How Dental Associates Helped Me Fix My Small Teeth
By: Amy Payne
Ever since I could remember, I was never completely happy with my smile and wished there was a way to fix small teeth. I should have had orthodontics treatment when I was younger and braces would have greatly helped my smile, but I never had them. Instead, my dentist told me my teeth could look straight just by getting crowns. So 16 years ago, I had porcelain crowns put on all my front teeth. Although I liked the fact that my teeth were straight, I didn’t like the fact that my teeth still looked so short and my gums too prominent.
Still, I lived with the appearance of small teeth for so long because at least I liked that my teeth were generally straight.
Early Thoughts to Fix Small Teeth
A few years ago, my dentist (Dr. Cunningham) did an exam and said we should look at redoing the front crowns. He said that with the new technology, there was so much more that we could do to get the smile I wanted besides just porcelain crowns. He told me about the crown lengthening procedure that could change my smile by making my teeth appear bigger and gums less prominent. However, I am not a huge fan of going to the dentist and I experience dental anxiety when I’m in the dental chair, so I kept putting off the dentist’s suggestions.
Then finally at the end of 2015, I made a promise to myself that I was going to get my crowns redone and do the crown lengthening procedure so that I could have the smile I always wanted.
From Small Teeth to an Ideal Smile
I was very nervous for my initial appointment, but Barb, the patient care coordinator for Dr. Cunningham, was amazing! She was aware of my anxiety and was very supportive and calmed my nerves from the start.
Then when I went into the procedure for my temporary crowns, I was feeling extremely anxious. I was dreading the injections, but Dr. Cunningham’s assistant Diane held my hand and made me feel a lot more comfortable. When the temporary crowns were done, I was so thrilled with the initial results, I cried! Dr. Cunningham made them look similar to my other teeth, however added his artistic vision to them as well so I could get a better feeling of what the end result would be. I couldn’t wait until the permanent crowns were on!
Crown Lengthening to Fix Small Teeth
Shortly after I had the temporary crowns put on, I went in for a crown lengthening procedure to help make my teeth look longer. Crown lengthening is a procedure where a periodontist (a gums specialist) removes some of the gum and bone underneath to expose more of the tooth, resulting in longer-looking teeth. The periodontist who did the procedure was Dr. Bruns, and he was wonderful. He and his assistant Kay were very supportive of me throughout the entire procedure.
After the procedure, they put my temporary crowns back on and I went home and laid low for the weekend. I took ibuprofen for the small amount of pain I experienced, but it definitely wasn’t anything unbearable. I also used a prescription mouthwash to help the gums heal properly, and rinsed with salt water too. Crown lengthening was the hardest part of the whole process to help fix my small teeth...and it wasn’t that bad at all!
A Brand New Smile
About eight weeks after the crown lengthening procedure, Dr. Cunningham saw me again to put on my permanent crowns. When I looked in the mirror I started to cry because I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was incredible that I actually had normal-sized teeth and not little chicklets! The permanent crowns look natural and beautiful, and they make me feel so much more confident in my smile. I used to put my hand over my mouth when I laughed because I didn’t like my gummy smile, but now all I want to do is smile. It’s an amazing thing!
I Wish I hadn't Waited So Long
The funniest part of this whole thing is that I waited so long because of my anxiety. I wish I would have done it years ago because the result is so amazing. It’s made me much more confident in how I look and feel about myself.
This treatment really changed my life, and I hope my story can help change other people’s lives as well.