Did you know that over half of Americans believe that a smile is the number one feature to stay most attractive as we age? This comes as no surprise; healthy smiles make people seem more attractive, happy, and appealing, and make individuals feel more cosmetic too. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances that occur which take that healthy, beautiful smile away from people: accidents can knock out or chip teeth; bad habits can go on for too long so that decay, yellowing, or tooth loss occurs; or people are born with missing or crooked teeth, or other genetic factors that affect oral health. Regardless of how it happened, a cosmetic blight in the smile can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Here are the options you have to leave your cosmetic dentistry office with a grin full of pearly whites.
Crowns. Dental crowns are basically a tiny cap that is settled down over your existing tooth. You may choose crowns to cover a handful of teeth that are decaying, black or yellow due to cavities and rot, or chipped or misshapened. Crowns are not ideal for a patient that has more teeth with cosmetic issues than not, but can be used to protect and conceal teeth that are weakened or discolored.
Bridges. Dental bridges are exactly that, bridges. They cover the gap left by missing teeth. A bridge will have a crown on each end for the anchoring teeth and a line of false teeth in between. If you are a patient with few natural teeth remaining and large gaps in between them, your bridges will likely have to be supported by dental implants. The benefits of a bridge can go beyond the cosmetic. If your tooth loss is so severe that you struggle to speak or eat, bridges can help you remedy those issues.
Implants. Dental implants go beyond the cosmetic fix of bridges or crowns. Implants are surgically placed in the mouth to replace tooth roots that are rotted or otherwise compromised. Dental implants serve as foundations for bridges so that the false teeth remain as stable as natural ones.
Whitening. While the effectiveness of home teeth whitening varies greatly by remedy and user error, many cosmetic dentistry institutions offer some degree of professional teeth whitening or bleaching. This is a viable option for patients that have all of their teeth and little to no tooth decay, but are still unhappy with the yellowness of their smile. There are some things to keep in mind regarding teeth whitening, however: since it is not considered a necessary procedure, it may not be covered by some insurance providers, and even professional teeth whitening will not be permeant if healthy oral habits are not followed after.
Braces. Braces and other corrective smile procedures are oftentimes undergone in adolescence but can be chosen by adults too. Braces are usually a commitment that lasts over several years, and can realign adult teeth that are crooked, crowded, or out of place during this extended period of time. Talk to your family dentist to find out if braces are the best option for your oral health and financial situation.
Education. No amount of dental corrective procedures can be as effective, especially in teenagers and young adults, as the understanding of the importance of oral health. If you have recently undergone a corrective procedure or are concerned about the dental health of your children, family, or friends, it’s best to talk to your dentist about the diseases that come with poor oral hygiene and habits like sugary diets and smoking.
Regardless of what events or habits led you to where you are now, it is a wonderful feeling to leave the dentist’s office with a bright, renewed smile. Find out which of these corrective procedures is best to give you a second chance at oral health and the boost of confidence you deserve.