Missing, dingy and crooked teeth were just part of the past, and it wasn't a big deal. Today, however, having a perfect smile is something everyone desires. Luckily, advancements in cosmetic dentistry have made it easier than ever to get the glamorous smile you deserve. Check out these five procedures that have revolutionized cosmetic dentistry.
Having teeth professionally whitened in a dental office is still the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. With professional teeth whitening, a whiter, brighter smile is within reach fast. The process involves the use of highly-concentrated peroxide gel, which is applied to the teeth to remove stains. Despite the use of this powerful gel, in-office whitening is still the safest whitening option and results in less tooth sensitivity or gum agitation because it is done by a professional. However, not all stains can be treated with teeth whitening. In particular, inorganic stains are immune to any bleaching product.
One way to treat those inorganic stains, and another popular cosmetic procedure, is porcelain veneers. These are thin shells that cover the front surface of your front teeth, leaving them perfectly straight, shaped and white. Because they are crafted with porcelain, they even have the same translucency as natural teeth. People love veneers because they are an easy way to quickly fix several problems, including stained teeth, cracks in the enamel, minor crowding, minor gapping and misshapen teeth. To place the veneers, however, the dentist must remove some of the enamel from your tooth, making it prone to decay without the protective veneer.
If you're missing one tooth or several teeth, forget about dentures or dental crowns. Although the work for dental implants began around the time of World War II, they are only now becoming popular for people with missing teeth. Dental crowns are the best solution for missing teeth because the titanium used for the implant fuses to your jawbone, making it as durable as a healthy, natural tooth. They look completely real and can last the rest of your life. On the downside, dental implants come with a high price tag, costing about $4250 for just one tooth.
Gone are the days of metal fillings, because today, many dentists use composite fillings to create a seamless fix. Composite fillings use a white composite resin that mimics the look of teeth well. Unlike metal fillings, they bond to teeth, and less tooth must be removed to hold the filling. However, they don't last long. In fact most only last between two and ten years. They are more prone to deterioration than metal fillings, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth, and the color eventually stains.
Porcelain crowns are much like veneers, except they cover the entire tooth and can be placed on front and back teeth. Like metal crowns, they protect the tooth and strengthen it, preventing it from shattering or needing to be pulled. However, porcelain crowns look just like natural teeth, so you can get a perfect smile, even if you have misshapen teeth, crooked teeth, weakened teeth or stained teeth. Like with veneers, a portion of the tooth must be removed to fit the crown, so getting a porcelain crown is a permanent decision, and they only last between five and fifteen years, so you will need to spend more money to replace them at some time in the future.
Just because you don't have the beautiful smile you want doesn't mean you can never have it. Thanks to these advancements in cosmetic dentistry, almost any problem can be fixed with fantastic results. If you're ready to start your smile restoration, contact a cosmetic dentist in your area today.