With a vast array of possibilities and procedures, cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever. From simpler ones like whitening and shaping to closing gaps and replacing teeth, the industry has advanced a lot in finding new ways for improving your smile.
Certain dietary and lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking coffee and tea, as well as taking certain medications can lead to teeth discoloration. Using a chemical process, your dentist can bleach your teeth or facilitate a system you can use at home. Whitening at home using a custom mouthpiece tray is more convenient for many patients, but it might take several weeks or more, depending on the strength of the solution. It’s important to keep in mind that even if you bleach them, your teeth can easily get stained again if you continue using the substances that stained them in the first place.
Apart from improving the look of teeth that are crooked or crowded, braces can improve an irregular bite and correct jaw positioning as jaw joint disorders. They are worn to apply pressure and reposition the teeth, usually over a course of few months, or even longer, for more complex cases. Regular oral hygiene provided, the risks with braces are minimal, but people with allergies to metal or latex can experience problems. In those cases, instead of braces, dentists often recommend wearing a series of clear customized appliances called aligners or invisible braces.
As a great alternative to braces, clear aligners such as Invisalign are virtually invisible and can be removed during eating, brushing, flossing or for enjoying sports or playing an instrument. This ground-breaking treatment is designed to straighten your teeth in a discrete way using a series or clear plastic aligners instead of unsightly metal braces. If you live in the greater Sydney area, check out this awesome dental practice specialized for Invisalign in Maroubra and find out more about the benefits of this superior orthodontic technology.
Bonding is a technique that dentists use for improving the look of the teeth with wide gaps between them, teeth that are chopped, broken or cracked. In a single office visit, your dentist applies an etching solution that gives the bonding material a better grip, and then uses composite resins available in many shades of teeth colors. Bonding can last up to several years, but it’s more likely to wear away than any other restoration procedure.
Made of porcelain and less often plastic, these custom teeth shells cover the front sides of the teeth, changing their color and shape. They last longer than bonding and provide a much better appearance. Veneers can be used to improve teeth that have spaces between them or those which are chipped or worn, are permanently stained, poorly shaped or slightly crooked. The dentist takes an impression of your tooth, buffs it before cementing the veneer in place and uses a beam of UV light to harden the composite.
An upgrade from veneers, crowns completely cover a tooth, restoring a normal shape and appearance. Crowns are used to cover discoloured teeth, protect a weak tooth, cover a tooth with a large filling, or hold a dental bridge in place. They can be made of metal, porcelain fused to metal, ceramic materials or resin. Crowns are costly, so dentists usually recommend them only when other procedures aren’t expected to produce a satisfactory result.
Before you decide to submit to any dental cosmetic procedures, it’s good to know both the benefits and risks, as well as what you should expect during the process. Also, make sure you are familiar with the costs and whether the procedure calls for special maintenance onwards.