Do you believe having a great looking smile can improve your appearance and enhance your social life? A recent poll done by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry revealed that about 96 percent of those surveyed agreed that it can. In the same study about 65 percent of the participants said they were unhappy with one or more aspects of their smiles. Cosmetic dentistry has the ability to change that. Simple changes can make a huge difference in what your smile says about you.
Cosmetic dentistry has evolved over the years to allow dentists to give patients a beautiful long lasting smile that can change their life. In the past, dentists used orthodontics to create small or drastic changes. Often, however, these procedures came at a high cost; the treatment would sometimes cause irreparable damage to the teeth. Today’s techniques and materials, by contrast, are more conservative and better looking than ever. Here is a quick guide to some of these newer techniques.
Teeth Whitening. This is quite possibly the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure today. It is safe and effective and comes in many forms including in office whitening, at home whitening (with dentist provided trays), whitening strips, and topical gels. While there are varying reasons for each, all seem to be effective for most people.
Teeth Contouring. This is one of the simplest, most conservative, and most cost effective cosmetic dentistry procedures. It is usually done without anesthesia and can be as simple as filing down a tooth that appears longer or is slightly out of alignment with the others. Most patients are quite surprised at how such a small adjustment can improve their smile.
Gum contouring and Gum grafting. Evening out gum levels can help teeth to look more evenly sized and can make short teeth appear longer. Gum grafts can fix areas where gum recession has occurred to make everything appear even and natural again.
Porcelain Veneers and Dental Crowns. These can be a great way to replace lost tooth structure and alter imperfect teeth, creating a more youthful appearance. Porcelain Veneers are custom made, ultra thin, tooth colored shells that are adhesively bonded to teeth (like acrylic fingernails, but stronger). This is extremely conservative, and it allows the dentist to alter the color, shape, width, and length of your teeth. Porcelain crowns, on the other hand, surround the entire tooth and are used when the teeth either already have crowns or need more extensive work.
Tooth Replacement. Modern techniques such as dental implants provide everything that you could want in a tooth replacement option. Conservative, long lasting, beautiful, and fixed (meaning you can’t take it out). Dental implants also have a great track record.
Invisalign. People of all ages are opting for a clear alternative to braces. These braces can make minor or major tooth adjustments in a matter of months, and can help prepare teeth for procedures such as veneers.