What is Cosmetic Dentistry Really, and How Can it Improve My Smile?
Cosmetic dentistry is good for your smile and your health, too.
The word “cosmetic” has become so synonymous with “making something beautiful” that if you told someone you had a cosmetic dentistry procedure done over the weekend, their first guess would be that you got a new set of teeth.
Only a handful of people who don’t work in the field of dentistry (or a similar industry) would say, “Were you getting your teeth aligned or fixing the chip in your upper incisor?” Which is what cosmetic dentistry is all about.
It’s not about just making your smile appealing, it’s also restoring normal function (just like restorative dentistry), so it’s no surprise the former often overlaps with the latter.
In fact, restorative dentistry usually comes before cosmetic dentistry in laying the groundwork to create your perfect smile. Let’s look at a couple of cosmetic dentistry procedures and what they might be able to achieve for your smile.
Invisalign Teeth Straightening
Invisalign clear aligners have grown in popularity over the years thanks to its nearly invisible appearance. Its discreet appearance makes it incredibly popular with self-conscious teens and adults who don’t want the appearance of metal braces to disrupt their lives. Modern dental technology maps your entire treatment plan so you can see your complete smile before you even receive your first aligners!
The clear aligners gently and gradually apply pressure to your teeth to move them into the correct position. Not only will you achieve a straighter smile, but you will reap the benefits of a more aligned bite, fewer gaps between teeth to trap food and bacteria, and increased confidence in your smile.
Did you know six out of 10 Americans aged 18 to 49 believe a whiter smile can boost their self-confidence? In fact, in 2019 alone, 38.92 million people used teeth whiteners. This cosmetic dentistry procedure can work in one of three ways, each determined by your unique situation and personal preference:
- An in-office whitening treatment can lighten your teeth’s color by up to 14 shades in one visit. This is the quickest and most effective option to whiten your teeth.
- You can talk to your dentist about a custom-fitted, at-home teeth whitening tray so you can apply the solution in the comfort of your own home. This option can whiten your teeth by up to eight shades in two weeks.
- Finally (and the seemingly most economical option), the whitening strips you buy over the counter from your local pharmacy or grocery store, which can whiten your teeth up to three shades. This option is not custom-fitted so you need to be wary of gum and tooth sensitivity from where the solution comes into contact with your gums. You also won’t see significant results for quite a while. You may need to repeat the treatment frequently to achieve the results you want, which can end up being more costly than a professional treatment in the end.
Porcelain veneers are the makeup concealers of the dentistry world. This cosmetic dentistry procedure is the go-to option for people with chips, cracks, spaces between teeth, uneven teeth, or discoloration.
Porcelain veneers are thin, shell-like covers that are placed over your tooth to restore the look and function of your tooth. Your dentist can customize the shape and color of the veneer so you can match the shade of your other teeth and preserve your unique smile or smooth out aspects that bother you. And they keep your damaged tooth or teeth safe from further damage.
Veneers are a permanent solution, just like a filling.
Are you one of the 3% to 16% of adults who experience dental anxiety? Cosmetic bonding may be a great option for you. During a cosmetic bonding procedure, your dentist applies a tooth-colored resin to repair chips, fractures, minor discoloration, and uneven spacing. The process is quick and much more cost effective than some other procedures.
Cosmetic dentistry is not just about the appearance of your teeth, although the increased confidence you get from a healthy smile is worth it in itself! Cosmetic dentistry also aims to improve the form and function of your teeth, as well as ensure you continue to have a healthy smile for years to come. If you’re ready to discuss your cosmetic dentistry options with us, you can book an appointment so we can start the journey towards your ideal smile.