During the pandemic, many of us were forced to work remotely and handle a lot of calls on video conferencing platforms like Zoom. This made many people self-conscious about their smiles, given all that screen time we were forced to have. Perhaps you feel the same way? Perhaps you have been uncomfortable about your teeth for a long time. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to carry your discomfort any longer. Cosmetic dentistry has advanced to a stage in which it can treat many of the cosmetic issues that people have about their teeth. So what we are going to do is see if you should consider cosmetic dentistry.
For many people, cosmetic dentistry is something superficial, a thing that influencers and wanna-be influencers have to achieve an inhumanly perfect smile. Yet, how your smile appears can have a big impact on your life, from its romantic aspects to determining whether you make a good impression at a job interview. The American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry says that the goal of cosmetic dentists is to achieve a positive impact on your smile and on your life. You need to deal with your teeth if you want to make a good impression on other people. Not only is good dental aesthetics great for your self-esteem and the impression you make, it will also improve your overall oral health. You see, the ageing process brings with it wear and tear of the teeth, resulting in a darkening and yellowing of the teeth; and chipping, cracking, crowding, decay, erosion and shifting of the teeth. Improving how your teeth appear can improve their functionality and fitness. For instance, it’s easier to keep straight teeth in good condition. Crooked teeth are just harder to clean. So, let’s look at the options out there and see if any of them meet your needs.
Teeth whitening is perhaps the most frequently requested cosmetic dentistry procedure. It can really transform your smile, especially if your teeth are straight. You can choose to either visit a cosmetic dentist, or, use teeth whiteners from the comfort of your home. There are a range of teeth whiteners available, such as whitening strips, LED-boosted tray systems, and paint on serums. Typically, they work over a period of weeks, so don’t expect instant results. Going to a cosmetic dentist is much faster, with laser treatments capable of whitening your teeth by several shades in just one hour. Regardless of what method you use to whiten your teeth, you will need to maintain your teeth and eat a diet that’s good for your teeth and doesn’t yellow and darken it. Foods such as fizzy drinks, wine, coffee, and berries, can alter the colour of your teeth.
Some people suffer from chipped or broken teeth or teeth with gaps between them. Bonding is a good solution for these problems. By applying a composite or porcelain resin filling material to a tooth’s enamel and dentin, these problems can be rectified. Composites look good really quickly. So if you need a quick fix, that’s the filling material you need. This is a durable solution that should last you 5 to 7 years and is ideal until you can get a more permanent treatment. Bonding isn’t too pricey, at about $400 to $800 per tooth. Over time, however, it stains and it lasts a third as long as veneers.
It’s the rare person who has never had a crown before. For most people it is an inevitability. You can’t escape from death, taxes and crowns. Typically, they are customized to your needs in a lab and are used to replace and improve your teeth’s shape and functionality. Getting a crown or partial is typically done over 2 appointments. With 3-D imaging technology, it is now possible to have them customized in your dentist’s office over a period of 90 minutes. Then, a milling device crafts your crown from porcelain and it’s ready to use! Crowns are durable, look natural and are versatile. The downside to crowns is that you have to reduce and shape a healthy tooth. You may experience gum sensitivity and recession. Over time, a difference in color may emerge between your crown and teeth. Worst of all, your insurance may only cover part of the cost.
If you’re looking for that blockbuster Hollywood smile, then you need to get veneers. Veneers are thin composite or porcelain resin shells that are applied on your teethy, transforming chipped, crooked, stained, and unevenly or irregularly-spaced teeth. The downside to this dalliance with perfection, is the price. Veneers typically cost between $800 and $2000 per tooth. Most people require between four and eight teeth. There are newer and thinner veneers available these days, such as Lumineers Dental Veneers, which let dentists be less aggressive, yet, as with crown, healthy teeth have to be reduced in order to make way for the veneers. You’re advised to get a cosmetic dentist who is a member of the AACD and has experience with occlusion, because a poor bite will reduce your veneer’s lifespan (which is supposed to be 20 to 25 years). You should ask to see pictures of their previous work. Good veneers will have customized color, so if anyone has teeth the color of chalk, get another dentist. The commitment and cost of getting veneers is such that you should only be prepared to work with the very best cosmetic dentists. Veneers are irreversible but their quality can decline. If you clench and grind your teeth as you sleep, you will have to wear a nightguard.
Finally, let’s look at implants. They are a wonderful replacement for missing teeth. They are a long-term solution because they are embedded in the jawbone, like the rest of your teeth. Unlike your natural teeth, though, they can’t develop cavities! Whereas removable dentures or fixed bridges affect neighbouring healthy teeth, or result in bone loss in your jawbone, implants do not have these downsides. Dental implants, treated right, can last for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, the process of getting implants and having your jawbone adjust to them, can take several months.