A 2019 survey revealed that 70% of participants were self-conscious about their teeth. Almost six in 10 also admitted feeling insecure enough to cover their mouths when they laugh. Some of these insecurities were due to a lack of teeth whiteness, while others were due to crooked teeth.
The thing is, many studies suggest how dental maladies can impact self-esteem. Patients who are unhappy with their oral health report lower life satisfaction. They also have a higher risk of developing anxiety or depression.
Fortunately, technological improvements have made it easier to get cosmetic dental work done. A perfect example is CAD/CAM (computer-aided design & computer-aided manufacturing) technology. With this, dentists can complete many dental restorations in just a single visit.
So, ready to learn how to makeover your teeth and gums for a healthier, straighter, and whiter smile? Read on then to discover your top cosmetic dental treatment options!
Dental bonding materials consist of tooth-colored composite resin. In their uncured form, these materials are very flexible and moldable. These characteristics make them useful for fixing minor chips or cracks on teeth.
Dental bonding can also help correct minor tooth discoloration or stains. When mixed properly, they can mimic the tooth’s color, giving it a clean, uniform look.
Dental bonding is also a good option for fixing minor cases of diastema. Diastema is the technical term for the spaces that occur between the teeth. Bonding materials can fix these by “filling” in those tiny teeth gaps.
Dental veneers are ultra-thin shells that go over the surface (visible side) of the teeth. They consist of tooth-colored materials, such as composite resin or porcelain.
Since a veneer covers the entire front surface of a tooth, it provides more coverage than bonding. As such, it can fix slightly bigger cracks or chips. It’s also more effective in camouflaging badly-stained teeth.
Moreover, veneers can reshape or resize the teeth of patients with microdontia. Microdontia is a condition characterized by smaller-than-normal teeth. While it’s not that common, researchers say it still affects 1.5% to 2% of the population.
Dental veneers can also provide better coverage for a diastema that bonding can’t fix.
If you decide to get veneers, consider investing in the porcelain kind. It costs more than composite resin, but it’s more durable, so it also lasts longer.
In some studies, porcelain veneers had a 20-year survival rate of up to 91%. By contrast, composite resin only had a 5-year survival rate of 80% to 89%.
Also called “dental caps” or “tooth caps,” dental crowns also cover damaged teeth. However, it covers the entire teeth rather than just the visible surface. This is why dentists also use them for premolars and molars.
Some patients still choose gold or silver tooth crowns, but you can get them in porcelain or zirconia. The latter two are more durable and might be more aesthetic as they mimic the natural tooth color.
Since a dental crown goes over an entire tooth, it can correct larger chips and cracks or even fix a broken tooth. They’re also thicker than veneers, so they’re better at strengthening weakened teeth. Like veneers, though, they can also correct diastema and microdontia.
Dental crowns may also be a better option for patients with severely worn teeth. This can occur due to bruxism, a condition characterized by excessive tooth grinding. It’s pretty common in the US, affecting about a third of the population.
Since crowns are thicker than veneers, they can withstand grinding forces better. However, your dentist will still likely recommend the use of a bite guard. It’s a removable oral device that protects the teeth from excessive friction.
Coffee, tea, wine, and cigarettes are some of the most common culprits behind tooth stains. The same goes for carbonated and acidic drinks like cola.
Teeth whitening can restore discolored teeth through the use of safe dental bleaches. Most dentists use hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down stubborn stains into tiny particles. This makes it easier to remove the stains adhering to the surface of the tooth.
Do note that more severe discolorations may take more than one whitening session. For extreme stains covering larger tooth surfaces, your dentist may recommend veneers.
Adults now account for one-third of orthodontic patients in the US. Improvements in orthodontic technology have made it easier to move established adult teeth. As such, you can get your teeth straightened regardless of your age.
Traditional metal braces are still the most common option, but you can also go for clear braces. Clear braces use tooth-colored wires and brackets that make them less conspicuous. You can also get lingual braces, which have brackets and wires that go behind the teeth.
If you only have minor teeth alignment issues, you may be a good candidate for clear aligners. These are near-invisible, removable plastic trays. Although it’s easy to slip them off, you still need to wear them for at least 20 to 22 hours each day.
More than four in 10 US adults aged 30 and older have gum or periodontal disease. Gum disease and tooth decay are two of the biggest culprits behind tooth loss. For this reason, be sure to see a dentist if you have periodontal disease.
As your gum tissues recover, though, you may notice that they either cover more or less of your teeth. Overgrown gums may give you a “gummy smile.” If the tissues don’t cover much of your teeth, your teeth may appear longer or bigger than normal.
Gum reshaping, also called “gum contouring,” evens out the gum line. If you have a gummy smile, your dentist can trim away some of the excess tissues. If your teeth appear too long due to a lack of gum tissue, your dentist can graft some into the affected area.
Get a Confidence Boost with Professional Cosmetic Dental Work
As you can see, you can get cosmetic dental work done for minor to more severe tooth damages. These restorations can help enhance your smile’s appearance and also reinforce your teeth. Plus, with CAM/CAD technology, you can have many of these treatments done in one visit.
So, as early as now, consider investing in these cosmetic dental services. The sooner you do, the sooner you may enjoy a much-needed confidence boost.
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