The smile captures the attention of others and the way a person smiles can say a lot about the self-image of that person. A warm and open smile shows that someone is comfortable in his, or her, own skin and has a good self-image. A person with a smile that is closed and tight might not be confident enough to show off their teeth because of their damaged condition. Many people have teeth that are chipped, cracked or misshaped because of an accident to the teeth. They might also have dental issues because of poor dental care that doesn’t properly take care of their teeth and gums. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of the teeth. There are many cosmetic dentistry options available to patients that can greatly improve the smile of a person.
Six Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Makes an Improvement in the Smile of a Patient
Some of the most common cosmetic dentistry methods that are used to improve the smile of a person include the cosmetic dentistry techniques listed below:
- Dental Crowns – Dental crowns work to protect the tooth that it is placed on along with restoring the shape, appearance and functionality of a tooth that has suffered damage such as being cracked or chipped. Dental crowns are often made of porcelain. The cosmetic dentist can more easily achieve a natural look to the dental crown by reshaping and shaving the original tooth to better fit the dental crown.
- Teeth Whitening – The process of whitening the teeth can lighten the teeth by a shade or two. While this might not seem like much of a difference in the appearance of the teeth, a lighter shade or two can make the teeth look whiter and brighter than they have in the past. Teeth whitening can be performed in the office of a doctor or it can be performed at home. Teeth whitening at home can consist of materials bought over the counter in a store or materials that are sent home by the dentist to be used by the patient. Teeth that are whiter and brighter help improve the self-image as well as the self-esteem of a person
- Dental Implants – A dental implant is a cosmetic dentistry solution for teeth that are damaged to the point that they cannot be saved. The teeth can be broken or decayed and they can also be damaged thanks to a traumatic event that was suffered by the teeth. Much like dental bridges, dental implants fill-in the space that is left by a missing tooth while also restoring the functionality and look of the teeth in the treated area. In addition, dental implants prevent the remaining, natural teeth from shifting out of place in the jaw.
- Invisalign – In the past, patients did not want to wear braces because they were metal and had to stay in the mouth 24/7. Cosmetic dentistry gives patients access to clear and thin plastic aligners that serve to straighten the teeth without the clunky metal appearance of traditional braces. In addition, Invisalign can be removed from the mouth when patients are eating or brushing their teeth. It should be noted that, in order to get the maximum results from wearing Invisalign, patients will need to keep the aligners in the mouth 22-23 hours per day. The series of aligner trays apply a gentle, constant pressure to the teeth in order to shift them into a more aligned position. In general, the Invislalign aligners are worn for about two weeks before they are replaced with the next set of aligners provided for the treatment.
- Dental Bridges – A dental bridge serves the purpose of what is promised by its name. A dental bridge is used to fill-in the areas in the mouth that have a gap of any size between the teeth. The dental bridge can also be used to replace missing teeth.
- Dental Veneers – These are thin shells that are used to cover the front of a tooth that is decayed or damaged. Veneers are often made of porcelain and are created to resemble the natural look of the tooth that they are applied to in the mouth. Dental veneers cover the appearance of the damaged tooth while also correcting issues that happen to the teeth such as chipped teeth or discoloration of the teeth.
Cosmetic Dentistry also improves the Function of the Teeth
Unlike many forms of cosmetic surgery that are performed by cosmetic doctors on a regular basis, cosmetic dentistry can improve the appearance of the teeth and gums as well as improve the functionality of the treated areas. Cosmetic dentistry techniques such as dental implants and dental bridges can take the place/perform the same functions as the damaged teeth they are replacing in the mouth of a patient. These cosmetic dentistry solutions fill-in gaps left in the mouth by the loss of the original tooth. Because they fill-in the space left behind by the lost tooth, they are able to help patients grip, tear and crush food that might have been too difficult to chew because of the loss of the teeth. Patients that are looking to improve both the aesthetics and the function of damaged or missing teeth should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified cosmetic dentist to get a better idea of the functional changes that can be made with their teeth.