A variety of surveys report that if you meet somebody for the very first time, you see their smile more than any other feature. This partially explains the huge interest in cosmetic dentistry in the past ten decades. Important advances in technology and methods are the other side of the picture. With so much information readily available, deciphering this complex subject can be quite daunting, even for the average dentist. This guide will help to explain the subject by describing the advantages and disadvantages of every choice, so you are able to make an informed and intelligent choice about which choice is right for you.
Cosmetic dentistry can be contrasted with ceramic veneers, perhaps due to the success of the extreme makeover shows. Veneers are a terrific choice but are by no means the sole option. Cosmetic dentistry includes whitening, orthodontics (braces), dental implants, oral surgery, gum lifts, tooth colored fillings, and a new set of dentures. And based on which sort of dentist you go to, you may only be offered one or two of these options.
Let us examine another analogy: suppose you have a sore joint. If you go to an orthopedic surgeon, most likely surgery will be recommended. A chiropractor may suggest adjustments, a physical therapist would try physical therapy and exercises, a nutritionist might recommend glucosamine, and a pharmacist would urge Advil or Aleve. All are suitable treatments for sore joints, but not all are appropriate for each and every individual. In fact, the ideal remedy might be a blend of many different modalities.
Now assume you have a smile which needs improvement. A general dentist might recommend whitening and/or bonding, a cosmetic dentist may frequently recommend veneers, an orthodontist would surely consider braces, and a surgeon or gum specialist may nevertheless offer more solutions. And like the analogy, the best remedy might be a combination of many different approaches.
So let’s review the alternatives offered within the area of cosmetic dentistry and also for each supply an idea of the dangers, benefits, cost, and time involved.
Tooth whitening sometimes known as bleaching’s existed for decades. The active ingredient in almost all systems is a kind of hydrogen peroxide, which is demonstrated to be totally safe for teeth and maybe even beneficial to the gums. The significant downsides to whitening are sensitivity and unpredictability. The major benefit is the minimal cost. Different”whitening strips” can be bought over the counter for around $40. They work well for mild staining on otherwise ordinary, healthy teeth. Stock whitening trays bought over the Internet provide about precisely the same level of treatment, but maybe with more sensitivity. Check out Daher Orthodontics here.
Custom whitening trays provided by a dentist provide better results if you are eager to wear them each night for a few weeks. One-hour bleaching in a dental office or spa does the same or even better job very quickly but might also result in some short-lived sensitivity. The cost of in-office whitening ranges from $400-$1,000, but the results are still variable. Some individuals experience amazing results from these methods, while some are disappointed. For those who have normal healthy teeth which want predictable results, a system known as”Deep Bleaching” developed by dentist Rod Kurthy will provide predictable results, even in stained teeth. This system is a composite of in-office sessions and technical take-home trays which gives amazing results every time.
The price of deep whitening ranges from $1,200-$1,800, and there is very little if any sensitivity with this system. But if your teeth have additional issues in addition to color, then you’ll probably be considered “permanent whitening”, also referred to as porcelain veneers.
PORCELAIN VENEERS AND CROWNS
Porcelain veneers are thin facings that are bonded to the front of the teeth to revive your smile. They could completely cover stains, in addition to even out crooked teeth and create chipped teeth look like new. Conventional porcelain veneers require numbing of the teeth, and removal of the top stained coating to offer space for the new white porcelain coating. The results can be instantaneous and dramatic, and the veneers may last for decades. The downsides are a high price, sensitivity sometimes lasting for weeks or months, and irreversibility. But for certain instances, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. If you prefer to not have your teeth numbed, another choice is Lumineers.
Lumineers are extremely thin porcelain veneers which don’t require numbing of their teeth in most cases, and no drilling into sensitive areas of the teeth. While they can’t fix everyone’s smile difficulties, they should at least be considered, especially for the nervous patient. The two Lumineers and traditional veneers are expensive, approximately $1,500-2,000 each evening, but they can be completed in only a couple of visits. This makes them ideal for patients needing”immediate gratification.”
Porcelain crowns are much like traditional dental crowns but do not include any dark metals onto the interior of the crown molding. For patients who are tired of the”dark line” across the teeth of their crowned teeth, all-porcelain crowns are a wonderful alternative. The newer crowns are very robust and bonded to the tooth to prevent the cement wash-out that used to happen with traditional crowns. Porcelain crowns typically cost a bit more than traditional crowns but are well worth the excess expense in an area where the border of the crown shows.
If you don’t mind waiting a few months for your new smile, orthodontics may be a much better choice than porcelain veneers. For patients with nice looking natural teeth, just jagged or gapped, orthodontics is a more natural and cost-effective approach. Of course, within the field of cosmetic dentistry, most adults don’t want railroad track braces on their teeth, so manufacturers have developed”clear braces” where all you notice is a thin cable on the teeth. Plus, modern orthodontics has embraced the”low-force, very low friction” philosophy, making braces much more comfortable than ever before.
When the idea of braces turns off you, then you should consider Invisalign (www.invisalign.com). Invisalign is a series of clear plastic trays, much like whitening trays, which gently move your teeth to their brand new, right position. In an average treatment time of just 11 months, Invisalign is faster and simpler than traditional braces, and there are no diet restrictions and no issues cleaning and flossing. The drawback of Invisalign is the time involved, and also the chance that porcelain veneers may still be needed to achieve the individual’s aesthetic goals. The benefit is the preservation of natural teeth, and comparatively low cost at around $6,000 total.
If you are missing some teeth, veneers, whitening, and braces may not fix all your requirements. In the past, missing teeth intended partial or full dentures, or sometimes a bridge. With recent improvements in technology, we can now replace missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and feel just like natural teeth. And with a better than 95% success rate, implants are now almost routine in many dental clinics. The benefits are obvious; the disadvantages are high initial cost and the need for a minor operation to place them. Over the long run, dental implants might actually be less expensive than other choices since they possibly can last the rest of your life.