Cosmetic dentistry is often perceived as an adult only option in dentistry. While that may be the case most of the time, cosmetic dentistry options for kids do exist. Most of these cosmetic dentistry options for younger patients tend to be minimally invasive. Cosmetic dentistry for children is a delicate balance between changing a smile and the growth of the child. Adult procedures generally do not translate well to children. Children are still growing, so that must be kept in mind at all times. Usually at this stage, you want something that is only semi-permanent.
Minimally Invasive Dentistry
These procedures are the best option for most younger, still developing patients. Removing tooth structure is permanent so it is wise to consider the long term implications. Minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry strives to conserve healthy tooth structure by allowing the dentist to perform the least amount of dentistry possible. This entails never removing more tooth structure than is required to restore teeth to their optimal condition.
What are the best options for minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry for children?
–Dental Flipper. This procedure is used if a child loses a tooth do to trauma or tooth decay, because a dental implant is not an option before age 17 or 18. The traditional option has been to create this removable appliance (called a flipper) with a fake tooth on it. This appliance may help with self confidence, and speech if more than one tooth is missing.
–Dental Bonding. Bonding is generally used to repair decayed teeth, while restoring their natural color and shape.
–No Prep Veneers. This type of cosmetic dentistry veneer is placed over the existing teeth with bonding. No tooth structure is removed and the veneers can be removed at any time.
–White crowns. In the past, stainless steel crowns have been used to restore broken down primary teeth. There are new, highly cosmetic, white crowns which can be utilized in the same manner.
–Teeth Whitening. This is not recommended in younger patients. If the patient and parent are to request this, it is usually recommended to wait until the teenage years. In some instances this is a viable option to correct a tooth that has discolored due to trauma.
–Limited Orthodontics. Early intervention orthodontics can be considered minimally invasive in some cases. Bringing teeth in line not only improves ones cosmetic smile but it also makes it easier to maintain dental health. Teeth that are crowded will be much more difficult to keep clean.
Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion
Cosmetic dentistry can be a great option for children if tailored to their current and future needs. As our younger patients age, they become hyper aware of their bodies and may request changes that may or may not be possible. This awareness will affect a child’s self esteem and self confidence, so if a cosmetic dentist can make minimally invasive changes then, large positive results may be incurred. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can give a tremendous boost to the young patients as they mature into young adults.