Regular dental checkups are vitally important for oral health. But your dentist can do much more for you than filling cavities and fixing decay.
If you’re nervous about smiling because of crooked or stained teeth, cosmetic dentistry offers many ways to solve the problem and boost your confidence. Here are seven of the most common treatments that can help restore your smile.
Bleaching and Whitening
A course of teeth whitening treatment from your dentist is much safer and more effective than any kit you can buy online or over the counter. It’s also far more controllable. Whether you want to whiten a few teeth or all of them, a cosmetic dentist can help. You can also choose to lighten by a few shades or pick a bright white smile – it’s totally up to you.
Also known as adhesive dentistry, dental bonding works by fixing a tooth-colored resin to your teeth to cover up gaps, chips, or cracks. This is one of the least invasive kinds of cosmetic dentistry, usually needing little or no drilling or enamel removal.
Dental veneers are thin slivers of porcelain or composite material fixed over the surface of your teeth. They’re an effective and natural-looking way of covering up gaps or damaged teeth, and can also even out teeth of different colors.
Once fitted, dental veneers will last for up to a decade, and they’ll help protect your teeth from further damage or staining during that time.
Crowns are used to repair badly damaged teeth. Made from a mixture of porcelain and metal, they’re carefully shaped to restore your natural smile before being fixed to the broken tooth. Crowns will last for between five and fifteen years, although modern materials can increase that to twenty years or more.
Bridges replace missing teeth by fitting an artificial tooth into a gap, permanently attaching it to its natural neighbors. Bridges are ideal if you’ve lost a single tooth to damage or decay, while its neighboring teeth are still healthy.
Implants are a step up from bridges, to be used when several teeth together are missing or damaged. To fit implants, a metal socket is permanently fixed into the jawbone, before artificial replacement teeth are screwed in.
Fitting implants is a lengthy procedure involving several visits to the surgery, but the results are entirely natural and long-lasting.
Lastly, recontouring is a treatment used to correct problems caused by unevenly sized teeth or overgrown gums. It involves carefully removing parts of your tooth enamel or gum flesh to give a smoother, more natural outline.
Deciding on a Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment
A consultation with your dentist will help you decide which treatment is best for the condition of your teeth and the results you want to achieve. But before making a decision, it’ll be helpful to ask your dentist these four questions.
– What will the results look like? Can they provide any genuine before-and-after photos of their previous work?
– What will the treatment involve? How much work will be needed, and how much inconvenience or maybe discomfort might it cause?
– How long will it take to fully recover, and will there be any special steps to take during that time?
– How long are the results expected to last?
There’s no need to put up with teeth you’re unhappy with. Cosmetic dentistry treatments can range from the simple to the advanced, and can solve almost any problem that’s making you scared to smile.