Unfortunately, many people feel insecure about their teeth and avoid smiling altogether. Problems like gaps, crooked teeth, chips or cracks, and irregular gum lines can not only affect your appearance but can lead to difficulties in daily functions like eating, speaking, or even breathing in severe cases.
Cosmetic dental procedures are the first line of treatment for solving these issues and improving your smile. With whiter, straighter teeth, you will be encouraged to smile more often, which has numerous benefits for your health and social life.
Here we discuss the most common procedures available, along with which ones are best suited to your individual dental issues.
Common Teeth Concerns
Before we move on to the procedures. Here is a list of the common dental problems that most adults suffer from throughout their lifetime:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Chips or cracks
- Tooth decay or cavities
- Tooth staining and discoloration
- Gummy smile or uneven gum line
- Missing teeth
Reasons Why Your Smile Is Important
Usually, you shouldn’t need a reason to smile, but if you are not confident to show off your pearly whites, there are many ways to improve it. Here are some of the reasons to wear your smile more often.
- Smiling causes the release of stress-relieving hormones, which elevates your mood.
- People who smile often are considered friendly and approachable. You will naturally attract people with your smile.
- Smiling creates a positive and lasting impression on those around you.
- Smiling more often makes you appear more confident and trustworthy.
- You will be more inclined to take care of your oral health if you cherish your smile, and good oral health is linked to the health of your overall body.
- Frequent smiling is known to be linked with an improved immune system.
- Smiling will also aid in your professional life. Those who smile often are more likely to be promoted.
Both preventive and cosmetic dental care is a form of self-care that benefits your entire well-being, be it physical, emotional, or mental, and is linked to overall improved health.
Let’s move on to the good stuff to turn your dream smile into a reality.
Smile design utilizes the perks of different dental treatments making it the perfect solution to all your teeth issues. A skilled cosmetic dentist will customize the ideal makeover through modern technology, which factors in your physical traits such as:
- Facial Features
- Hair Color
- Gum line
The end result is a perfect smile designed just for you.
Implants are the best method to replace missing teeth or if a tooth is severely damaged or decayed. They can replace the missing tooth, including the roots, while maintaining the bone structure. Furthermore, they are custom-made to suit your facial features, so they look natural on you.
Implants allow you to eat your favorite foods without having to deal with pain, and with proper care, they can easily last you for decades or even a lifetime.
Unlike implants, crowns, as the name suggests, only cover the structural part of your damaged or decayed teeth preventing further deterioration. The tooth in question may need to build up or filed down to accommodate the crown. They are also used in combination with implants and bridges.
Crowns aka “caps'' prevent the bacteria from reaching the root of the tooth and causing nerve infection. In addition, it can also cover discolored teeth providing an even, natural smile.
However, they may need to be replaced in the long run if the crowns become discolored and for other cosmetic reasons.
These are thin-tooth-colored shells that are permanently cemented to your teeth to hide visible flaws like misshapen, irregular, chipped, or discolored teeth. They are usually applied on teeth that are visible when you smile.
There are many types of veneers, but porcelain veneers are the most preferable given their durability and natural look. The dentist will first file a thin layer of the tooth and take an impression to make a custom-fit veneer. Then the porcelain shell is placed over the tooth and buffed before cementing the veneer using UV light.
The advantage of veneer is that it is entirely customizable so that your teeth look natural. They also last longer than dental bonding.
Often, the reason for dental treatment isn’t just cosmetic but to find relief from constant headaches, facial pain, and severe issues such as slurred speech. This results from misalignment, gaps, and bite issues. However, orthodontics is here to save the day.
Orthodontics is no longer limited to only metal wires and brackets. There are many other alternatives available like-
- Traditional metal braces
- Lingual braces
- Clear or ceramic braces
Composite fillings are essentially mixtures of resin, glass, and other materials that fill in the cavity in your teeth. Previously, mercury and amalgam were used as fillings instead; however, they are harmful, and the unnatural silver color makes your teeth look ghastly.
Composite fillings, on the other hand, naturally weld into your teeth and blend with your teeth color. No one would know the difference. Be sure to get metal-free fillings on your next appointment.
Although veneers are a popular cosmetic dental procedure, it is also an expensive one. A cheaper alternative is composite bonding which bonds to the tooth to cover up minor defects like chips, cracks, and broken or irregular teeth. The result is natural-looking teeth free from defects following polishing and shaping by the dentist.
Sometimes the issue doesn’t lie in your teeth but in the gums. Many people prefer to change their gummy smile or correct an asymmetrical gum line.
Gum contouring removes excess gum tissue creating an even gum line that shows more of your teeth. You will notice the increased attractiveness of your smile immediately.
Uneven or slightly crowded teeth are minor imperfections that can be easily fixed by enamel shaping. The biggest perk is that it offers instant results.
This is usually done in combination with composite bonding and involves changing the length, shape, and even the position of the teeth.
The most popular dental procedure with the quickest results is teeth whitening. Pearly whites are the cheapest method to improve your smile and draw attention away from fine lines and wrinkles.
Any concerns regarding discoloration, staining, and yellowing usually occur due to diet and smoking. Drinks like coffee, tea, wine, and certain medications are known to cause staining.
Despite the widely available over-the-counter whitening solutions, nothing compares to the effectiveness of a professional procedure. This is because your dentist has stronger bleaching agents that can be given in combination with other methods like heat and laser lights.
Moreover, the custom-made trays provided at the dentist's office allow more contact between the teeth and the solution as opposed to the single-size tray given with home products.
Keep in mind that results can last between six months and a couple of years. Good habits like regular brushing with whitening toothpaste, flossing, and avoiding stain-causing foods can lengthen the time between treatments.
You should also be aware of potential side effects like gum irritation and tooth sensitivity which are more common when over-the-counter products are used.
An invention of modern orthodontics, Invisalign uses clear aligner trays to straighten teeth instead of traditional metal brackets and wires.
The biggest benefits are that they are invisible, and you can take them off when eating, brushing, or flossing. They are capable of straightening teeth in complex cases within a shorter period of time compared to traditional braces.
For effective results, Invisalign must be worn for at least 20-22hrs a day, and the entire treatment process can take anywhere between 12-18 months. Although sizes are available for all ages, they may not be suitable to treat cases requiring drastic movement.
Invisalign is an effective albeit costly procedure. The average cost of Invisalign is $5000, and part of this can be covered by dental insurance.
Smiles don’t only consist of teeth. Fine lines, crow’s feet, wrinkles, and other signs of aging can overshadow your smile. Botox is the only FDA-approved treatment to be an effective anti-aging solution. It relaxes the muscles to diminish lines and wrinkles, resulting in smooth skin.
Furthermore, botox also relieves severe headaches, jaw pain, and tension in facial structure and treats TMJ disorders.
Nevertheless, the most important thing is that you must receive botox administered by a skilled professional; otherwise, you may end up with unnatural results.
The procedure itself takes about 15 minutes, but it may take a day or two and sometimes even a week to see visible results. The effect can last up to six months, depending on where you received the treatment, following which you will need to be re-injected.
Given the widespread availability of counterfeit botox, be wary of lower prices and discounts too good to be true. The average price is $500, which can vary depending on the required units and location.
Before you choose any particular procedure, consult your dentist to identify your problems and select the appropriate cosmetic dental treatment for you.
Ensure that you have considered the costs, your budget, and the duration of the results before getting the procedure done. Cosmetic dental treatments have drastically improved the lives of many and increased their self-confidence.
Your smile is precious, and you deserve to smile freely to express it fully. Don’t let tooth issues damper your joy, and let your dentist handle it for you. Next time remember to smile freely for the pictures showing off all your pearly whites!