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Orthodontics have become a new tool to recreate our smiles. For the longest time, orthodontic braces was a treatment only for children. Advances in orthodontic materials have led to changes in the appearance of orthodontic appliances, and increased speed of movement of our teeth. Orthodontics have become a treatment of choice for many teens and adults. There are multiple options for orthodontic treatment today to make them as aesthetic as possible with shorter treatment lengths along with more cosmetic appearance. While teeth are being moved, changes occur to the mouth, lips, chin, and cheeks. The million dollar question is…..Can Orthodontic treatment change a person’s facial appearance?

Once orthodontic treatment is completed, many patients will look in the mirror and notice changes in their facial appearance. The bigger change happen when exhibiting a full smile, as this will show off the new found symmetry of your smile. The change will be even more noticeable if there are major corrections during your orthodontic treatment.

 Orthodontic Corrections = Changing Facial Appearance

-Correction Of Overbite.  An overbite can cause the upper lip to protrude otward. In very extreme cases the upper lip is so far advanced that the lips are not able to completely cover and close the mouth at rest. In side profile the upper lip flares and the convexity of the mid face is pronounced. After completion of orthodontic movement, the facial area from nose down to chin flattens and the appearance can soften.

-Correction Of Underbite. An underbite causes the chin to protrude and lower lip to retrude, giving you a “Moon Shape” profile. After orthodontic movement, the face loses much of this concavity. This again helps to flatten and soften the features, bringing the lips together in a more natural look. Underbite correction may in some cases require surgery.

-Open Bite Correction. Prior to correction, the mouth and lips may seem a bit overstretched. In more severe cases the lips do not touch at rest. After movement, The mid face appears more relaxed and the lips come together at rest. Severe open bite may require surgery to be fully corrected.

-Upper Or Lower Jaw Expansion. There are times when a patient has too little space in one or both of their arches.  The middle of the face may be narrow, and cheeks a bit hollow. If space needs to be opened, a device is custom fabricated called an orthodontic expander. If it is used on top jaw it is referred to as a palatal expander and if used on lower jaw it is called a mandibular expander. Expanders are used more often on children but they can also be used on adults in coordination with surgery. The expansion is usually done in very small increments and usually will go unnoticed by many. A more symmetrical smile and wider mid face will be the end result.

Conclusion

Orthodontic treatment can change a person in multiple ways. These changes can include a bigger smile, straighter teeth, and balancing of one’s facial appearance. The changes to a person’s face are usually more pronounced when surgery is involved.  A person’s side profile is what changes most dramatically. When teeth are in proper alignment, the profile of a person will be more in line with the rest of their facial features creating a more symmetrical balanced appearance.

The facial changes can usually be predicted prior to treatment. Ask your dentist what changes you can expect based on your individual smile

Porcelain veneers have become a popular and attractive cosmetic dentistry procedure for many people around the world. Many more are interested but unsure what the procedure entails to improve their smile. Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions regarding porcelain veneers.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are custom made wafer thin pieces of porcelain. Porcelain veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth giving the dentist the ability to change the color, shape, length, and size of your teeth. Porcelain veneers reflect light in a very natural way. For many, porcelain veneers are performed in multiples usually the front 2- 8 teeth. Some might only require one to correct a flawed tooth.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are used to correct cosmetic issues with a person’s smile and made with a translucency that mimics natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics” for their ability to correct mildly crooked or small teeth. They also have the ability to close spaces between teeth (also called diastemas),restore chipped teeth, or even to change the color of teeth.

Many people are good candidates for porcelain veneers, however, patients with tooth decay, periodontal disease, heavy clenching, or severe misalignment of teeth are usually not good candidates.  Patients with a history of bruxism (tooth grinding) may end up cracking their veneers, although if you only grind at night you can wear a mouth guard to protect the porcelain veneers.

What Happens During The Porcelain Veneers Procedure?

Once you have decided that you want porcelain veneers your dentist will take study models of your teeth. The reason for this is that your dentist will be able to give you a mock up of what your teeth can look like when the porcelain veneers are in place. At this time you and your dentist can discuss the size, shape, and color of your new porcelain veneers. Once these models are approved, an appointment can be set up for the actual procedure. A small amount of tooth structure is usually removed from each teeth to prepare them but sometimes they can be done without preparation to the tooth. Local anesthesia is generally recommended if there will be tooth preparation to avoid any discomfort. Once the preparation of your teeth is completed, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be used by the dental laboratory to create your custom porcelain veneers. Once fabricated, you will return to have the porcelain veneers placed onto your teeth. Initially your dentist will place the veneers  to check that the color, shape, and size is as desired. If they meet both your expectations, the dentist will bond them to your teeth creating your new smile.

How Do I Care For My Porcelain Veneers?

Dental hygiene visits should continue as usual. Home care is more important than ever, brushing and flossing will help prevent decay around your veneers. Porcelain veneers are quite strong but it is possible to break or fracture them. The following activities should be avoided: breaking nuts with teeth, tearing open packages, biting and tearing it hard items, and ice chewing. A soft electric toothbrush such as a rotodent could be helpful in polishing them and keeping looking like new.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

The longevity of porcelain veneers will vary by individual. The general rule is they last about 10-15 years although some can expect a longer lifespan for them. If a porcelain veneer chips, cracks, or shows any wear they can be replaced refreshing your smile.

Can I Stain My Porcelain Veneers By Drinking Wine?

No, porcelain veneers are resistant to coffee, tea, and wine stains. Once a patient selects their desired color, the veneers will stay this way, without color changes .

Are Porcelain Veneers Expensive?

Cost will vary depending upon where you go. The cost is generally reflective of the materials and lab used. Be wary of offices where the price seems too good to be true. You get what you pay for and using an inferior dental laboratory or an inexperienced cosmetic dentist might lower the cost but will lead to earlier failure of the porcelain veneers. Studies have shown that almost half of all cosmetic dentistry needs to be redone. Porcelain veneers require high quality dental materials as well as an experienced cosmetic dentist. If done properly you will enjoy your new smile for a long time.

Are Porcelain Veneers Covered By My Dental Insurance?

Generally, no, as porcelain veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure. Most insurance companies do not cover porcelain veneers.

Conclusion

Porcelain veneers can transform an ordinary smile to an extraordinary one. The information above should give everyone some information on what to expect if they are considering making changes to their smile. As always maintain regular dental examinations and professional cleanings to maintain your current and future smile.