Cosmetic dentistry is all about improving the aesthetics of your smile. Many people don’t feel confident about smiling in photographs, and feel wary of showing their teeth in social interactions because they’re discoloured, crooked, or have unsightly gaps. Fortunately, there is a safe and easy solution available through your cosmetic dentist - known as the ‘smile makeover.’
This article on cosmetic dental surgery is written by Jackie Griffiths, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.
A smile makeover – another term for cosmetic dentistry – involves one or more of a range of dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, veneers, crowns, white fillings, orthodontics, gum reshaping, and dental bridges. In fact, many cosmetic dentists also offer facial rejuvenation such as Botox. Together, these cosmetic dental surgery treatments can transform the shape of your smile, bringing huge psychological and relationship benefits.
The British are known for having “bad teeth”, but it is a stereotype we’re fast outgrowing. Famous Brits who’ve undergone cosmetic dentistry include Anne Robinson, David Bowie, Noel Gallagher, and the Prime Minister Gordon Brown. But these days, cosmetic dentistry is not limited just to the rich and famous. More and more people are turning to cosmetic dentistry to improve their looks and help their self-esteem.
Below is a list of popular cosmetic dentistry treatments and a brief outline of what they involve.
Bonding involves coating the teeth in a special composite agent to restore shape and colour.
Botox injections help recreate a more youthful appearance on the face, reducing expression lines around the eyes, forehead, lips, and cheeks, as well as correcting facial scars. The results last up to four months.
Bridges are used in cosmetic dentistry to replace missing teeth. Under a local anaesthetic, the two surrounding teeth are trimmed away at the top, and a mould is made of the gaps. A bridge – made up of one whole tooth and caps for the two supporting teeth – is cemented in place and will last for up to ten years.
CEREC is a hi-tech alternative to dental putty (which is used to make impressions of your teeth). A sophisticated camera sends a 3D image to an onsite milling machine, which produces a new crown or veneer from a ceramic block. CEREC is fast and eliminates the need for dental moulds and temporary fittings.
Crowns strengthen damaged or broken teeth to preserve their function. They are also known as caps because they sit over the existing tooth.
Dental implants are artificial replacements for the root part of a tooth that has succumbed to trauma or decay. An implant is anchored into a pre-drilled socket in the jaw bone to support a crown, bridge, or denture. They are made from titanium for strong support.
Dentures are removable teeth for people that have lost some, or all, of their natural teeth. These days they look very realistic and are comfortable to wear. Held in place by the natural suction of your gums, a fixative may also be used if you prefer.
Gum reshaping is for people who worry they show too much gum when they smile. This type of cosmetic dental surgery treatment involves trimming away excess gum tissue with a laser, giving an immediate and permanent result.
Invisalign braces are clear plastic braces used to straighten teeth. This revolutionary alignment system is moulded for an exact fit, and worn for at least 22 hours a day, for 6-18 months.
Lumineers are ultra-thin veneers which cover gaps between teeth and improve the appearance of worn or discoloured teeth.
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that covers straightening and alignment of teeth. Treatments require patients to wear braces or retainers over many months to gradually bring teeth into the desired position.
Teeth whitening is a process of removing stains from the teeth and bleaching them to further enhance the colour. The best results come from a combination of in-surgery treatments and home whitening kits.
Veneers are a popular choice to transform crooked, stained, and damaged teeth into perfect pearly whites. It involves cementing a wafer thin shell (made from porcelain, ceramic or a composite bonding agent) over the top of the tooth.