Buck teeth, an overbite, a protrusion of the maxillary central incisors⸺call it what you like, but it can be an annoyance to those who have teeth that have developed into this position. While most problems associated with an overbite are largely aesthetic, it can also lead to other problems in severe cases, namely issues with chewing and speech. It might be that your teeth have developed like this naturally, or due to overcrowding when your adult teeth came in. But if you feel that your front teeth are too prominent, what are your options when it comes to dental treatment?

Discussing Your Options

Your dentist might not have suggested treatment if your prominent front teeth have not caused any issues beyond your possible dislike of your smile. If you wish to have your teeth altered to reduce the prominence of the teeth in question, then your dentist will be able to discuss numerous options with you. The best option will of course depend on just how prominent the teeth are. 

For Minor Protrusion

Minor protrusion of the teeth can be remedied by having your dentist actually removing a portion of the teeth in order to reduce their size. This is called enameloplasty, and is commonly known as dental contouring or tooth reshaping. Your dentist can remove a tiny portion of your dental enamel with a small handheld sanding tool (or sometimes a laser) until the prominence of the teeth in question has been reduced. An x-ray might be needed to locate the exact height of the dental pulp (the nerve inside the tooth) so that not too much of the tooth is removed (which can expose the pulp).

For Moderate Protrusion

When enameloplasty will be of negligible assistance, your dentist might suggest a dental retainer. This can be a succession of clear retainers in progressively different shapes (essentially invisible braces) which will gradually tilt the prominent teeth backwards until they more closely align with their neighbouring teeth.

For Severe Protrusion

Actual dental braces can be beneficial when the protrusion is more pronounced. Again, this results in a forceful, though not painful realignment of the teeth over time. If the issue is related to the structure of your jaw as opposed to the development of your teeth, there is also a surgical option. This surgery results in the minute backwards repositioning of your maxilla (upper jawbone).

It's a matter of personal preference, but if you don't like the look of your prominent front teeth, your dentist is sure to have some solutions for you.