter teeth can be extruded with orthodontics or veneers. Long teeth can be trimmed down to match.

Randall LaFrom, DDS
San Jose Dentist

Longer tooth correction

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An evaluation would be needed, but a surgical procedure could solve this problem.  Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure which entails either removing or adding hard or soft tissue to make the gum line more even.  It is a more complete solution than just putting veneers or crowns.  

Edgard El Chaar, DDS
New York Dentist

Treating your longer tooth

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You have one tooth longer than the other. A careful smile analysis will reveal the most aesthetic and functional position for the two teeth. Then you can decide among options to correct the problem. Those might be short term orthodontics, bonding to the shorter tooth,  or shortening the longer tooth.

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis 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.