Even if you adhere to a dentist-recommended oral health regimen and do not have any cavities, you may still develop dental problems that affect your appearance. Crooked, chipped, or yellowed teeth can make you shy about smiling. Large gaps can also make you feel embarrassed about your visage. A solution to these issues is to consult with a cosmetic dentist about getting a complete smile makeover. The following guide outlines what is involved in overhauling your smile with tried and true cosmetic dental techniques.
Getting an Initial Consultation
Your cosmetic dentist will provide you with a variety of treatments to upgrade your smile. But before work begins, the dental professional will complete a full dental exam and listen to your concerns to find out how you feel your appearance can be enhanced.
The recommendations of the cosmetic dentist will take into account other aspects of your appearance including hair color, face shape, skin tone, the shape of your lips and the health of your gum tissue.
In addition, if you are concerned about the price of treatments, reputable dentists generally offer finance plans for patients who cannot cover costs with insurance. You may be able to spread out the payments for your treatments over several months to a few years.
Fixing Uneven and Chipped Teeth
Even if uneven or chipped teeth are not posing any dental issues, they can mar your smile. There are several options for fixing teeth to conceal defects including veneers, inlays and onlays.
Veneers are thin shells made from composite materials such as porcelain. They are custom-crafted and cemented onto teeth that have been trimmed and shaped for a flawless fit. After you get veneers your teeth will be perfectly shaped.
If you have a severely chipped tooth, a dentist may use an inlay or onlay to cover up the damaged area. An inlay is a type of filling for small spaces while an onlay can replace nearly the entire structure of the biting surface of your tooth, similar to a partial crown.
Closing the Gap
Gaps in and of themselves are not harmful. However, if you think the spaces between your teeth are unattractive, a cosmetic dentist can close the spaces with bonding material.
Bonding involves applying tooth-colored resin to the surface of teeth. For small gaps, the material is applied directly to a tooth. In other cases, the dentist will roughen the surface of a tooth, apply a bonding material and then add resin material. The resin will be molded to a shape that closes a gap followed by a smoothing out process.
The last step includes hardening and polishing the material so it resembles the hue of natural tooth material.
Getting a Light, Bright Smile
One of the easiest ways to beautify your smile is teeth whitening. Instead of trying to figure out which of the numerous products on drugstore shelves will actually work in brightening your teeth, have a professional perform the task for you.
Professional teeth whitening is relatively inexpensive. You will not have to keep spending money on dubious, consumer products made of solutions that sting your lips and stain your fingers and clothes. During a couple of short visits, a dentist will use a teeth whitening solution in a tray customized for your mouth to lighten teeth. A custom-built tray will be much more comfortable than the ill-fitting plastic trays found in home whitening kits that poke and pinch your gums.
For more information, talk to a cosmetic dentist like David Jackson, DDS.