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Category: Dental
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My lower front teeth are worn from an overbite issue all my

Customer Question

My lower front teeth are worn from an overbite issue all my life. They are slightly discolored and I wonder if I am a candidate for a veneer, especially if I don't have a lot of enamel left on these few teeth. Thank you
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
one of the indications for a veneer or for caps is to protect enamel
since you don't have a lot left, this would be an indication
I would suggest you simply make a dentist appointment for evaluation of this.
Good luck

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Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 64048
DrRussMD and other Dental Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 6 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

Your description suggests that you would not be a candidate for veneers-- at least, not on your lower front teeth. This is because:
  1. Veneers rely on the presence of a sufficient expanse of tooth enamel against which a reliably strong bond can be developed. With insufficient enamel, there would be an insufficiently strong bond, and the stresses of chewing would almost certainly dislodge the veneers.
  2. The presence of significant wear on the lower front teeth indicates a strong bite-- one that would undoubtedly place any ceramic veneers on the teeth at risk for breakage. After all, porcelain is inherently fragile, and would not likely stand up to that kind of physical abuse.
  3. The type of dynamic stresses are a particular consideration on the lower front teeth. This is because, in contrast with the upper front teeth that make contact with the opposing teeth on their back sides, in such a way that a veneer does not sustain chewing force, veneers on lower front teeth must by necessity be extended into a location where contact with the opposing teeth is unavoidable. Again, this greatly increases the risk of porcelain fracture or dislodgement of the veneer.
Therefore, another type of restoration-- perhaps a ceramic fused to metal crown-- would be more appropriate than a porcelain laminate veneer, because it is considerably stronger, and does not rely on the presence of enamel for a reliable cement bond.

One more thing: significant wear on the lower front teeth is often accompanied by a closure of the bite-- i.e., the distance between upper and lower jaws is diminished during those years of progressive tooth wear. This can make those lower front teeth quite short. However, those teeth cannot be indiscriminately lengthened to reverse the effects of wear, because over-long lower front teeth will prevent your back teeth from meeting. Therefore, if there is some consideration to lengthening those worn lower front teeth, the utility of bite opening-- i.e., lengthening of the back teeth-- should also be assessed. Alternatively, additional length of the lower front teeth can be obtained by a "crown lengthening procedure"-- in which some gum tissue is trimmed away from the lower front teeth. This will effectively lengthen the teeth and provide cosmetic benefit, although it would not reverse lost facial height in the same way that bite opening would.

You should consult with your dentist. For extensive bite opening or other full-mouth bite rehabilitation, you should consider asking for a referral for a prosthodontic specialist.

Hope this helps...