Looking after your teeth is about more than simply keeping your teeth healthy enough to chew comfortably. A bright smile gives a valuable first impression and shows that you are a person who takes care of even the tiny details of your appearance. It also helps you feel more confident and to project that feeling to those around you.
Unfortunately, a dazzling smile doesn’t always come naturally, and accidents and circumstances can damage your teeth, making you less inclined to smile at all. So what can you and your dentist do to improve your smile and give back that feeling of confidence?
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry covers a whole range of treatments designed to improve your smile, from simple ones that can be done in one appointment to complex procedures that may involve surgery. This contrasts with general dentistry, which concentrates on basic needs and keeps your teeth and gums healthy. Cosmetic dental procedures may be offered to rectify congenital defects (problems you are born with) or to repair the effects of accidents, decay or lack of care.
What Are the Top Choices for Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures?
Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of treatments, some for tidying up discoloration and stains and others for replacing missing or damaged teeth. If you’re unsure which procedures might suit your needs, here is a quick breakdown of six of the most common procedures, all of which can be provided by Dr. Kevin F. Postol and his professional team.
A missing tooth certainly doesn’t improve the look of your smile, and dental implants are one way to fix this issue. This procedure involves placing a titanium post into the jawbone, providing a solid foundation for the replacement tooth. Unlike a bridge, a dental implant places no stress on adjacent teeth, and it’s also much more durable and has none of the drawbacks of dentures. In addition, a dental implant that is cared for will last for many years and looks and feels just like one of your natural teeth.
A complete smile makeover is the choice of those who have had a significant injury or are living with the effects of years of tooth decay and neglect. It begins with a full assessment of the condition of any remaining teeth, the gums and the jawbone. Next, Dr. Postol will talk you through the options available, which will cover a combination of treatments. These might include orthodontic treatments to correct alignment issues, dental implants or bridges where teeth are missing, veneers or crowns for damaged teeth and gum reshaping. The process is a total team effort by dentists such as Dr. Postol, other specialists and their support staff.
Suppose the enamel on your teeth is cracked or badly discolored or stained. In that case, porcelain veneers are an excellent way to restore a dazzling smile. Firstly, Dr. Postol will remove a thin layer of the enamel under local anesthetic and take an impression of your teeth which they send to a lab. The lab may take up to four weeks to produce your veneers, so we will often send you home with a temporary set. Once the porcelain veneers are ready, they are cleaned and etched to provide a strong bond before Dr. Postol fits them. With proper care, a set of veneers should last you for many years.
If you have discoloration or staining on your teeth that isn’t sufficiently bad to require veneers, teeth whitening can be an ideal way to make your smile shine more brightly. It’s a quick procedure—usually taking less than an hour—and you will notice that your teeth are immediately much whiter. Alternatively, you can use a home-whitening system provided by us that includes a customized appliance worn over your teeth and a mild topical solution. Unfortunately, this method is not as fast, and it can take several weeks for you to see the full effects.
Sometimes, the line of your gums along your teeth doesn’t look even. This may be down to periodontal disease, or it could simply be the shape you were born with. Gum contouring improves your smile by removing some gum tissue or adding it from other parts of your mouth should there not be enough tissue. Dr. Postol will accomplish this with a scalpel or laser under a local anesthetic, which will generally be completed in one visit. There may be some discomfort after this procedure, for which we will prescribe painkillers. Healing will usually take days or maybe a couple of weeks, but your even gum line will improve your smile immensely once you are fully healed.
Cosmetic bonding is a procedure that dentists use to rectify minor issues with your teeth that would otherwise require crowns or veneers. Examples of this include a small gap between teeth or a little crack in the enamel. During a cosmetic bonding procedure, Dr. Postol will use a resin agent matched to the color of your teeth to repair the issue.
Suppose you think you might be a suitable candidate for cosmetic bonding. In that case, Dr. Postol thoroughly examines your teeth, detailing all imperfections and damage. We then etch the area to prime it for binding and apply the bonding agent. Curing takes only thirty to sixty seconds. After this, Dr. Postol files and polishes until the treated area looks like a natural part of your tooth.
Take Care of Your Teeth to Keep Smiling Brightly
Much of the time, cosmetic dentistry becomes a necessity due to a lack of preventive care. Even after you have had some of these procedures done, you can save yourself from further intervention by taking good care of your teeth personally and in partnership with Dr. Postol. To do this, there are five simple steps you can take:
- Floss once and brush twice each day
- Visit us for a check-up every six months
- Brush your teeth immediately after consuming staining food or drinks such as wine or coffee
- Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports
- Orthodontics: having your teeth straightened with a brace can make them easier to take care of
Most importantly, if you are considering cosmetic dentistry procedures, ensure that your dentist is a reputable, experienced professional like Dr. Postol, with a skilled team around them. To find out more about cosmetic dentistry procedures, contact one of our professional and friendly team members today!