Modern dentistry is much more than just preventative dentistry such as regular checkups, cleanings, and fillings. Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of procedures to enhance the appearance of your smile. When one or more of these procedures are combined as part of an integrated plan to improve the appearance of your smile, it is often referred to as a smile makeover.
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, talk to a cosmetic dentist about developing a smile makeover treatment plan. Your cosmetic dentist will work with you to create a treatment plan that best achieves the look you desire within your budget. Depending on your individual needs, your cosmetic dentist may recommend one or more of the many cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, dental implants, dental veneers, bonding, caps, orthodontics, and replacing silver fillings.
When developing your smile makeover plan, your cosmetic dentist will take into consideration more than just your teeth, but also your facial appearance including skin tone, lips and hair to create a pleasing smile. Among the aspects of your smile that may need to be improved include tooth color, alignment, spacing, height, and missing teeth. Chipped or damaged teeth may need to be repaired and a gummy smile may need to be addressed.
Depending on your unique treatment plan, a smile makeover can be completed in a few months or it can take as long as a year or more to complete, especially if orthodontics or implants are part of the treatment plan. Your cosmetic dentist will also review any maintenance that may be required to preserve your dazzling new smile. Teeth whitening may need to be periodically renewed and orthodontic treatments may require use of a retainer to maintain tooth alignment.
Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure for patients seeking a brighter, whiter smile. There are various types of teeth whitening products on the market including over the counter products such as whitening gels, strips, and trays and also whitening products applied or prescribed by a dentist.
Most patients are good candidates for teeth whitening, but there are a few patients who should consult with their dentist before using these products. There may be more suitable alternatives available for these patients.
Teeth whitening products use peroxide based agents to achieve the desired whitening effect. Over the counter products have a lower concentration of whitening agent and accordingly they are less effective and take longer than professionally applied or dispensed products.
Anyone who has an allergic reaction to peroxide should not use these products. Also, a common side effect is increased tooth sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, using a whitening product can aggravate the sensitivity. Talk to your dentist before using these products.
The whitening agent in these products is only effective on dental enamel. It will not change the color of tooth colored fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations. Using a whitening agent on teeth with these types of restorations will result in uneven whitening. The natural teeth will be whiter than the restorations. Replacing the restorations may be an option or you could choose use veneers or bonding to achieve the same effect. Your cosmetic dentist can help you decide which option would work best for you.
Yellowish teeth respond best to the teeth bleaching process. Dark brown stains don’t respond as well and teeth stained gray by tetracycline will take much longer to respond to the treatment. It is important to have realistic expectations to avoid being disappointed by the results.
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