Dr. Whitman recently assisted a patient at Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry who came in for an aesthetic issue he had with his smile. His main complaint was that his right lateral incisor sat back compared to his adjacent teeth, and he was unhappy with the appearance of it. The patient had a large filling on that tooth that was in good shape and wanted to know what his options were to make the tooth line up with his other teeth for a cohesive appearance.
The patient and Dr. Whitman reviewed a number of treatment options. Orthodontics would help straighten his tooth and bring it forward to align with the teeth on either side, and would match the position of the same tooth on the other side of his mouth. However, the patient was not interested in pursuing this route of treatment due to the fact that it would take some months to achieve the results he was looking for.
Dental bonding was also an option, which would build up the tooth from the facial, or front side, until it was even with the adjacent teeth. However, the longevity of the dental bonding would be an issue, as the patient had some teeth clenching and grinding habits which would accelerate the natural wear of the bonding material. If the patient chose dental bonding as an option, he would need to avoid biting into hard foods, such as crunchy bread, which would compromise the quality of his eating.
Ultimately, the patient and Dr. Whitman decided to do a crown on the tooth. The dental crown has a longer lifespan than bonding the tooth and it is stronger. The patient would be able to comfortably bite harder foods without worrying that the crown could come off or break. Using a crown would also not take months to achieve his goal, which would have been the case with braces.
During the patient’s first visit for treatment, Dr. Whitman shaped and prepared the tooth for a crown. After taking photos and impressions, which Dr. Whitman sent to a lab to fabricate the actual crown, she made the patient a temporary crown until the permanent one came in.
Together, Dr. Whitman and the patient chose a shade that matched the patient’s teeth for the crown. Two weeks later he returned to have the final crown put in. He was pleased with the aesthetics and alignment of the tooth, and now has the smile he’s always wanted!