Picket Fence Teeth Guide

Jun 30, 2021 | Dental Conditions

A Complete Guide to Picket Fence Teeth and What You Can Do About Them

A healthy, full, radiant smile has long been a symbol of overall health and confidence. With today’s advancements in modern dentistry, dentures as a cosmetic solution can be a comfortable option to enhance the function of a smile. By optimizing the ability to chew and speak with ease, supporting facial muscles, and elongating facial features, a well-made denture has the potential to act and feel like your own natural teeth while improving esthetics. Having said that, it’s important to recognize what sets apart a high-quality denture from an inferior one and what to do if you find yourself with a prosthetic that’s anything less than excellent.

What are picket fence teeth?

A denture is a removable prosthetic solution used to replace missing teeth and restore an incomplete smile. This prosthetic may be either full, intended to replace all teeth missing in an arch, or partial, with which a section or series of teeth require replacement. With either type, a denture should be carefully customized to match a patient’s innate features. Picket fence teeth, also commonly described as having a “piano key” resemblance, refer to dentures that look like false teeth.

Picket fence teeth are often the result of a more generic design and give the appearance of teeth that are too flat and overly uniform, like piano keys. The design process for your personalized denture should take into consideration your individual, unique aspects including face shape, smile lines, and surrounding structure. In other words, a well-constructed prosthetic should be comfortable and as natural-looking as your original teeth.

How can picket fence teeth be fixed?

No one should be able to tell that your teeth are anything other than natural. If you find yourself with picket fence teeth, knowing what your options are is the first step to a better-looking, better-feeling smile. Your dentures should be long-lasting, match the color of a natural tooth, resist discoloration over time, and should not slip, whistle, click, or cause any pain. A well-made dental prosthetic should also look entirely real. A design that resembles piano keys or a picket fence is a cosmetic sign that there’s a better tooth-replacement option for you.

If you’re seeking correction of picket fence teeth, it’s important to consult a dentist to take a look at your denture and reassess its form and design. A dedicated, well-informed dental team will thoughtfully study your unique facial and oral features in order to determine what the best course of action may be. In some cases, a new denture that is more befitting may be in order. If your gum and bone structure are in good health, you might also be a candidate for an alternative solution, such as dental implants. With the help of your dentist, you can discuss the various options available, and which is most suitable for you.

Picket Fence Teeth FAQs

What are picket fence teeth?

Picket fence teeth refer to a poorly-made denture that looks like false teeth. Also called “piano keys,” this type of dental prosthetic is often the result of a generic design that fails to take a patient’s unique facial and oral features into account. A more personalized crafting process avoids the pitfalls of picket fence teeth and results in a more natural-looking denture.

What should I do if my dentures resemble piano keys or a picket fence?

If you find yourself with a denture that looks like “piano keys” or a “picket fence,” scheduling a consultation to reassess the design is a great place to start. A highly-skilled dental team will help you uncover your options moving forward. Whether you’re a candidate for dental implants—a tooth-replacement alternative—or are in need of a new customized denture, your dentist will provide you with the necessary information and help you schedule the appropriate follow-up appointments.

What are other common denture problems?

In addition to picket fence teeth, other common denture problems include physical discomfort. Your dental prosthetic should be pain-free and should feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. Though it might take some time to get used to the feeling of a denture, especially following a period of missing teeth, once that transition period has passed, your denture shouldn’t be a nuisance. Any slipping or whistling that occurs are also indicators that your denture may need adjustment or reassessment.

What should I expect during my consultation at Champions Dental to discuss my dentures?

If you seek correction of your picket fence teeth, a consultation with our team at Champions Dental will help you get on the right path to a more comfortable tooth replacement solution. During your initial consultation at our offices, we’ll take inventory of your concerns. We’ll also take a close look at the fit of your prosthetic and discuss options for correction.

Are there alternatives to smile restoration other than dentures?

Yes, smile restoration options other than dentures include dental implants and implant-supported dentures. Though a more costly alternative to dentures, implants are a more permanent, non-removable solution that truly feel like natural teeth. If you’re interested in implants, your dentist can assess your gum and bone health to see if they are a suitable option for you.

What materials are used to make a long-lasting, natural-looking denture?

A full or partial denture may be made using a combination of acrylic resin, porcelain, or metal. The most comfortable, easy-to-adjust material is acrylic resin. This is often the most commonly used and can be easily fit into a patient’s oral cavity. A more expensive, though favored, alternative to acrylic resin is porcelain. The strength of this material makes it a highly durable option for constructing false teeth. A metal framework may be considered for some patients in order to decrease the size of the denture and make it more tolerable. A partially metal denture requires greater time and expertise to craft.

How can I be sure my dentures will look natural?

A skilled dental team will dedicate itself to making sure your dental prosthetic is as natural-looking as possible. Generic picket fence designs can be avoided with a close look at your specific features, including smile lines, bone structure, and face shape. Taking these unique aspects into consideration will help us to craft a denture that is customized to you.

What’s the process for guaranteeing my dentures will be a good fit?

Once you’re ready for your denture, various impressions of your mouth will be taken in order to create a prosthetic that is tailored to you. During this stage of the process, we’ll also use biting blocks to make sure you’ll have a comfortable bite with your new appliance. After all these measurements have been taken, a wax model will provide us with insight into how it fits and whether any adjustments are necessary. When it’s ready, your final denture will be fitted. Routine visits with our team will help us to monitor any changes and keep you as comfortable as possible as you adjust to your replacement teeth.

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, a Texas native with roots in the Rio Grande Valley, boasts a diverse educational and professional background. After completing his Biology degree at Texas A&M, he transitioned from teaching to dentistry, earning his DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. Garza’s commitment to excellence for over 15 years, is evident through his extensive education in various dental specialities, culminating in prestigious accolades like the Fellowship Award in 2016 and the Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2020, achieved by less than 2% of dentists. 


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