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QUESTION: I recently had 4 crowns fitted on my front top four teeth. At the time of fitting I was happy with them and agreed to have the cemented in place. I now feel they look too long. Is it possible for the dentist to shorten them and reshape the bottom of them?

ANSWER: Dear Paul,

Most probably your dentist should be able to shorten them some.  But not much.

Why do you think they're long now?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I regretted getting them cemented almost immediately after leaving the surgery. I have an open bite which I think the technician may have been trying to compensate for. My incisors used to be much more prominent whereas now my laterals are much more square and roughly the same length as these giving a very full toothy look. :-)   People have since commented on them and not in a good way. They are my second set as I had them done about 3 years ago and was never happy with them and I had the previous ones filed down significantly but I think these ones are made from a different material(zirconium?) whereas the last ones were all porcelain. There is very little tooth left on the laterals so getting them redone is out of the question. I am very angry with myself.

Don't be angry with yourself.  Adjustments can be made.  If your crowns are made of zirconia, they may be harder to adjust than porcelain.  But they can be adjusted and polished.

When you're paying for a new smile, you should get what you set out to get.  If you have no idea, then it's up to your dentist.  And your dentist can't possibly know what will make you happy.  That's why, before I begin, I ask my smile re-models to look through magazines for pictures of smiles they would like to have.  Once they lock in on a look, I do my best to duplicate it in them.  This way, I can be sure that the patient will be happy with our result.

At the request of some female patients, I have made beautiful white smiles that they couldn't wait to take home and show their husbands.  When their husbands made negative comments ("It's so white" or "Your teeth look so big") the women would come back to me crying, asking me to change them back.

On the other end of the spectrum, I made a beautiful white smile for a gal.  When she saw the temporaries in the mirror, she exclaimed "I can't wear these.  They're too big!"  She almost cried.  After calming her down, I told her that we would make the permanent bridge any way she wanted.  But she had to wear the temporaries until the permanent was done.  She said "BUT I'M GOING TO MY FAMILY REUNION IN BOSTON NEXT WEEK.  HOW CAN I GO WITH THESE???"  I told her she had no choice.  She left angry.

When she returned two weeks later, I asked how her trip went.  She told me that she saw a cousin that she had a crush on when she was young.  The first thing he said to her was "What happened to you... You look like a goddess!"  She asked me to make the permanent bridge to look exactly like the temporary!

Sometimes the people you know best are the ones who like you as you are.  They will resist any change.  Including an improvement in your smile.  So wait a while before changing it.  You may find that more people like it than you think.

Good luck.  


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

"How To Save Money At The Dentist" Going to press soon.

Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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