Do you feel your smile is holding you back from social or professional success? Your smile may influence the way others conceive you, especially as a first impression. There are several reasons why one's teeth may cause a person to feel self-conscious, many of which can be corrected through cosmetic dentistry. Exhibiting any of the following signs may be reason to embrace the concept of cosmetic dentistry:
1. Your Teeth Appear Discolored or Stained
Teeth may become dingy or discolored for various reasons, especially over a period of time. Factors such as the use of long-term medications, smoking or consuming certain foods can cause stains or yellowing of the teeth. If your teeth have lost its radiant whiteness, it may be time to seek an opinion from a cosmetic dentist.
Teeth whitening is an effective procedure that cosmetic dentists perform in the office. While you may use teeth whitening products at home, having a whitening procedure is a preferred method, as measures may be taken to protect the enamel on your teeth and reduce unpleasant effects.
The technique of teeth whitening is a cosmetic option that may be performed with the use of a laser or bleaching solutions. Treatments may require several sessions, depending upon the severity of discoloration. You may not be an ideal candidate for teeth whitening if you have dental veneers or crowns, or extreme tooth sensitivity.
2. You Have Missing Teeth or a Large Gap Between Teeth
Missing teeth and large gaps may not only affect your appearance, it can also cause difficulty eating or speaking. If missing teeth are causing you issues, either emotionally or physically, a cosmetic dentist may be able to help. A common procedure in cosmetic dentistry for addressing this concern is known as dental implants.
Dental implants can restore your smile without having to restructure your healthy teeth for placement of a bridge. This surgical procedure places a titanium-based implant into the jawbone, which looks and feels much like a natural tooth. Your jawbone will "hold" the implant in place permanently. If you have medical issues, you need to discuss this with your dentist before having this procedure performed.
3. Your Teeth Are Crooked or Crowded
If your teeth are not aligned properly, or they are crooked and overcrowded, cosmetic dentistry might be right for you. A common procedure in cosmetic dentistry is the use of dental braces. Braces can straighten teeth or position them correctly, improving your bite and appearance.
Although braces are more commonly placed on children and teens, many adults are prime candidates for this procedure as well. The most common types of braces consist of brackets, metal and ceramic, although concealed braces may be preferable for an adult. Your dentist may recommend a removable option known as aligners. A consultation and evaluation will explore more info on which option is most suitable for you.
4. You Have Chipped Teeth
If you have one or more chipped teeth, you might want to consider a consultation with a cosmetic dentist. Chipped teeth are not only an aesthetic issue. Over time, a chipped tooth could break, leading to tooth loss. A procedure that may help is known as dental bonding.
Direct tooth bonding involves placing a hard resin material over the structure of the chipped tooth. This resin adheres and "bonds" to the tooth, offering a very natural appearance. If you're having one tooth bonded, you can expect the procedure to last 30-60 minutes, although several teeth will require a longer period of time to complete.
While any of the above are reasons to consider cosmetic dentistry, you might consider a complete "smile makeover" if you've experienced several issues affecting your teeth. This may include treating cavities or tooth decay, as well as stained, chipped or crooked teeth. Your cosmetic dentist can also offer prevention and maintenance tips.