Having healthy teeth is vital to overall wellbeing; however for many of us, having a healthy smile that also looks good is something which can have just as much of an impact on our everyday lives. Cosmetic, or ‘aesthetic’ dentistry, is a modern aspect of everyday dental practice, benefiting the appearance of teeth, gums and the smile, whilst helping to improve dental health.
Cosmetic dental treatments are a well-tested and safe way to straighten and reshape, repair or lighten teeth, and are now more affordable and accessible than ever. Treatments include crowns, bridges, fillings, veneers, dental implants and teeth whitening, to make slight changes to the shape and look of a tooth to transforming a whole set of teeth. The result is an aesthetically enhanced smile that can really uplift the appearance and improve confidence. Cosmetic dental treatments also promote oral health, preventing strain on other teeth or factors which can lead to decay and gum disease. Cosmetic dentistry therefore proves a great option for those wanting a straighter, brighter smile for increased self-esteem and wellbeing.
The most common reasons for cosmetic dentistry are:
- Straightening and repairing teeth
- Replacing missing teeth
- Correcting bite
- Whitening teeth
The different cosmetic treatments available can be used to solve more than one of these dental problems. Crooked, broken down and stained teeth for instance could all be treated with dental veneers, although cosmetic dentistry gives you the freedom to choose from a number of other treatment options depending on your situation and requirements.
Straightening and Repairing Teeth
Teeth straightening and repair can be carried out on people of all ages, now with a variety of treatment options including veneers, fillings, dental crowns and orthodontic treatment.
Veneers provide a popular solution to treating tooth discolouration and tooth alignment, and improve the appearance of gapped teeth, and repairing chips and cracks. Veneers are bonded to the natural teeth and are tooth coloured.
Dental fillings can similarly match the colour of natural teeth, and can be used to cover marks or stains on the teeth.
Dental crowns can be used to treat badly broken or crooked teeth. Usually made of porcelain or porcelain bonded to gold, the crown forms a cap over the damaged teeth for restored appearance and strength. Crowns are a good option for improving the look of crooked teeth, as the process can be completed in around two weeks.
Orthodontic treatment can straighten a smile by moving existing teeth. There are more modern alternatives to traditional braces, such as clear aligners or lingual aligners, which are less visible and have less of an impact on everyday activities. Although these orthodontic treatments are a slower method of correcting teeth than veneers or crowns, they are effective without changing the structure of the natural teeth.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can place the remaining teeth under pressure, which can lead to teeth rotation, and oral and jaw problems. The best options to replace missing teeth in cosmetic dentistry are dentures, bridges and dental implants.
Dentures are a cheaper way to replace one tooth to a whole arch of missing teeth, and are removable. Though cheaper, they can be a less comfortable solution which require more upkeep.
Modern dental bridges can blend in with the natural colour of a tooth, so are a good cosmetic option for replacing a few missing teeth. They are usually made of a metal bonded to porcelain, replacing a missing tooth with a false one attached by crowns on the teeth on either side, or bonded to the surrounding teeth with metal wings.
Dental implants replace the root of a missing tooth with a titanium root, over which a crown is placed. Dental implants are a more expensive cosmetic procedure, though they are durable, and not so destructive on the surrounding teeth.
Straightening teeth will usually improve an incorrect bite and the appearance of the facial structure. An incorrect bite results from teeth which do not meet together properly or are not in balance with the rest of the face, if they are lost or broken. An incorrect bite can have a drooping effect on the face, can cause problems with speech and pronunciation, as well as pain in the neck or jaw.
Veneers, crowns and orthodontics can effectively correct a misaligned bite and boost confidence with a straighter smile.
Teeth whitening treatments carried out by your dental practice, are safe and simple cosmetic procedures to lighten the natural colour of your teeth without affecting their surface. Professional bleaching or laser whitening uses specialist chemicals to brighten the appearance of teeth and can be carried out quickly or gradually depending on preference. Any crowns, bridges or dentures you have will need to be lightened accordingly.
We have a particular interest and expertise in cosmetic dentistry, and if you are considering cosmetic dental treatment we would be happy to provide advice on what options would be best for you. To find out more or to book an appointment please call us on 01494 442922.