A spa experience is a great way to get a little pampering and help you feel beautiful. You've probably never thought of having a spa experience for you teeth, but cosmetic dentistry is just that – a way to rejuvenate your smile. Here are some of the techniques dentists and orthodontists use to rejuvenate your smile.
Why Do I Need Smile Rejuvenation?
It's not just your skin or other areas in the body that get older – so do your mouth and teeth. You may develop uneven wear from crooked teeth or an overbite. Perhaps you've lost a tooth because of improper oral hygiene or an injury. Collagen loss in the face can cause your lower facial area to sink in and wrinkles develop around your mouth. The teeth acquire stains from beverages like coffee, tea and red wine. Teeth also tend to become yellowed or greyish as you age. All of these factors add up to a smile that needs a little help.
Yellowed or stained teeth are one of the first tip-offs of increasing age. The enamel covering the teeth can gradually wear thin, allowing the next layer (called dentin) to show through. Since dentin has a yellowish cast, you gradually lose the pearly white color you enjoyed in your younger years. Teeth whitening is one of the fastest, easiest ways to restore white teeth. Your dentist can offer chair-side bleaching, which is the most effective way to whiten teeth, as well as at home treatments. Both of these are more effective than teeth whitening treatments you can buy over the counter.
Chipped and crooked teeth or teeth that have deep stains bleaching can't affect detract from the appearance of your teeth and smile. Veneers are a great way to rejuvenate your smile when you have these problems. Veneers come in two forms – a thin porcelain shell that's permanently bonded to your tooth or a resin composite (made of special plastic) that is shaped over the top of the tooth. Many people prefer the porcelain veneer as it has the translucent sheen of a natural tooth and the dentist doesn't need to remove as much of your own tooth to attach the veneer. Veneers can even make your teeth look straighter by covering crooked teeth.
Orthodontia, strictly speaking, isn't a cosmetic treatment – the purpose is to correct problems with alignment and bite. However, there's no question that orthodontic treatment can rejuvenate your smile. These days, you have lots of options for orthodontic treatment. They include conventional metal braces, ceramic brackets that are less visible, lingual braces (also less visible) and clear plastic aligners such as Invisalign that fit over the teeth. Some cosmetic and restorative dentists also offer orthodontia; if not, they can refer you to an orthodontist.
If you've broken or lost a tooth, it affects more than just your smile. The gap that results allows other teeth to shift, which affects your bite. The open space also increases the risk that food particles will be trapped in the area and increase the risk of tooth decay. Your dentist can fix gaps with implants or bridges, and broken teeth with crowns. An implant is a metal post that is actually inserted into the jawbone; a prosthetic tooth is attached to the implant. A bridge is fastened to adjoining teeth (it can be permanently fastened or removable). A bridge can replace one or more missing teeth with prosthetic teeth attached to the plastic and metal support. A crown is a prosthetic tooth permanently attached to your broken tooth. The prosthetic teeth in implants and bridges can be made of resin composite or porcelain. Crowns can be metal, resin composite or porcelain.
Smile rejuvenation is within your grasp. Don't let broken, discolored or missing teeth make you look older or unwilling to smile. A good cosmetic dentist can offer so many possibilities to rejuvenate your smile and give you back a youthful appearance. Even more important, many of these improve the function of your teeth. Whether it's whitening, veneers, a bridge, implants or full orthodontia, cosmetic and restorative dentistry has an answer for you.