How Can Cosmetic Dentistry Help You?

Excerpt: Cosmetic dentistry involves enhancing the aesthetics of a patient's smile...
Table of Contents

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry involves enhancing the aesthetics of a patient's smile. This may includes, but is not limited to, improving how white the smile is, adjusting the shape of the teeth, and fixing gaps.

Who can benefit from cosmetic dentistry?

Few people have a smile with no imperfections, so virtually everyone can benefit in some way from cosmetic dentistry. However, certain people will benefit from cosmetic dentistry significantly more than others, depending on how prevalent the issue is.

Why choose cosmetic dentistry?

Even though cosmetic dentistry’s primary focus is on improving aesthetics, you can have significant functional improvements as well. If you have gaps in your teeth, it may affect your ability to chew, and they may cause your teeth to shift in position as you get older. Filling in the gaps may improve your self-esteem also if it is something you are self-conscious of.

What are the different options for cosmetic dentistry?

Since there are a lot of different ways smiles can be enhanced, dentists have researched a number of methods to whiten your smile.

Teeth whitening 

One of the most well-known and well-used cosmetic treatment options is teeth whitening. This process involves using a number of tactics to increase the whiteness of your teeth. A few methods that are commonly used include:
 
  • Polishing – This can be done in a dental clinic, or at home with special whitening products.
  • Whitening Gel & UV Light – Products like Zoom whitening, use a curing light to start the process.
  • Bleaching – Bleach is applied to the teeth to remove the stains.
 
If your teeth are stained, it may be due to your lifestyle choices, some stains can be fixed by fixing bad habits:
 
  • Quitting smoking – Smoking is infamous for staining teeth. Quitting this will definitely improve your smile.
  • Better oral care – Increasing your frequency or intensity of care may increase your smiles whiteness.

What are Dental Veneers?

Veneers are thin pieces of material that are designed to reshape the appearance of the tooth, while also closing gaps, and enhancing its color. What type of veneer you choose will depend entirely on your budget, situation, and location of the tooth. The types of veneers include:
 
  • Porcelain veneers – The dentist will grind down your teeth and make an impression of them. Afterward, they will send out the impression for the veneer. In the meantime, they will provide you with temporary veneers. After the veneers are made, they will be inserted into your teeth.
  • Composite resin veneers – These are made of different materials other than porcelain. These veneers can also be adjusted by adding more or less resin to the veneer, once the desired look has been achieved, a light will be used to cure the veneer.
  •  No prep veneers – You have heard of Lumineers or Vivaneers, these are brands that sell no-prep veneers. These veneers are the least intrusive and don’t require any adjustments to the tooth.

What Are The Benefits Of Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers have numerous benefits:

 

  • Fix broken or chipped teeth
  • Makes teeth whiter
  • Closes gaps
  • Reshapes teeth
  • Evens out, pointed or sharp teeth
 

Veneers can also improve your oral hygiene if there are lots of gaps, food particles can easily get stuck in those gaps, veneers will decrease the amount of surface area that food particles can be stuck on.

What is orthodontics?

Braces are dental appliances that are aimed specifically at reshaping the alignment of the patient’s bite, or individual teeth. Patients who get braces are typically younger on average, your teeth get harder to adjust as you age. If you get braces as an adult, they may not be as effective or will take a longer time to make a difference.

Conventional braces

These braces consist of a metal structure attached to the teeth that involve wires and brackets. The tension can be adjusted to increase or decrease the braces over time. Teeth take a long time to adjust, so braces are typically worn over a period of months, the dentist will usually slowly increase the tension on the braces over time.

Aligners

Aligners are a fairly new option for teeth and have only become widely used in the last 20-30 years. Aligners are less noticeable than braces since they are only one piece of clear aligners, like the ones made by Invisalign. The upside to these aligners is they are considerably less noticeable than braces, and can be removed by the patient  for certain activities. The main downside is they are less effective for more severe alignment issues. 

Which is better – conventional braces or aligners?

That will largely depend on a number of factors:
 
  • Age – Conventional braces are generally worn by younger patients, at a younger age, more severe issues can be fixed easier. Clear aligners are typically worn by adults so they don’t impact there lifestyle as much.
  • Severity of issue – Braces will most likely be recommended if you need a significant adjustment. Clear aligners are better for small adjustments.

Which costs more?

The cost between both products, but they are similarly priced. The price will only be a factor if you will get more out of braces then aligners or vice versa. Generally, both braces and aligners cost between $3,000 to $8,000. This will vary depending on how severe the issue is. 

Dental crowns

Dental crowns are mainly used for general, or emergency dentistry procedures. However, they can be used to adjust the look of the tooth. You can also get different materials for crowns, like gold and silver. If your tooth has a chip in it or is misshapen at the top, a crown may be recommended to make the tooth more consistent.
 
  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Zirconia
  • Metal
  • Composite resin
  • A combination of materials
 
Porcelain crowns are typically used for the teeth that are most visible, these crowns are known for closely resembling the aesthetics of teeth. You can also get an onlay, or 3/4 crown if you don’t need a full crown.

Who would benefit from cosmetic dentistry?

Not everyone will benefit the same from cosmetic dentistry. The beneficial outcome largely depends on how good or bad your teeth are. Two big factors effecting this are oral care, and genetics. For example, if you are born with a miss-aligned bite, your lifestyle choices (drinking, diet, smoking), then you will definitely benefit from this branch of dentistry.

Cosmetic Dentistry – The Outlook

Cosmetic dentistry is typically considered a “nice-to-have” and not a “need-to-have”. Although, some people will absolutely need cosmetic dentistry. The outlook for not getting a cosmetic fix will depend entirely on the issue that is being fixed, and how the person feels about their appearance. If someone values a more cosmetically pleasing smile, and they have the budget for it, the there are lots of ways to improve your appearance.

Frequently asked questions

Some are, some aren’t, it will depend on the nature of the issue, please check with your provider to see what they cover.

They are entirely situational, your dentist will be able to tell you which one would be best for you.

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