A smile may be a simple gesture, but it is one that can convey many different things. However, in order to share a smile with those around us we first need to be
happy and confident in the appearance of our teeth. Unfortunately, teeth are regularly cited as one of the most significant elements of the way that we look that we would most like to change. Whether it is the color of our teeth, the way that they are aligned or the appearance of our gums, feeling unhappy with our smile can have a detrimental effect on our self-esteem
You deserve to make the very most of your smile. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry procedures have continued to evolve and improve so that they can enhance virtually any aspect of your teeth.
Here are some of the best and most effective dental treatments to enhance your smile.
Professional Teeth Whitening
The color of our teeth is something that the vast majority of us would like to improve. Perhaps then it should be of no surprise that tooth whitening is the single most commonly-requested cosmetic dental procedure in the world. Whiter teeth are considered to be healthier and more attractive and the person who has them is often thought of as being much more successful in life than someone who is living with stained or discolored teeth.
If you have been to a grocery or drug store you have probably seen a plethora of different products that state that they can lighten and whiten your smile. While many of them can make some mild improvement to the color of your teeth, professional in-office teeth whitening is widely acclaimed to be the most effective and deliver the most consistent and long-lasting results. This involves visiting your cosmetic dentist for a number of sessions during which high-grade bleach is pasted onto your teeth to break up stains and discoloration. Exactly how many sessions you will need will depend on the color of your teeth at the beginning of your treatment and the shade you are trying to achieve.
Dental veneers are a popular alternative to tooth whitening since they can dramatically alter the color of your teeth as well as deal with a number of other cosmetic issues. This includes covering chips and cracks in the teeth, as well as closing spaces between them and making teeth appear more uniform in thickness and height. Veneers are custom-designed, thin, shell-like covers for each tooth and can be provided to improve just one or two teeth or your entire smile. They are made from porcelain which can be glazed to match your existing teeth, or, in the case of a total set, to lighten and brighten the color of your smile.
In order for veneers to be fitted, a little of the natural enamel of the affected tooth must be removed under local anesthetic. However, since enamel doesn’t regenerate, once you have had a tooth prepped for veneers it will always need a veneer over it.
Dental bonding isn’t as well-known as many other cosmetic dentistry treatments, but it can be highly effective in enhancing the appearance of your smile. Just like veneers, it can repair/cover chips and cracks, close gaps and improve the overall shape, height, and thickness of the teeth. Unlike porcelain veneers, dental bonding involves pasting a soft, pliable resin onto the teeth which are then shaped as necessary. Once your dentist is happy with the appearance of the teeth, the resin is hardened using a special light. It is non-invasive and there is no need for anesthetic.
Also known as enamel shaping, this procedure enables your cosmetic dentist to undertake a fairly swift fix of very minor imperfections such as chips, uneven enamel or a slightly irregular tooth shape. Since some of the enamel is being removed using a special sanding tool, a local anesthetic is used to make sure that patients are not in any discomfort. It is important to remember that enamel cannot regenerate, so once changes have been made, they are permanent. You may find that your teeth are particularly sensitive after the procedure as some of the natural enamel that protects the more sensitive layers will have been removed.
It isn’t just our teeth that can affect the appearance of our smile. Gum contouring, also known as reshaping, is another popular dental cosmetic dental treatment. It is most often recommended for patients who have what is referred to as a ‘gummy smile’ characterized by excess amounts of gum tissue. It isn’t always known exactly why some patients have more gum tissue on display when they smile than others. Fortunately, the natural line of the gums can be fairly easily reshaped using this procedure which involves either lasers or hand-held tools being used to cut away the excess gum tissue. In some instances, the underlying bone is also recontoured which helps to ensure that the gums do not grow back over the teeth again.
It is important to note that gum contouring is a surgical procedure and as such, a local anesthetic and often sedation is usually given. You will also have sore, swollen gums for a number of days after and need to allow yourself some time to heal and recover. Your cosmetic dentist will talk you through what you need to know and what you need to do during your recovery process.
If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your teeth and would like to find out more about any of the treatments listed above, or if you would like to arrange an appointment to find out which cosmetic dentistry procedure will best enhance your smile, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced cosmetic dentistry team.