January 23, 2020

Without question, social media is transforming the health and beauty industry. It is amazing how easy it is today to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world, discover new trends and reconnect with old friends. While it seems that the endless scrolling through “perfect” lifestyles may not necessarily impact one’s mental health and wellbeing in a positive way, wanting to look better in selfies, Instagram and other social channels have motivated patients to seek their dentist about having straighter, whiter teeth and a healthier smile.

However, a major smile makeover may not be the only option – more people are seeking natural-looking teeth, and therefore, even a small adjustment or enhancement by your dentist can make you want to show off your teeth more. There have been many advances in the field of cosmetic dentistry, which primarily focus on improving the existing dental esthetics in color, shape, size, position and overall smile appearance, and consequently, boost your self-esteem and improves your overall wellbeing.

There are many cosmetic procedures that can be done to enhance your smile such as cosmetic veneers, teeth whitening, dental implants – it really depends on the existing condition of the teeth and gums, which can be evaluated by your dentist.

–       Cosmetic bonding: This option is among the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedures. It involves using esthetic, yet durable, tooth-colored material on your natural teeth, and sculpting it in a way to close small gaps or to improve the appearance of discolored or chipped teeth. However, it is important to note that teeth need to be fairly straight for this option to work and that bonding isn’t as strong or durable when compared to porcelain veneers or to your own natural teeth.

Porcelain veneers

–       Cosmetic veneers: These are ultra-thin, custom-made ceramic or porcelain laminates that are bonded directly onto your teeth after some level of tooth reduction – similar to “shellac” but for teeth. Cosmetic veneers are mostly used on teeth that are chipped, discolored, or unevenly spaced out, or on teeth that do not respond well to laser whitening. Porcelain veneers require more than one visit, as they are fabricated in a dental laboratory, and have a longer life expectancy and color stability when compared to bonding.

–       Cosmetic contouring: This involves simply reshaping or “filing” the teeth – targets unevenness, small chips, different tooth lengths, and slightly overlapping edges. It is quite a conservative option and no local anesthetic is used. However, there are limitations to consider and not everyone is a suitable candidate. 

Teeth whitening

–       Tooth whitening: Professional tooth whitening solutions enable patients to brighten their smiles with minimal risk of tooth sensitivity. This quite common dental procedure, aka as bleaching, is performed either at the dental office or at home, using a high concentration of peroxide. Your dentist will check your teeth first and evaluate whether you are a candidate and the utmost care is taken when the procedure is done in order to protect your tooth enamel and gums. The most effective results are mostly obtained using laser whitening under the supervision of your dentist.

Clear aligners

–       Aesthetic alignment or Adult orthodontics: When it comes to straightening your teeth, there isn’t really an age limit. There’s been a move recently towards conservatively enhancing your smile through straightening them, instead of going for more invasive procedures like veneers. Clear aligners have been great in treating a majority of teeth crowding, spacing or overlapping teeth cases, but sometimes conventional braces may need to be used. For more complex cases, clear brackets or lingual braces are available today, which aren’t very obvious yet are quite efficient.

–       Dental implants: Dental implants have become a more desirable alternative to replacing missing teeth when compared to conventional bridges, especially as they are now indistinguishable from natural teeth. This natural-looking option is built to last, preserves remaining teeth and bone, and leads to overall improved quality of life. Dental implants help maintain a youthful appearance, as lost teeth and bone make the face look older.

–       Laser gum contouring: This is a cosmetic dental procedure that gently raises and sculpts the gum line using a diode laser – this is done to create the appearance of longer or symmetrical teeth. This procedure also helps patients whose gums cover too many teeth due to genetics or certain prescription medications. With little or no local anesthesia needed, it is a quick, minimal pain option when compared to standard dental treatments using the blade.

We’re all meant to smile. Yet a lot of us are self-conscious about our teeth and are not that good at looking after them. Myself and my colleagues at True Smile Works Dental Clinic can easily help you address concerns such as crooked or crowded teeth, chips, and gaps in your smile, stained or worn-down teeth, as well as missing teeth. The bottom line is that there are many minimally invasive cosmetic dental treatment options that can be discussed to improve your smile in a beautiful and natural way. Do not hesitate to visit us for consultation.

Article was prepared by Dr. Layal Ksaybi, DMD, Canada.

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