So let’s pretend you are someone who has always wanted a nice smile. You’ve had consultations with a dentist (maybe several), asked friends, done some Google researching. But it’s information overload!
Anyone who is looking to improve their smile should know there are many different treatment options available today that I like to use to deliver not only beautiful, but healthy and functional smiles. Because of the options available, I will go through the treatment options available and discuss the pros and cons to help make sense of the choices we have.
Teeth whitening is a fantastic tool to make your existing teeth whiter in as little as 3-7 days. Food and beverages that stain our teeth like coffee, red wine and tea make our teeth darker and teeth whitening can help restore and improve the color of your teeth to make them much whiter. With the fabrication of custom trays, you can reuse your whitening trays each time you decide to whiten your teeth. It is simple and conservative, yet a very effective way to improve your smile.
Sensitive teeth – Teeth whitening can cause teeth to become sensitive during and after treatment, especially with those people who have gum recession and exposed roots. The use of desensitizers in today’s whitening systems do help cut down on the sensitivity and even eliminate it altogether.
Presence of existing dental work – Patients who have fillings or crowns/veneers will have limited benefit with teeth whitening. This is because whitening only will affect your natural teeth and will not change the color of existing materials that are used in the construction of your fillings and crowns/veneers. In other words, if you have had a lot of dentistry done especially in the front part of your mouth, this is not a good option for you.
Orthodontics is the use of braces to move improperly aligned teeth to create a favorable bite as well as straighten crooked teeth. In the past, orthodontics were limited to metal braces only, but today we have the option to use systems like Invisalign to move your teeth without unsightly metal in a much more comfortable and convenient way.
Does not improve the shape of your teeth – If what you are looking for is to simply straighten your teeth, then great! But if you are unhappy with the shape and size of your teeth, orthodontics will not solve your problem on its own. Many times patients with crooked teeth are not happy with the way their teeth physically appear as well. In these instances, a combination of orthodontics and crowns/veneers may be needed to deliver the result we want.
If you have cavities, large fillings that are breaking down, crowns that are different colors, then you may benefit from having new crowns or veneers placed on your teeth. Today’s dental materials allow us to re-create natural looking teeth that are guaranteed to make you smile. In as little as two appointments, we can transform your smile to a more youthful and healthy appearance.
Expense – Crowns and veneers will cost more than your everyday routine dentistry. This is usually because to achieve the result we want, anywhere from 2-10 teeth may be involved on each jaw! The determining factors are the current state of your teeth in the smile zone and how big of a smile you have (how many teeth you show when smiling).
New Dentist – You may have to seek the services of a new dentist to achieve the result you are looking for. Many dentists advertise they are “cosmetic dentists” but in reality, have had no formal training on the subject or it has been years since their last training or even completing a case! Do your research and find a provider that you feel comfortable will be able to achieve your goal of a beautiful smile.