Advances in cosmetic dentistry mean more people have access to a number of procedures. We asked Dr. Lang from Great Miami Dental to tell us which ones are the most popular and why.
Why are these cosmetic dentistry procedures so popular?
1. Teeth Whitening
Over time, our teeth stain or become discolored. It could be a result of smoking, drinking things like coffee, tea, and red wine, or even from certain medications. Not only do off-white teeth make you feel very self-conscious, but they also make you look older.
Statistics show that in 2018 approximately 40 million Americans whitened their teeth, and while it isn’t clear how many went to a cosmetic dentist to have their procedures done, it is fair to say this is one of the most popular procedures.
According to Dr. Lang, it could be because the results are instant, it’s not as invasive as some of the other procedures, and it’s also not as costly. Another reason teeth whitening is so popular is that you can have it done at the dentist, or you can take a teeth-whitening kit home with you.
Your at-home kit from Great Miami Dental includes a custom-made tray that fits over your teeth, as well as whitening gel. You are also given clear instructions from Dr. Lang on how to use the kit. You can expect the process to take two to four weeks.
Of course, if you want instant results, opt for an in-office procedure. As Dr. Lang explains, “You are guaranteed to see brighter, whiter teeth in just one visit.”
In between whitening and veneers is a cosmetic dentistry procedure called “bonding.” Not as complex as veneers or as straightforward as whitening, bonding involves a resin that is applied, or bonded, to your teeth. The resin-covered tooth is then shaped and polished to match the size and shape of your natural teeth.
Dr. Lang often recommends this process for patients who want to whiten their teeth, while also repairing cracked, chipped, or even broken teeth. It will also work well for people who want to fix any gaps or fill small cavities.
The main benefit of bonding as a cosmetic dentistry procedure is that the structure of your own teeth is maintained, and in just one visit you get a full smile makeover. Although this process lasts longer than whitening, it isn’t as long-lasting as veneers, and there is a chance the resin can stain or chip.
Veneers are to cosmetic dentistry what Ferraris are to luxury sports cars, except they don’t cost as much. The principle of a veneer is similar to bonding in that a durable, custom-made shell covers the front of the teeth, changing the color and sometimes shape. Where it differs is that veneers last a lot longer than bonding, and look more natural.
Dr. Lang finds that the majority of his patients choose veneers when they want to:
- Fix any gaps between their teeth.
- Repair teeth that are worn down or chipped.
- Get rid of permanent stains.
- Correct teeth that are crooked or misshaped.
Dr. Lang points out that this procedure is more invasive as your own teeth need to be prepared before the veneers can be cemented in place. Unlike bonding and teeth whitening, however, it will take a few appointments to get your perfect new smile.
This procedure is more expensive than bonding and whitening, but veneers last a lot longer, saving you money down the line. If cost is a worry, speak to the team at Great Miami Dental about their different payment methods or take advantage of affordable payment options available from CareCredit.
A crown or cap is like the big brother of cosmetic dentistry. It doesn’t only restore your teeth, it also prevents further damage. While not everyone needs crowns, Dr. Lang may suggest crowns to patients to:
- Protect a weakened tooth.
- Cover stained or discolored teeth.
- Repair worn or broken teeth.
- Cover a root canal or a dental implant.
Compared to whitening, bonding, and veneers, a crown is costly and is often suggested only when no other procedure will achieve the necessary results. It is a good idea to have a full consultation with Dr. Lang to see whether this is the best cosmetic dentistry procedure for you.
Dr. Lang will talk you through the different options, discussing the advantages and disadvantages. While he may not be able to make the final decision for you, he can most certainly break down the pros and cons of each option.
Losing a few teeth means you might lose a whole lot of self-confidence, but there is so much more to it than that. When you are missing teeth, you chew differently, and your remaining teeth have to work much harder; this results in them moving and shifting, which can affect your teeth’s functionality.
Acting like a traditional bridge, it is anchored to the teeth on either side of the gap to make a new tooth. A bridge is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures because it enhances your smile, but it also restores the functionality of the missing tooth. A bridge can only be put in and removed by a cosmetic dentist, and it is a semi-permanent solution to missing teeth.
Which of these cosmetic dental procedures have you had done? And what is life like after your smile makeover? We would love to hear from you.