Being confident is important. Trusting in your appearance brings a massive amount of confidence, allowing you to tackle tough challenges. Many people have begun to take the small step of enhancing their smile — one of the most important factors in overall attractiveness. If you’re not confident in the way you look, consider cosmetic dentistry. Simple, inexpensive dental procedures can make you look and feel better than thousands of dollars of needless plastic surgery. Your new-found confidence and self-esteem will be priceless.
As cosmetic dentistry grows in popularity, dentists have begun to consider the aesthetic appeal of other procedures. Many restorative dental treatments now utilize cosmetic elements in order to keep your teeth looking great. Fillings and crowns, for example, are now designed in order to match the color and shape of your tooth, rendering them invisible. Cosmetic procedures are also used as inform repair operations. Your dentist is likely to recommend that you fix a chipped, crooked or missing tooth in order to prevent future oral health problems — but that won’t stop the result from looking great. Consider asking your dentist what they can do to improve both your smile and your dental health.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
Whether you’re looking for a small shine added to your smile or a full remodel, cosmetic dentistry centers offer a program for you. A wide range of treatments exist to match all needs and budgets. Here are some of the procedures you might expect to find at your local office.
One of the most common types of cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening removes surface stains and tooth discoloration. Professional teeth whitening involves take-home trays that are molded to your teeth. When used daily for several weeks, these trays can whiten your teeth as much as 6 shades. A number of over-the-counter solutions exist, such as whitening strips, pens, and toothpaste. These have varied results. Consult your local office to learn what solution is best for your teeth.
Laser Teeth Whitening
If you’re not willing to wait for weeks, laser teeth whitening can improve your smile in about an hour. By using a space age laser to activate a special whitening gel, dentists can whiten your teeth up to 10 shades in a single visit.
Amalgam fillings have been restoring cavities for nearly 150 years. Unfortunately, they’re not very attractive and can mar your otherwise perfect smile. New composite resins enable dentists to use a tooth-colored filling that can be molded to match the shape of your tooth. Your dentist can advise you on replacing existing fillings or ensure that new ones look as good as possible.
If you’re looking for a complete smile makeover, consider inquiring about dental veneers. By covering your front teeth with thin, attractive shells, your dentist can engineer you a brand new smile. Veneers can be used to fix cracked, chipped or crooked teeth.
Rather than manufacture a completely new smile, your dentist can touch it up with dental bonding. Dental bonding involves using a composite resin material to sculpt and cover any chips, imperfections and cracks in your smile.
While dental bonding adds new material to your teeth, enamel shaping removes it. Your dentist can restructure teeth that appear too long by removing unnecessary portions of the enamel. This procedure is often paired with dental bonding in order to give you a set of even, attractive teeth.
A treatment often used for gum disease, gum contouring involves removing excess gum tissue in order to make teeth appear longer. This procedure can help fix a ‘gummy smile.’ Laser gum surgery is a more comfortable option that allows patients to heal faster.
Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns are porcelain caps that fit over damaged teeth. Dental bridges are specially molded devices that replace missing teeth by ‘bridging’ their neighbors. Crowns and bridges are used in standard restorative dentistry when treating cavities that have spread throughout most of a tooth. Both can be made in order to match your natural tooth color and keep your smile looking great.
Dental Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays, sometimes called porcelain fillings, can replace large fillings. They’re designed to match your tooth color in order to be invisible to people around you.
Dental implants are devices set in your gums to anchor false teeth. Unlike dentures, these false teeth are permanent. They look and feel just like real teeth.
Invisalign is a program that uses clear dental aligners in order to straighten your teeth without wires or brackets. While other kinds of dental braces are available, Invisalign is unique as a discreet, comfortable and removable system.
Cosmetic Dentistry Made Easy
You don’t have to let your anxiety over dentists get in the way of your perfect smile. Your cosmetic dentist will use a local anesthetic in order to keep you from feeling any pain during your procedure. Consider asking your dentist about additional sedation options. Small doses of nitrous oxide and oral sedation can both be used in order to produce a relaxed — but conscious — state from which you can enjoy your dental work.
Many dentists have enhanced their office with modern developments in order to streamline your appointments. Computer imaging allows dentists to review their treatment plan with you by previewing the results. Some dental offices allow same-day restorations with crowns and veneers made in-house in a single dental visit. Best of all, dental lasers unlock safe, powerful procedures that can reduce recovery time and fix your teeth faster than traditional options.
Your Cosmetic Dentist
Cosmetic dentistry is not on the American Dental Association’s list of recognized specialties. Instead, cosmetic dentists are general dentists who have undergone training in cosmetic procedures. Unlike other forms of dentistry, cosmetic procedures have a beauty to them, requiring a certain amount of art from the practitioner. Look for a cosmetic dentist who’s both an excellent surgeon and a good judge of aesthetics. Most dentists are happy to provide you with examples of their work upon request. Make sure you’re comfortable communicating with your dentist and that he or she understands what you want your mouth to look like.
Don’t Forget to Brush
Just like paint won’t fix holes in your fence, cosmetic dentistry isn’t a fix for poor oral hygiene. It’s still important to visit the dentist regularly, even after having cosmetic procedures done. These check-ups will help make sure your dental work keeps your smile looking great and ensure that you don’t develop any new cavities, damage or discoloration.