Smile is the best makeover, and an instant and excellent way to achieve that PERFECT SMILE is by cosmetic dentistry. Be it broken teeth/stained teeth, black gums, unsightly gaps or crooked teeth, cosmetic dentistry can fix it all in a flash, so you walk out with confidence, ready to take on the world!
Cosmetic dentistry is a comprehensive oral care that combines art and science to optimally improve dental health, aesthetics, and function.
In today’s world, it seems that everyone wants to look young. This, of course, includes our mouths because when we smile, we show our teeth. In recent years, more people have become concerned about having teeth that are straight and free of stains, chips or other obvious flaws.
Popular television shows that provide makeovers encourage this point of view. Print and TV advertisements for whitening agents have become very common. Many articles are written about bleaching agents and smile makeovers. As a result, people often want their teeth to be perfectly uniform and dazzlingly white.
Dental offices have responded to consumer demand. They offer many services, including:
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, about $2.75 billion a year is spent on cosmetic procedures. About 8,000 dentists are members of the academy. Virtually all dentists perform some types of cosmetic services.
cosmetic procedures are not covered by dental insurance. However, procedures done to repair a cavity or replace a defective filling, crown or other tooth restoration may be covered. The cost of some cosmetic procedures can easily exceed $1,000 per tooth. Despite the cost and inconvenience, many people want a “smile makeover.” They think it’s just as important as having nice clothes or attractive hair.
Older restorative materials such as gold or amalgam are durable and strong but are not tooth-colored. Newer techniques and materials allow for the placement of tooth-colored fillings.
Dentists have been doing cosmetic work for decades. But the materials that were used had serious drawbacks. For example, the early composite (plastic) resins tended to stain, chip and change color over time. This limited their use.
New composite resins (tooth-colored fillings) are much better. Porcelain veneers cover the entire front of the tooth. It is another option when the color and shape of the teeth need improvement.
Composites are not as strong as gold or amalgam, but they have been much improved over the years. Newer composites are long-lasting and strong.
When a tooth has minor chips or a small fracture, many people choose to live with it. Others decide to have a crown (also called a cap) made and placed in the mouth over the tooth. This process is time-consuming and often expensive. However, it’s often possible to “patch” minor flaws, chips or broken teeth with bonding composite resin. This can be smoothed and color-matched to the surrounding teeth. Computer imaging is another useful technique. It allows dentists to create “virtual restorations” on a computer screen. A patient can see what the results will look like before deciding to get cosmetic work done. This imaging technique is relatively new and is not common in dental practices.
Chipped teeth can be fixed with a technique called bonding. Your dentist can repair damaged areas by applying a “paste” made of a material called composite resin. The resin comes in a wide variety of shades to match your tooth color. First, your dentist applies and shapes the plastic filling material. Then, it is exposed to a special high-intensity blue light. It hardens almost instantly. The resin can be sanded, smoothed and polished until it closely matches the natural shade and shape of your tooth.
The most popular cosmetic dental procedures include:
Dental adhesives also have improved. Older dental materials were held in place by the shape of the tooth. Dentists had to remove part of the tooth to make sure that a filling would stay securely in place. But today’s adhesives are very strong. They can hold a filling in place without the need to remove as much of the tooth.
There are many cosmetic options, depending on what you need to have done. For example:
Cosmetic procedures vary in technique and cost. Before you start a treatment plan, consider all the options and make an educated decision. Remember, these procedures cannot be reversed.
Be cautious about starting an extensive and costly elective procedure to change your appearance. If you want to change the color of your teeth, be aware that teeth are rarely pure white. You might not be satisfied to see that shade in your smile. A less-intense white may be more likely to give you the look you are seeking.
In addition, excessive or frequent use of bleaching agents can lead to tooth sensitivity. Whitening can be done in your dentist’s office or at home. If you whiten your teeth at home, be sure to follow the directions and to consult with your dentist.
Cosmetic dentistry can improve your self- image, particularly if you have damaged or discolored teeth. Even simple procedures such as bleaching or bonding can be real confidence-boosters.