If the condition of your teeth makes you feel embarrassed to speak or open your mouth, you’ll find that improving gapped, stained, or misaligned teeth can boost more than your appearance. When you have perfect teeth, you’re more likely to smile, an action that can elevate your attitude, benefit your health, and affect the moods of those around you.
Whether you were born with an imperfect smile or your teeth were damaged over time, you can change your smile and overall appearance with cosmetic dentistry. This specialty includes several treatments that can restore normal function and appearance to teeth damaged by decay, disease, or injury.
If you’re self-conscious about your smile, consulting with a cosmetic dentistry specialist is the first step in determining your options for repairing your teeth. George Kontoveros, DMD, and Anthony Klobas, DMD, of 2K Dental, can determine the treatment or combination of treatments necessary to improve your smile.
Based on the condition of your teeth, your goals, and your budget, your dentist recommends the most appropriate cosmetic dentistry treatment. If you would benefit from more than one treatment, a comprehensive plan, called a smile makeover, is personalized for your needs.
Learn more about five standard cosmetic dentistry procedures and how they can help you change your smile and improve your self-esteem.
#1 Teeth whitening
Eight out of 10 Americans age 18-49 say they desire whiter teeth, so it’s no surprise that teeth whitening is reported to be the cosmetic dental treatment most frequently requested.
Professional teeth whitening is a simple and relatively inexpensive treatment that can achieve dramatic results and brighten your entire appearance. This treatment uses the strongest whitening solutions available without risking damage to your teeth and gums.
It’s possible to achieve noticeable results in just a single one-hour treatment without downtime. Your whiter smile can last 4-6 months or longer, based on how carefully you follow directions to avoid consuming dark foods and beverages.
#2 Dental bonding
The process of dental bonding uses tooth-colored composite resin to repair damaged teeth. This material can be formed and shaped to correct functional and cosmetic issues to accomplish the following improvements:
- Repair cavities with a more natural result than silver-colored fillings
- Restore cracked or chipped teeth to normal appearance
- Elongate or reshape teeth diminished by grinding or trauma
- Fill in gaps between your gums and teeth made by gum recession
Dental bonding typically involves less cost and fewer office visits than other cosmetic dentistry options, like dental veneers and crowns, that can treat the same problems. A typical dental bonding takes between 30 and 60 minutes without anesthesia or downtime.
#3 Dental implants
A dental implant can improve the functional and cosmetic issues caused by missing teeth. This prosthetic tooth imitates the structure of your natural tooth by duplicating the way your tooth connects to your jawbone.
A dental implant involves a biocompatible titanium post that is screwed into your jawbone. The post creates a permanent, artificial tooth root that helps to stimulate your jawbone where the missing tooth was positioned.
Over about six months, the implant fuses to your jawbone. When the process is complete, a tooth-colored porcelain crown or “cap” covers the entire portion of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.
#4 Dental veneers
Dental veneers are tooth-colored films that cover the front part of damaged teeth. These durable, wafer-thin shells can correct flaws that affect a tooth’s size, color, and shape.
The ceramic or porcelain materials used to manufacture veneers provide natural-looking results because they are precisely color-matched to your natural teeth.
Having veneers applied to your teeth is a process that typically takes several weeks. The first step involves trimming off about half a millimeter of the natural tooth’s enamel. X-ray imaging and molds are taken and sent to a dental lab where your veneers can be customized to match the specifications of your damaged teeth.
When your veneers are ready, cement is used to attach each veneer to the appropriate tooth. A post-treatment visit may be necessary to check for proper placement.
Orthodontic treatments correct crowded or crooked teeth with pressure to move your teeth into targeted positions over time. Your orthodontic treatment and timeline vary according to your needs. Adults often prefer clear aligners over the appearance of traditional brackets and wires.
Invisalign® treats crooked and misaligned teeth with a series of clear aligner trays. These virtually invisible devices allow you to accomplish effective correction discreetly. You also have the option to remove your aligners to brush, eat, or attend special occasions.
Since you change your trays at home, using Invisalign typically requires fewer and shorter office visits than traditional metal braces. While your treatment plan is individualized for your needs, most Invisalign treatment plans take about 12-18 months.
Find out more about these and other cosmetic dentistry treatments that can improve your appearance and confidence. Contact our office in Parma, Cleveland, or Akron, Ohio, to schedule a consultation today.