By Matt Ford
hese days, there’s no reason to live with a smile that doesn’t make you want to smile. Whatever it is about your smile you may not be satisfied with, chances are there is a cosmetic dentistry procedure to whiten, brighten, straighten, and otherwise help you flash a perfect set of pearly whites.
Cosmetic dentistry is differentiated from reparative dentistry in that its procedures are performed specifically to enhance the appearance of your smile as opposed to being performed to improve the functioning of your teeth. The two practices can and often do overlap, but the term cosmetic dentistry is generally reserved for procedures done primarily to improve the appearance of your teeth and gums. Most people can benefit from cosmetic dentistry, though those with extensive cavities or gum disease will generally need to have their dentist address those issues before performing cosmetic treatments.
The following are the most popular cosmetic dental treatments:
Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry procedure, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Whitening treatments range from those you can perform yourself at home to bleaching, which is generally performed in a dentist’s office. Whitening treatments range from special kinds of toothpaste and gels to whitening strips and custom mouthpieces. Over-the-counter treatments are available, including dental trays, but you’re likely to have better results working with a cosmetic dentist. Whitening treatments can quickly lighten teeth by several shades.
Implants are a popular dental cosmetic procedure used generally to replace missing teeth. In addition to helping the appearance of your smile, dental implants are also considered restorative dentistry, so insurance will usually foot the bill.
Veneers and Bonding
Both veneers and bonding are used to correct issues such as chipped teeth, uneven teeth, broken teeth, and worn teeth. Veneers use a thin layer of porcelain that your dentist places over your teeth. Bonding, on the other hand, uses resin to accomplish many of the same functions.
Gummy Smile Treatments
The AACD says that patients seek gummy smile treatments when they feel too much of their gum line shows in their smile. The most common treatments are Botox and lip repositioning, which uses incisions to, as the name suggests, lower the lip so that it covers more of the gums when you smile.
The fact is, it’s important to have a great smile. According to the AACD, “99 percent of adults consider a smile an important asset, while 74 percent believe that having an unattractive smile is a factor that can negatively impact your chances of career success.” Considering that cosmetic dentistry offers just about everyone improvements in their smile and that it’s readily accessible these days, it’s a small wonder that so many aren’t settling for anything less than the perfect smile of their dreams.