Ask the Doctor: Wearing on front teeth - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Health

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Ask the Doctor: Wearing on front teeth

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Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 12:45 pm

What is the ideal length of a front tooth?

There is a 77 percent width to length ratio. This is known as the “Golden Proportion” in dentistry. If the tooth is approaching 90 percent in width to length ratio then it is a short tooth.

What needs to be evaluated if my teeth are short?

A dentist needs to determine whether or not the teeth are being worn down by the opposing teeth.

What if the wear is present?

If the wear is present we need to determine the cause of the wear. Either the bite is the cause and wear is naturally occurring by how the teeth come together as one closes, or grinding of the teeth is occurring. Grinding can be daytime habitual grinding, or it can be night time grinding. If grinding is the cause, a mouth guard can be worn to help prevent future wear. If the teeth are being worn down due to the bite, then the teeth need to be repositioned either by orthodontics or by crowns/veneers, or by both.

What if the wear is not present?

There may be too much gum that is covering the tooth structure. If so, the gum can be removed by a laser or surgery to expose the complete tooth. There could also be a bone and gum covering the tooth structure. In other words, the teeth did not erupt the entire way. A specialist can surgically remove the proper amount of bone and gum to expose the entire tooth. Third reason is that the tooth is just structurally short. The dentist can possibly veneer the teeth to create the ideal length.

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