Options for improving your teeth

A smile is one of the first things we notice about others, but many people aren’t confident about the way that their mouths look. They might have teeth that are cracked, missing, or discolored, and that can lead to discomfort when it comes to greeting others. For many, cosmetic dentistry is the perfect solution for years of dealing with tooth imperfections. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of teeth — from shape and coloring to repair and replacement. After a consultation with a dentist, a patient can better understand the best options for treatment.

One of the most popular cosmetic procedures is teeth whitening. There are many approaches to this practice, and it can be done both in an office or on your own time. One of the more commonly used methods is bleaching with at-home trays. This is a fast method that leads to dramatic results.

Veneers are another popular option in the world of cosmetic dentistry. These thin, ceramic shells are custom created and adhere directly to a patient’s current teeth. As a result, they don’t impact mechanics — they just improve the appearance by correcting spaces, chips, and color, among other issues. Additionally, they are durable — lasting up to 15 years on some patients — and resist future stains from culprits like coffee, tea, and wine. Veneers also look natural. Because they are so thin, they blend well with existing teeth, making them difficult to detect.

Crowns are a great option for patients who have broken or damaged teeth, but don’t need a total replacement. Crowns serve as a cover or cap on a tooth that is broken or weak and create a smooth, resilient finish on a tooth.

Still, some teeth are simply beyond repair. This is particularly common as people age and their teeth become weak or damaged. If teeth need to be removed (or are already missing), it’s wise to replace them in order to avoid problems like gum disease and speech issues. Patients have several options when it comes to replacement. One common treatment is a bridge, which is where artificial teeth are attached to remaining natural teeth. Bridges can be either fixed in place or removable, with the latter option often being the most affordable choice. Implants are another option. With this option, lab-created faux teeth are attached in the mouth via insertable metal rods. The teeth look quite natural and are a sturdy and permanent fixture in the mouth.

Because of the dramatic changes all of these procedures can bring, patients can walk out of the office with a renewed sense of self-esteem, which can lead to general wellness. And the results aren’t purely aesthetic.Various ailments can make it challenging to keep teeth clean, and that can lead to other mouth-related troubles, like gum disease and cavities. To that end, many cosmetic procedures are also a defense against future troubles.

All in all, cosmetic dentistry is an investment not only in appearances but in overall health and wellness. And with today’s variety of techniques, you have options that keep both physical and monetary needs in mind.