Cosmetic Dentistry 101: Treatments to Improve the Appearance of your Teeth

John Ray, a 17th Century naturalist and author once wrote, “Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.” Even today, that small quote packs a big punch, for we see dozens of advertisements and marketing for whiter teeth and better smiles.  We know both intuitively and scientifically that laughter is medicine that soothes the soul, so it’s no wonder people have gone to great lengths with cosmetic dentistry to be comfortable with their mouths.  While there are several forms of cosmetic dentistry, the four most popular are discussed below.

Teeth Whitening

This is one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of a smile.  There are a few ways to whiten teeth.  For cases where over-the-counter toothpaste, mouthwash, and gels do not yield good results, there are dentists that specialize in teeth whitening, using far more powerful ingredients than what can be found over the counter.  Specialists often have both in-office and at-home applications that use potent whitening gels applied directly to the teeth.  Teeth whitening is by far the least invasive  and convenient form of cosmetic dentistry.  It is also safe, reliable, and greatly effective, even on tough long-term stains.

Teeth Straightening

Crooked and misaligned teeth is a concern of millions of people, causing many to shy away from smiling and laughing.  Fortunately, heavy metal braces and awkward retainers are no longer the only ways to straighten those teeth.  There are now invisible braces that can be removed at any time, whether for eating or social events.  There are a couple of different brands, but generally speaking, these invisible braces work better than the metal ones and can begin to show results in as little as 6 to 12 weeks, depending on how often you wear them and the severity of misalignment. While once only available in the main cities, modern treatments like Invisalign, Incognito and Six Month Smile are now available at your local orthodontist.

Dental Implants

Missing teeth can make smiling and laughing incredibly uncomfortable.  Even those with dentures often complain of gum discomfort and inconvenience. Aside from the negative psychological effects missing teeth bring on, there are physical concerns as well.  The jaw will restructure and will suffer bone loss when a tooth and root are missing, which can cause the mouth to sag and add years to facial appearance.  Dental implants are made from titanium and inserted as the root of the missing tooth.  It then fuses with the jaw bone and creates a natural bond, then being able to support a crown or bridge on top of it.  These give you the feel and look of natural teeth.

Veneers

As we age, our teeth take a massive beating with acidic foods and drinks and overall wear and tear, gaining stains, chips, and thinning enamel along the way. Veneers are ultra-thin white porcelain shells that are put over teeth to mask discoloration and chipping.  They also are quite resistant to further stains and discoloration.  Additionally, they can close small spaces between teeth and whiten the smile.  Veneers are a good option for people who are looking for an all-inclusive cosmetic option.

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