Cosmetic dentistry has been a saving grace for people who suffer from periodontal disease, which often leads to tooth decay and tooth loss. For others who smoke, or drink excessive caffeine, stained or discolored teeth can prove to be just as embarrassing as a smile with missing teeth.
For patients who do not experience improvement from preventive dental measures, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, or visiting a dentist every six months, cosmetic dentists can perform teeth whitening and bonding to lighten the enamel, provide porcelain veneers to hide blemishes, and use crowns and bridges to replace missing teeth.
Teeth whitening is a common treatment for people who are dissatisfied with the color of their teeth. For mild stains or slightly yellowish teeth, over-the-counter teeth whitening strips may be effective in removing these blemishes. These strips are designed to adhere to the enamel, and some only take a few hours to do the job. But for people with severely discolored teeth, laser teeth whitening could be the best treatment. For this procedure, a dentist spreads a whitening gel on the surface of the teeth, and then uses a laser to speed up the breakdown of stains. Because of their effectiveness, the last five years has seen teeth whitening procedures increase by more than 300%.
With veneers, patients can also experience similar results. Veneers are made from porcelain, and are shaped into thin sheets. They are adhered to the enamel of as many teeth as the patient desires, giving the appearance of luster, whiteness, and shine. They are designed to protect teeth from further damage, and cover blemishes on existing teeth. This procedure has also experienced a significant increase in recent years.
Crowns and bridges are more common for people with missing teeth, particularly crowns, which are used in cosmetic surgeries like dental implants. Implants are typically chosen by patients who have lost one or more teeth. This cosmetic dental surgery involves drilling a titanium rod that acts as an artificial root into the jawbone. An abutment, or connector, joins this implant to the new tooth. This procedure is often more popular than dentures, because implants are permanently fixed in the jaw, making eating and talking much easier. Dental implants can also last a patient a lifetime with proper care.
With the number of patients pushing for these cosmetic procedures increasing steadily, people may want to consider asking their dentist for additional ways to keep their teeth healthy. Extra brushing, mouth wash, and even an electric tooth brush are a few cleaning strategies dentists recommend, and even if this takes people a little longer in the morning, they could be only way to avoid crowns and bridges, teeth whitening, veneers and dental implants.