A great smile ranks up there with a good hair day and clear skin. It’s natural to feel more confident when your teeth are white and your gums are in good shape. The aesthetic benefits of prioritizing your oral health are unrivaled, but there may still be some room for improvement.
This is why dentists offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry services that can give you the smile makeover of your dreams. If you’d like to perfect your grin, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
1. Know Your Options
The world of cosmetic dentistry is vast. There are a number of procedures that can transform your smile and give you the smile that you crave. Your dentist can help you make the right decision and provide recommendations for what’s best based on the condition of your teeth and gums. In some cases, restorative work may be necessary before you undergo cosmetic treatment.
This paper-thin shell is designed to perfect your smile right away. Think of porcelain veneers as “concealers” that hide everything from discoloration and misshapen teeth to chips and misalignments.
So long as these issues are purely cosmetic and won’t affect the long-term health of your teeth, veneers can be applied to give you a quick smile makeover. Provided you care for them properly, you can expect veneers to last for up to 20 years.
In some cases, the damage may be too pronounced for a veneer to cover sufficiently. A porcelain crown is a reliable alternative that not only mimics the appearance of your natural teeth, but offers strength and stability to improve issues like talking and chewing.
Crowns can be useful if the tooth is considerably damaged from a chip or a fracture, or if you had a cavity. Once the decay is resolved, your dentist may put in a crown to restore the appearance of your smile. The good news is that crowns are permanent and shouldn’t require replacement unless it gets damaged.
Millions of people turn to over-the-counter teeth whitening products to brighten their smiles. Solutions like toothpastes, strips, pens, and trays all aim to noticeably whiten teeth. However, most of them are not formulated to remove the discoloration set in the teeth, known as intrinsic stains. Instead, they’ll break down the discoloration on the surface, or extrinsic stains. Plus, many of these products can cause increased sensitivity and discomfort.
By contrast, in-office teeth whitening procedures can whiten teeth by several shades in a single session. Dentists rely on a peroxide-based formula to bleach the teeth, and they may use a light to accelerate the process in some cases. These solutions can remove both extrinsic and intrinsic stains far more effectively than over-the-counter products.
If you’re trying to stay within a certain budget but want to correct the appearance of your smile, cosmetic bonding may be the right choice. This is a more economical choice that involves the application of a resin that’s the same color as your natural teeth. It’s often used to conceal imperfections like gaps, cracks, dark stains, and chips.
Bonding is not permanent, but it can give you an idea of what your teeth will look like if you eventually decide you’d like veneers. It’s also relatively quick; you can expect your dentist to bond a single tooth in about half an hour.
There are a variety of solutions available for people who have crooked teeth. Misalignment isn’t just a cosmetic concern — it can also affect your bite, cause crowding,affect your function and gum health, and eventually lead to more significant dental issues. Solutions like Invisalign and traditional metal braces can transform the appearance of your teeth permanently.
Invisalign is a popular choice because the aligners are clear, which means no one will know that you’re wearing them. However, not everyone is a candidate for this option. People with more significant correction requirements, for example, might benefit more from traditional braces using brackets and wires. Ultimately, both solutions eventually lead to a brilliant smile.
2. Dental Health Matters
The current condition of your teeth and gums plays a significant role in determining which types of solutions are appropriate for you. If you have a cavity, for example, your dentist will need to treat it before you can venture into cosmetic treatment. That applies to anything from braces to teeth whitening.
Another common concern is gum disease, which affects some 46% of the population over the age of 30. Hallmark symptoms include irritated gums and toothaches, both of which may be aggravated by whitening and other treatments. That’s why dentists must first treat and control the symptoms of the disease before you can progress to your smile makeover.
3. Personal Investment Requirements
You’ll invest both time and money in your smile makeover, but the end result is worth it for the confidence you’ll gain. At the same time, it’s important to keep those investments at the forefront when deciding on treatments. Consider how much time you have to devote to visiting the dentist in the coming months, as some may require you to make regular appointments.
It's smart to review your dental insurance policy beforehand, too. This will give you some idea about what you might be responsible for covering. Be sure to ask your dentist about possible financing options, too. This can make it far easier to pay for your services over a specific period of time, lessening the burden significantly.
Get a Smile Makeover at Metrowest Prosthodontics
If you’re ready to explore your options for a smile makeover, trust in the team at Metrowest Prosthodontics. We offer extensive services that will transform your smile, including Invisalign, veneers, cosmetic bonding, teeth whitening, and more. Read more about these services here, or give us a call at 508-620-6622 to schedule an appointment today.