Do You Need a New Smile? Your Guide to a Smile Makeover
Are you unhappy with your smile? If so, you're not alone. More than one-third of American adults also wish their smile looked different.
You might not be happy with the way your smile currently looks, but the good news is that it doesn't have to stay that way. Whether you wish your teeth were straighter, whiter, or less chipped, there are a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures available to help you create the kind of smile you've always desired.
Learn everything you need to know about finding the perfect smile makeover.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is all about improving the appearance of your teeth. Cosmetic dentists are specially trained to address a number of common dental issues, including the following:
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Worn enamel
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Stains and discoloration
- Unevenly sized teeth
Cosmetic dental treatments are generally considered to be elective. However, they aren't just about vanity. There are a number of procedures that also serve restorative benefits to improve your quality of life.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
When it comes to receiving a smile makeover, there are a few different options to consider. Some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that will enhance your smile include:
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are often referred to as indirect fillings. They're made in a dental laboratory and are used when a tooth is mild-to-moderately decayed and can't support a regular filling. Inlays and onlays provide extra support and restore the shape of the teeth while preventing future deterioration or decay. The dentist uses an inlay when the tooth cusps are not damaged. Inlays are placed directly onto the tooth's surface. When the cusp or a larger portion of the tooth is damaged, the dentist will use an onlay instead. Onlays cover the entire surface of the tooth. Dentists apply both inlays and onlays with an adhesive dental cement.
Dentists also repair decayed, discolored, or damaged teeth with composite bonding. When performing this procedure, the dentist will drill out the decay and apply composite material to the surface of the tooth. They will then sculpt the material so its shape matches that of your other teeth. As a final step, they'll cure it with a special, high-intensity light. In comparison to other cosmetic dental procedures, composite bonding is the most affordable option.
Veneers are thin pieces of ceramic material that are attached to the front of the teeth to improve their appearance. To apply veneers, dentists remove the top layer of enamel from your teeth. Then, they attach the veneers with a special dental adhesive. Veneers are very natural looking and can be used to resolve a variety of issues, including crooked teeth, stained teeth, and teeth with noticeable gaps.
Teeth whitening is one of the most basic and popular options when it comes to cosmetic dental treatments. The professional whitening of your teeth can make all the difference with your smile, even if it's the only thing treatment you receive. To achieve the best results, you should schedule a professional cleaning first. Ideally, you can have them cleaned and whitened in one appointment with your dentist.
Teeth whitening doesn't last forever, especially if you consume large volumes of food or drinks that cause stains. However, the effects of a professional whitening treatment will last much longer than at-home treatments, so you'll likely save money even after paying for touch-ups.
If you have missing teeth, your dentist can replace them with dental implants. The first step requires your dentist to insert a titanium screw into your jaw. This screw will support the implanted tooth. Dental implants are highly realistic and are permanently secured. You'll still need to practice good oral hygiene to prevent infections, especially during the period immediately following the implant placement.
Choosing the Right Cosmetic Dentist
Cosmetic dentistry can help you enhance your smile in a number of ways. In order to see the best results and feel confident about your smile, you'll need to do some homework to ensure you're working with the most qualified cosmetic dental specialist.
You will want to keep these factors in your mind during your search to find the perfect cosmetic dentist to provide your smile makeover:
Search for a trained dentist who has specifically been educated in cosmetic dentistry techniques.
It's ideal to work with a dentist who is a member of professional cosmetic associations or societies.
Money matters, especially since insurance companies usually will not cover the cost of cosmetic procedures! You might want to look for a dentist who offers payment plans or accepts credit cards.
Does their schedule match yours? Can they schedule a consultation in an efficient manner?
Cosmetic dentistry procedures usually happen over the course of multiple visits, so it's ideal to find a dentist whose practice is relatively close to your home.
Look for a dentist who utilizes modern technology, including digital x-rays, chair-side monitors, dental lasers, and intraoral cameras.
How do you like the dentist and their staff? Are they friendly and helpful? Do they make you feel welcome?
Does the dental provider have before-and-after pictures available in their office or on their website? Do you like the results of their previous smile makeover cases?
Look for a dentist who offers wax models or digital imaging to help you see what the results of your smile makeover will be.
Don't be afraid to ask questions when you're trying to find a cosmetic dentist. They're going to be providing you with a major smile overhaul. It’s important to make sure you're working with the best.
Are You Ready for a Smile Makeover?
Now that you have a better background on smile makeover options and how to choose the right cosmetic dentist, it's time to start shopping around for the perfect cosmetic dentist to meet your needs. If you live in or around the Sanford area, contact us at Lake Forest Family Dentistry today. We look forward to creating the smile you've always dreamed of!