Cosmetic Dentistry is about more then a white, perfectly aligned smile. For many of us, we may believe we have one or more flaws we might want changed or adjusted with our current smiles. These smile flaws can effect a person’s self esteem as well as a person’s self confidence leading to a lower quality of life. Cosmetic dentistry gives you the ability to make small corrections or even major transformations to your smile to boost confidence and self esteem. These changes can have a major impact on your entire life including work and personal relationships as you feel more confident about yourself.
Is A Perfect Smile Possible?
Everyone has a different idea of what a perfect smile is. So every cosmetic dentistry consultation with a well trained, experienced cosmetic dentist should begin with you telling your story to your dentist about what you are looking for in a new smile. Your cosmetic dentist will complete a thorough examination of your teeth, periodontal tissues, jaw alignment, and facial features along with taking impressions for study models. These study models can be used by your dentist to make adjustments to your smile so as to give you a visual reference of what your new smile might look like. This examination will allow your dentist to explain to you what can be done to keep a balance between cosmetics/esthetics and function and give you multiple options to choose from to achieve the look you want. It is important to note that it is imperative that you keep open lines of communication with your dentist throughout the entire process. If you are not happy with any part of the treatment plan options or the cosmetic dentistry treatment selected, you need to let them know so changes can be made.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Changes
Adult orthodontics have seen tremendous advancements over the last decade. Long gone are the days of wearing braces for several years to give you the smile you want. The newest development is the six month smiles system. This system uses tooth colored materials so that no one will notice you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. This treatment can transform your smile, giving you straighter teeth in an average of six months or less.
As time passes and every day use, our teeth change. These dental changes include becoming shorter. This can change your smile from a youthful one to one making you appear older. Lenghthening your teeth back to their natural dimensions is possible with porcelain crowns, gum contouring, and porcelain veneers. These options will add length and structure to your teeth making your smile look the way you always imagined. These changes may also reduce wrinkles around the mouth.
A whiter, brighter smile can light up a room and give the appearance of vitality and youth. This is probably one of the easiest and most cost effective cosmetic dentistry procedures available to you. There are generally two types of teeth whitening – in office and at home treatment. The in office treatment is faster and highly effective, the at home products may take a bit longer but will still give you a whiter, brighter smile.
Restore A Lost Smile
Over time, tooth decay and periodontal disease can wreak havoc on our smiles. Our teeth can break down, shift, create dark spaces, or even be lost. To restore a lost smile, cosmetic dentistry can offer porcelain crowns, bonding, and dental implants to give you a full smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Change Your Smile
–Teeth Whitening. This has become a billion dollar cosmetic dentistry business with products ranging from in office whitening to at home whitening with customized dental trays, whitening strips, paint on gels and even whitening toothpastes and rinses. The differences between the types has to do with speed and depth of whitening. Teeth whitening can have a dramatic effect on almost anyone’s smile for a relatively low cost and minimal time involved.
–Dental Implants. Missing teeth can make you feel uncomfortable when smiling, feel socially awkward, or may make you appear older than you actually are. Replacing lost teeth can be done with extremely natural results. Dental implants are a great way to achieve cosmetics, strength, and durability. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. The best part is, once restored, the dental implants will often last a lifetime.
–Tooth Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves reshaping and blending teeth. Bonding utilizes tooth colored materials that can be bonded to teeth to change shape, color, and length. This same material can also be used to fully cover the front surface, (called a composite veneer). Tooth bonding can generally be completed in one visit, and is less expensive than porcelain restorations.
–Porcelain Veneers. While the initial cost is higher than some other cosmetic dentistry options, this may be cost effective if extensive changes need to be made. Porcelain veneers can change shape, color, length, and even correct minor misalignments of teeth. This will last a long time, will not stain, and is a very strong, natural looking material. The veneer is also a conservative restoration as it generally only requires minimal enamel reduction, and sometimes no reduction.
–Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns combine strength with the most cosmetic options available. They are made from modern dental porcelain materials that range in strength and esthetics. If done properly, no one should ever be able to tell a porcelain crown from a natural tooth. Modern porcelains possesses strength, color properties, and light reflection properties that very closely mimic our natural teeth. Porcelain crowns can be used to change bite alignment issues as well as change alignment of front teeth which are more extreme such as those issues that porcelain veneers alone cannot fix. More natural tooth structure needs to be removed in preparing a porcelain crown vs a porcelain veneer.
–Snap On Smile. This is a newer, far more conservative way to improve your smile without any permanent dental work. All that is required is having your dentist take impressions or molds of your teeth, select a color, and the dentist sends impressions off to a lab to have your snap on smile fabricated. Once the snap on smile is complete, you simply clean your teeth, apply a fluoride gel inside, and slip it on over your teeth. You can talk, eat and smile naturally.
–Gum Contouring. For those with a gummy smile, this can be the ultimate confidence booster. This cosmetic dentistry procedure is generally done in one visit and can give incredible results for many with an overly gummy smile. Gum contouring simply removes the excess gum tissue and reshapes the gums to ensure you obtain the desired look. For some, this may require reduction of bone also, in this case, it is recommended that you see a periodontal surgeon. This will offer you the best chance of success.
–Tooth Recontouring. Changing the shape or alignment of teeth in a minor way can have a dramatic effect on a persons smile. Tooth recontouring involves removing small amounts of tooth structure from edges of teeth to correct a tooth that might be misshapen or slightly misaligned.
–Orthodontics. Minor tooth movement can be completed in weeks to months by your cosmetic dentist to bring your smile in line and allow for a better harmony between your smile and function. If further movement is necessary, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for more extensive treatment.
–Botox and Dermal Fillers. These are newer additions to a cosmetic dentist’s arsenal of techniques. A well trained dentist in the art of botox and dermal fillers can place the finishing touches on a new smile by softening wrinkles and skin around the mouth, forehead, and eyes. Giving a much younger appearance in facial and dental appearance!
Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion
The beauty of cosmetic dentistry is that only you and your dentist should ever know it was done. A well trained cosmetic dentist can create a smile that is both beautiful and natural looking. There are so many ways in cosmetic dentistry to make changes to your smile. Talk yo your dentist to see what will work best for you.