A few years back, dentistry was all about treating the tooth-ache and it has now evolved as a cosmetic tool too. I get more and more patients asking me how to get a better smile, or some go to the extent of asking if they can have a smile like their favorite celebrity. Looking at the trend, it is time I explained the most popular cosmetic dental treatments so that you guys can make better, more informed decisions if you choose to go for one.
Power bleaching: Starting with the simplest one first, this is a treatment to whiten your teeth by multiple shades. In this procedure, we put a high strength whitening agent on your teeth and activate it using the blue light. All the time we take care that areas around the teeth like your cheeks and gums are protected. One thing to note here is the shade change, as well as the duration of its retention, is very subjective. It can be two shades to six shades jump, anything in between, and as for the duration, it depends on a lot of factors like consumption of wine, coffee, tea and other foods that stain your teeth. It is a completely non-invasive procedure which means we do not make any permanent changes to your tooth structure, so yay, no drills. Also, in contrast to the OTC teeth whitening products, this is more effective, safer and for all the good reasons approved by the American Dental Association.
Veneers: I call them the magic shells. These can be used to change the shade, the color, and the shape of the teeth as per your choice. Also, these can treat minor abnormalities like a marginal gap between the teeth, stained teeth which refuse to whiten with other methods, slightly crooked teeth, teeth which have some surface cracks, or which have little chipping on the edges. As far as the procedure is concerned, we remove a thin layer of enamel from your teeth to make space for the veneers. For people wondering, how Tom Cruise has such perfect dazzling white teeth, now you know the answer.
Braces: One of the longest procedures in the history of dentistry ever!! It can last from a span of a few months to 3-4 years depending on the complexity. And yet it is one of the most commonly opted for the procedure. This treatment modality focuses on rearranging the teeth such that they look good and are in their most functional position. In addition to the correction of bunny teeth, orthodontic treatment as we call it also solves all the faulty bite problems like a crossbite, open bite, and deep bite. With technological advancements, we now have a lot of options to choose from, from the traditional braces to Invisalign. In most cases, you will have to visit the dentist every month for the tightening of the wires or follow-ups for as long as the braces are on.
Implants: Dental implants are by far the most natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. There is a metal part that goes into the jaw, and it acts like a natural root, over which a crown is placed. The reason why implants are the only replacement procedure that made it to the cosmetic section is their ability to make the artificial teeth look more real than all the others. From the shape of the crown to the way it emerges from the gums makes it an excellent treatment modality. Somethings to keep in mind before getting your expectations high is that these are also one of the most expensive dental treatments, and are of surgical nature. Also, implants have too many pre-requisites and only your dentist can decide if you are fit for an implant, basis your bone structure in that area and some blood tests.
Teeth jewelry: A purely esthetic treatment and a completely reversible one and can be accomplished in a single appointment. I use crystal glass stones by Ivoclar, which do not need any pre-treatment and can be bonded onto the tooth like an orthodontic bracket. For patients looking for something more than perfectly aligned teeth and a sparkling white smile, this is the go-to option.
Few of these treatments like braces and implants are essential, and at times become mandatory for good oral health whereas a few of them like whitening and tooth jewelry, are completely elective and getting them done is not at all a necessity. They will not be of any functional advantage to you. So if you do not have the time or the money for these kinds of procedures, it is completely alright!!
And for all the people considering beautifying their teeth and the smile, I hope you’ll are a little more aware of the options available. For any queries, you can put them down in the comment section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help.