Teeth come in many shapes and sizes but in general, most teeth tend to be square, rectangular, oval or triangular in shape when viewed from the front. When having a conversation with someone, you usually focus on their eyes, nose and mouth. This means that within a few seconds you have already determined the colour of their eyes, the size of their nose and the shape of their teeth.
However, what this means for you is that if you aren't happy with the shape of your teeth because they are too much or too little of something, then you may lack self-esteem during social interactions.
While there is no such thing as a "perfect smile", cosmetic dentistry does make it possible for you to reshape your teeth so that in the future, you converse and smile with confidence.
The Most Common Problems with Each Shape
Problems Affecting Square Teeth
Square teeth can sometimes be too short or blocky in their dimensions or even just too square. This can give your teeth a stubby appearance and cause you to smile in a "small" way in an effort to hide the shape of your teeth.
Problems Affecting Rectangular Teeth
The most common shape related issue in regards to rectangular teeth is that they may appear too long, especially in the case of the upper and lower central incisors.
Problems Affecting Oval Teeth
Oval teeth may appear to be overly round and smaller in size than adult teeth should be. While this does give you a younger smile, it can also make you self-conscious because people may comment on how cute your small teeth are.
Problems Affecting Triangular Teeth
A particularly common problem that occurs with triangular teeth is the formation of black triangles. Because triangular teeth tend to be tapered from the gum line to the crown, a space is sometimes left between teeth at the neck. These spaces are referred to as "black triangles" because of their shape.
How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Treat these Issues
The great thing about cosmetic dentistry is that while it can be expensive, it is flexible in that it can treat a variety of aesthetic issues. For instance, tooth reshaping and bonding can be combined to give your teeth a more desirable shape.
First, your cosmetic dentist removes 1-2 millimetres of enamel from a tooth to reduce the shape in one area, before adding some composite bonding to another area to create symmetry. For example, if your teeth are too square, a millimetre can be removed from each side of the tooth, and some composite bonding added to lengthen the tooth. This will give your teeth a longer and more rectangular appearance.
There is no limit to what can be done to reshape your teeth, provided no more than 1-2 millimetres of enamel are removed. In fact, in Japan, girls are paying to have their teeth shaped to appear imperfect, something that is seen as a sign of beauty in their society.
Veneers Have the Same Effect
Another way that cosmetic dentistry can reshape your teeth is through veneers. The most common type of veneer consists of a thin, porcelain shell of tooth-coloured material that your cosmetic dentist can place over a tooth. This process also requires that some of a tooth's enamel be removed in order to make room for the shell to fit over the tooth. While this is more expensive than tooth reshaping, veneers can last up to 20 years, whereas bonding might only last 10 years.
The point is that no matter what shape your teeth are now, cosmetic dentistry can give you the shape that you desire, no matter what that shape might be. Even if only one tooth needs to be reshaped, that single change might just result in a boost in your self-esteem.