Human canine teeth are often associated with vampires and werewolves, but they serve a very mundane purpose; making it easier to rip and tear apart food. Over time, though, these teeth can wear down to the point where they're just as flat as the front teeth due to disease, Bruxism, or trauma. While this won't have too much of an impact on your ability to eat and speak, flat canines can make your teeth look aesthetically unappealing. If you notice your teeth aren't as pointed as they used to be, here are two options for restoring them to their former glory.
If your canine teeth are healthy and haven't flattened too much, then a little bit of tooth reshaping and contouring may be all that's needed to restore them. This procedure is typically used to fix minor tooth defects, such as chips, uneven teeth, or teeth that overlap each other by a small amount.
Contouring and reshaping involves the dentist using a sanding instrument to trim away the enamel to shape or contour the teeth in the desired manner. Afterwards, the teeth are smoothed and polished using a mild abrasive. The entire process is generally quick and painless and can improve the overall health of the teeth, since some of the plaque and tarter that may have built up on them will be removed.
However, one drawback is that your canine teeth may appear smaller since some of the enamel was shaved away. This may throw off the balance of your smile a little bit. Since the teeth are not protected by anything, they may become dull and flat again over time. Another potential issue is the teeth may be sensitive for awhile afterwards until they adjust to the change, but this can be mitigated using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
The cost for this treatment is $50 to $300 per tooth, depending on how much work must be done.
A second option for improving the look of your canines is putting veneers on them. This is a somewhat more extensive treatment that involves putting a thin layer of porcelain on the tooth and then shaping the material to fit the tooth and mouth. This option is best used on canine teeth that have worn away quite a bit or that may be in poor shape (e.g. decayed or severely damaged).
The primary benefit of veneers is they can be shaped to elongate the length of your canines, thus ensuring they match the length of the rest of your teeth and balancing your smile. The veneer helps protect teeth from further damage and may actually restore some functionality.
It's important to note that whitening products don't work on veneers, so you'll have to decide whether to whiten your teeth first and get veneers to match the lighter color or have them matched to your existing tooth shade. Although the material veneers are made from is strong, it can break if you use the tooth to chew ice or similarly hard foods. During this procedure, the dentist also removes a little bit of the tooth's natural enamel, so your teeth may be sensitive for a few days afterwards.
Veneers can cost up to $1,100 per tooth. Dental insurance typically doesn't cover the cost, so you would have to pay out of pocket to cover the cost. However, they can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years when cared for properly.
These are just two options for restoring dull and flat canine teeth. To learn more about these and other ways to fix your smile, contact a cosmetic dentist in your area.Share