Cosmetic dentistry often entails more than just brand-new Hollywood smiles and white, gleaming teeth. There are many reasons patients opt for cosmetic treatment to improve their smiles, and many more benefits than just the obvious one of looking better—which you will, of course! However, there’s much more to cosmetic dentistry than what meets the eye.
If you’re noticing dark stains, chips, or uneven spacing lately, you may want to casually bring it up to your dentist during your next visit. If and when you do, your questions will likely follow a common theme. In order to give you a little background, we’ve identified that theme below, and are going to shed some light on the most popular questions we’re asked about cosmetic dentistry!
- What, Exactly, Does a Cosmetic Dentist Do?
A cosmetic dentist takes patient vision and brings it to life, based on their current cosmetic concerns and dental irregularities. Cosmetic dentistry is all about making changes to the appearance, not necessarily for health or functional reasons, but more so to achieve a certain aesthetic.
Cosmetic dentists have studied at length to learn exactly how to enhance their patient’s smiles, and often undergo ever-evolving training in order to learn the newest tactics and practices in the industry and put them to use. This allows them to understand their patient’s vision, and deliver the exact smile results they’re after!
- Why Do I Need a Smile Analysis?
A smile analysis is what will get the ball rolling for your treatment, and is the deciding factor in what your treatment will require.
Much like an orthodontic consultation, a smile analysis will begin with you paying a visit to your cosmetic dentist for a preset appointment. This appointment is centred around a necessary complete examination of your smile, with specific focus placed on your teeth’s relationship to your lips, which can now be measured with top of the line technology to deliver accurate results. The goal of a smile analysis is to assess the biggest problems you’re facing with your smile, identify their severity, record the data, and create a treatment plan.
Smile design is a popular and effective tool that is often used in cosmetic cases. It’s taken the industry by storm in recent years and captivated patients due to the predictability of treatment outcomes that it offers, and the accuracy of the results. Videos, temporary mockups, and photographs are used to record every angle of the patient’s teeth, jaw, and smile so the cosmetic dentist is able to lay the groundwork for treatment.
The reason you need a smile analysis before beginning treatment is simply because your specialist needs to be able to treat you as accurately as possible and understand your needs, wants, and specific case. Without this knowledge, treatment could become unpredictable and therefore ineffective. You may even like your smile analysis—this is where you get to set goals, plan your treatment, and maybe even see a prediction of how you’ll look when it’s all over!
- When Would Someone Look into Cosmetic Dentistry?
If you’re wondering if the small afflictions with your smile warrant a visit to a cosmetic dentist, they likely do!
There are many reasons why patients choose to see a cosmetic dentist, ranging from minor to severe. Truthfully, even just wanting a better smile or straightening out a few problem teeth that have been bothering you is reason enough to go. However, here are some of the top reasons patients seek it out!
Over time, certain habits can take a toll on the appearance and color of your smile. We know that drinking coffee, wine, and smoking cigarettes can all lead to the darkening of your teeth, and often a toothbrush won’t be able to reverse it.
Depending on the severity of the staining, veneers may become an option. Veneers are made of porcelain or composite material, and are bonded to the surface of your teeth to mask the natural tooth. Veneers are intended to look natural, and blend in with your smile so it’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell you’ve had any work done at all!
Professional teeth whitening can also restore your teeth, if the problem is caught and treated in time. Your dentist will provide you with a whitening kit and give you specific instructions for how to use it. Professional whitening treatments, opposed to the strips you’d buy from the grocery store or the kits you can order online, are extremely effective in penetrating the tooth deep enough to actually whiten more than just the surface.
This reason almost speaks for itself. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and it also factors into your peers’ immediate perception of you.
Did you know that people with straight smiles are seen as 58% more likely to be successful? This can easily give you the upper hand in certain environments, such as job interviews, meetings, and your general workspace.
People with straight smiles are also viewed as 21% more likely to be viewed as happy, and who doesn’t want to look like they’re perfectly put together? Your smile might even become contagious!
A straight smile will help you speak up in that meeting, go on that first date with confidence, and most importantly, help you to admire the person you see in the mirror!
- Missing One or More Teeth
As an adult, having large gaps and spaces in your smile is not ideal. This could give you a huge hit to your confidence, and may even cause you to avoid smiling in public or in photographs.
Cosmetic dentists understand this can be a sensitive matter, and work with you to come up with a solution that will give you a beautiful, natural looking smile once more. In this case, your cosmetic dentist may recommend the use of dental implants to repair this issue.
Dental implants are used instead of dentures to restore a patient’s smile, and are often the preferred method of doing so. Implants act as anchors that are inserted into the jaw, and hold replacement teeth in place. If you have healthy gums that are able to support the implants to ensure the best possible outcome, your specialist will have a conversation with you about what’s required in order to maintain them.
Severe crowding can be a significant concern, and one that many patients feel self-conscious about. For crowding or generally crooked teeth, orthodontic treatment is always in the cards.
Your specialist will be able to recommend some options for orthodontic treatment that will work to straighten out your smile, close any gaps, and make everything even. This style of treatment is often achieved through orthodontic appliances such as Invisalign, braces, or retainers.
All of these methods put pressure on the teeth at a rate that is predetermined by the orthodontist, in order to guide the teeth into the right places at a comfortable pace. Though cosmetic dentistry doesn’t often focus on functionality, orthodontic treatment is both an aesthetic practice as well as a functional one. Orthodontic treatment will give you a perfectly straight smile, and leave you with better oral health in the process by closing any gaps and spaces to allow for easy cleaning.
- What Are the Long Term Benefits?
Like everything else in life, everyone will reap benefits from cosmetic dentistry that line up well with their initial treatment goals, whether the patient is looking for whiter teeth, a straighter smile, or to close gaps.
Aside from personal benefits, here are the most significant ways patients benefit long term from pursuing cosmetic enhancement!
- Prevents future dental damage by fixing the problem early
- Improves general appearance, making your smile appear more youthful
- Gives you long-lasting confidence that helps you do better at work, in social settings, and enables you to smile widely in your photographs!
- Makes for easier cleaning and improved overall dental hygiene