Do you recall the dazzling smiles of Farrah Fawcett, Christie Brinkley, Beverly Johnson and Robert Redford? Those celebrities had teeth that were incredibly straight, even and bright, making everyone take a closer look at their own pearly whites in the mirror. What couldn’t be accomplished with a smile like that?
Small cosmetic changes can often make a big difference in a smile. Every smile is beautiful by nature of its intention to bring happiness to others, but if you’re serious about changing yours, there are many options available.
Professional Teeth Whitening
The most common cosmetic dental procedure is teeth whitening. The bleaching solution used by a dentist is much stronger than a commercial solution and your dentist may offer a bleaching procedure that also includes heat and/or light. Depending on the procedure, you can expect one two-hour treatment or several 30- or 60-minute treatments. Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of teeth bleaching with your dentist. Key considerations before starting the procedure are that it can make your teeth more sensitive and that the whitening effect is temporary.
If you only seek subtle changes to an otherwise healthy set of teeth – maybe you feel a couple of your teeth hint at fangs – dental contouring or reshaping is a great option. Your dentist will take x-rays to analyze pulp and bone location to determine a best course of action and in usually one visit, you’ve accomplished your goal.
Cosmetic dental options for chipped and misshapen teeth include bonding, where a tooth-colored material fills gaps or changes the color of teeth. Bonding is quicker and more affordable than other options and can last several years, but the material can also be stained or chipped. Some dentists refer to bonding as the every day dishes, while veneers are fine china.
And just what is so “fine china” about dental veneers? Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic adhered to the front of your teeth to create a new look through color or shape correction. Teeth that have a rough, uneven surface, are chipped or even misshaped are attractively transformed by veneers, which last longer than bonding. The application process for veneers can be time consuming and may involve several visits.
In early Hollywood, promising young actors and actresses were often sent to a film studio’s dentist to get caps or crowns to improve their smiles. Crowns are still applied today and are more long lasting than bonding and veneers, but sometimes the crowned tooth has to be altered to accommodate the crown. In those cases, you’re committed to a lifetime of wearing a crown – even if it means replacing previous crowns.
The fact remains that everyone is beautiful just the way they are and the most important thing about a smile is that it’s healthy. But if you want the confidence boost of an enhanced smile, talk to your dentist about options that best fit your needs.
Until next time… Keep on Smiling!