When you were little, you likely smiled many times throughout the day. As we get older and more self conscious about our appearance, some of us tend to lose that smile. The act of smiling isn’t just an expression of happiness, but it can make you feel happy, too. If you don’t feel confident about your smile, then it can affect not just your looks, but how you feel as well. That’s why cosmetic dentistry is so important. A cosmetic dentist like those at The Quality Dental Team can restore your smile and change your life. They can give you the confidence you need to face the world smiling. Here’s how cosmetic dentistry can take your smile to the next level.
What Does a Cosmetic Dentist Do?
Cosmetic dentistry is getting more and more popular every year as more patients understand how important a full, bright smile can be. These patients are coming for dental health issues, but they are also coming because they have lost that confidence that they need to live full, unencumbered lives. In general, if you are missing some teeth it doesn’t affect your health, however it can impact the muscles in your face, which will affect your facial structure.
Dental implants can be installed to fill the gaps where your missing teeth used to be. They will not only fill in your smile, but also support your facial structure so that your exterior appearance doesn’t change. Essentially, cosmetic dentistry can make your smile brighter, help you chew easier, and even talk clearer by fixing your teeth and supporting your face.
Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments to Enhance Your Smile
A cosmetic dentist has many treatments available to help you get back your smile. Here are some of the treatments they offer and how they can help.
Teeth whitening is probably the most popular treatment in cosmetic dentistry. Teeth change color as we age, and this effect is magnified if you have certain habits. Smoking, drinking wine, tea, and coffee, or even eating sugary foods can cause staining on your teeth. Many people try to whiten their teeth on their own, but to truly get rid of stains, a dental professional is the best way to go. A cosmetic dentist applies a bleach to the teeth and leaves it for up to two hours. They can also custom-fit a mouthpiece containing a whitening solution that can be placed over the teeth.
Bonding and Veneers
Gaps, chips, and misshapen teeth are a big problem for a lot of people. Sometimes they are the result of injury, and other times they simply develop that way. These issues can be a major source of mental suffering and insecurity. To treat them, cosmetic dentists can use bonding and veneers.
Bonding fills in gaps and chips. The dentist will fashion a solution that matches the color of your teeth, and apply to the surface of the affected tooth. You may need to replace the solution after a few years. Veneers are longer-lasting. They are essentially a hard shell made of porcelain or plastic that is fitted to your teeth.
Enamel shaping helps to cover up teeth that are overlapping or crooked in some way. They are an alternative to braces or other orthodontic treatments. The dentist will shave down the teeth that are crooked, sticking out, or sitting in front of other teeth. If you have a tooth that has an irregular shape, they can shave it down as well to get it to a more standard look. Enamel shaping is often used in conjunction with bonding as they may fill in cracks left by shaving with the bonding solution.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns do just what the name suggests: they cover over teeth. In most cases, crowns are used for teeth that have suffered serious decaying or that have extensive damage. They are a long-term solution fashioned out of porcelain, acrylic, or a special resin. Crowns are attached to a metal post implanted into the mouth, often on the surrounding teeth. The dentist will take an impression of the affected teeth and area of the mouth so that a custom-fitting crown can be created that will fit perfectly. During the time between the appointment to take the impression and the installation of the permanent crown, patients are given a temporary one to protect the tooth in the meantime. Crowns stay in the mouth for about 15 years, depending on the habits of the patient. Certain sticky or hard foods, for instance, can damage crowns, requiring them to be replaced.
Implants are a practically permanent treatment to covering up missing teeth. A cosmetic dentist will surgically implant a metal post into the jawbone to support crowns to fill in your smile. To be eligible, a patient must have adequate bone density in their jaw to support the implant. The screws are made from titanium, so they are often permanent, while the crowns they support may need to be replaced. Impressions need to be taken to make custom-fitting crowns, and will have to be installed at a later appointment from the surgery. In fact, the process for dental implants may require several appointments over a period of up to 6 months. This may seem like a long time, but you will end up with a permanent beautiful smile at the end of it.
There is so much that a cosmetic dentist can do to give you the best smile possible. While it may seem like a cosmetic procedure might not be medically necessary, having a great smile can greatly improve your confidence, self-esteem, and overall mental health. If you have a smile that’s dragging you down, contact The Quality Dental Team right away!