Stop Hiding Smile
With more of our lives being captured in pictures and videos, we all want to look our best and having a great smile is part of that. Unfortunately, certain dental conditions can lead to undesirable appearances that can negatively impact self-confidence. Luckily, advances in cosmetic dentistry can offer solutions for patients suffering from a range of issues including:
- Decayed teeth
- Chipped, broken or damaged teeth
- Missing teeth
- Tooth discoloration
- Gaps or spacing
This article will examine the various conditions and related treatments so that patients are best informed regarding their care.
While routine dental exams and a thorough cleaning routine are the best preventative measures for combating tooth decay, tooth decay is one of the most common dental conditions in adult Americans. Early stages of decay often have no symptoms but left untreated, decay can advance and lead to the formation of cavities. Permanent areas of damage to the tooth enamel, cavities are often treated with fillings that can be matched to the natural tooth color. Should decay be extensive, a dental crown may be placed over the entire natural crown.
Chipped, Broken, or Damaged Teeth
here are limitless ways that a tooth can become chipped, broken or otherwise damaged. A chipped or broken tooth can not only be painful, it can also result in undesirable cosmetic appearances. In cases where only a small piece of the tooth enamel has chipped away, a dentist may be able to correct the damage using a filling or dental bonding. Bonding involves the dentist applying a tooth-colored resin to the damaged area before shaping, polishing, and hardening the material using a high-intensity light. Dental veneers and dental caps are other treatment options that could be used depending on the extent of the damage and desired cosmetic results.
When a tooth, or teeth, is missing, a dental implant may be an ideal restoration option that involves surgically imbedding metal posts into the gumline on which a replacement crown is placed. The implant looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth but because surgery is involved, the procedure is more invasive and costlier than some other treatment options. Should multiple teeth be missing, full or partial dentures are another restoration option.
Having a bright smile is also important but despite the best oral care routine, our teeth are prone to discoloration over time. Fortunately, there are several professional and at-home whitening options. Professional treatments typically involve using whitening trays and high concentrations of bleaching agents (such as hydrogen peroxide). Home treatments can be in the form of whitening strips, toothpastes, mouthwashes, or trays.
Gaps or Spacing
A gap between teeth, called diastema, can be caused by genetics, misaligned jaw, teeth crowding, and thumb sucking. Diastema is most common between the two front teeth but can occur anywhere in the mouth. Correcting diastema is often achieved using braces or dental bands to close the gap and correct any spacing issues with other teeth. Dental bonding and veneers can also be used for patients seeking more immediate results.