I am a 37-year-old adult, but my teeth are small and look like baby teeth. I feel like only my gums show when I smile, and the tiny teeth beneath them are almost invisible. It is embarrassing. My friends try to comfort me by saying it’s better than having teeth that are too large, but I need to feel confident and smile more. How can I get my teeth enlarged, at least the ones that show when I smile? – Thank you. Imari from MD
Thank you for contacting Dr. Brooksher’s office. Although he would need to examine and x-ray your teeth, we will explain two options for enlarging small adult teeth.
How Can You Make Small Adult Teeth Larger?
You can make small adult teeth larger with the help of a cosmetic dentist. Two treatment options include dental bonding and porcelain veneers. We will compare how the options can transform your smile.
How Do Dental Bonding and Porcelain Veneers Enlarge Small Teeth?
Dental bonding and porcelain veneers enlarge small teeth by using cosmetic dentistry to expand their appearance. The treatment options have different procedures, materials, longevity, and costs. Let us explain.
Below we explain dental bonding composition, procedure, longevity, maintenance, and the average cost for enlarging small adult teeth.
- Composition. Dental bonding is a blend of plastic resin and silica filler. Bonding material has properties like tooth dentin (the layer beneath the enamel). A cosmetic dentist can polish bonding to a natural-looking gloss.
- Procedure. After lightly etching your tooth enamel, a skilled cosmetic dentist blends composite and layers it by hand to achieve your desired tooth shape and size.
- Longevity. Dental bonding is less durable than porcelain and has a shorter lifespan. High-quality bonding can last five years or longer if you care for it well and maintain it with a cosmetic dentist’s help. A study published in a 2011 Japanese Dental Science Review issue concluded that at least 60 percent of high-quality dental bonding could last up to ten years.
- Maintenance. Floss between your teeth and use a soft-bristled brush and nonabrasive toothpaste. Dental bonding is not stain resistant, but a cosmetic dentist can polish it for you.
- Cost. Chairside bonding costs $300 to $1,000 per tooth. The price depends on the condition of your teeth, the extent of work, the dentist’s skills and fees, and your location in the U.S.
Porcelain veneers composition, procedure, longevity, maintenance, and cost differ from dental bonding in several ways, which we will explain.
- Composition. A dental ceramist can craft porcelain to mimic the color and characteristics of natural teeth while making your small teeth look more prominent. Porcelain veneers contain dental ceramics and are more durable than tooth enamel.
- Procedure. Your cosmetic dentist may recommend conservatively preparing your teeth for porcelain veneers by moving tiny amounts of enamel from their fronts. After taking impressions of your teeth, your cosmetic dentist will make temporary veneers to determine whether they require adjustments. You will get custom veneers after you approve the temporary ones.
- Longevity. Well-made and precisely bonded porcelain veneers can last about 20 years. A 2021 European Journal of Dentistry article published findings from a cumulative, long-term study on the lifespan of porcelain veneers in patients with good oral health and oral hygiene habits. The results after five, ten, fifteen, and 20 years are below:
- Five years: 98%
- Ten years: 96%
- Fifteen years: 91%
- Twenty years: 91%
- Maintenance. Schedule dental cleanings and exams with a trained cosmetic dentist. You can floss and brush your veneers as your natural teeth but avoid abrasive substances.
- Cost. One porcelain veneer can cost $1,500 to $3,500 depending on tooth condition, personalization, veneer quality, and your dentist’s fees.
Request a Consultation for Enlarging Small Adult Teeth
Enlarging small adult teeth is a cosmetic dentistry technique that requires artistry and advanced training. We recommend scheduling consultations with at least two highly trained cosmetic dentists to discuss your options.