The Facts Surrounding Healthy Smiles
In a survey done by the American Dental Association, 23% of participants said they are embarrassed by the condition of their smile, and one in four said they avoid smiling as a result of this shame. Perhaps more starkly, 82% of those surveyed said they believe that a straight, bright smile helps to get ahead in life. And it appears that they aren’t wrong.
In another study, research authors estimated that losing just one tooth can result in a loss of $720 in annual earnings for a woman working full-time at a wage of $11/hour. And a survey done by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that over one-third of participants said they viewed others with a flawed smile as less attractive and confident than individuals they perceived to have perfect teeth.
Learn more about cosmetic dentistry and how it can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry involves procedures with the primary intent to improve upon the appearance of the teeth and smile. These procedures can also be used to restore and improve dental function. Cosmetic dentistry is used to remedy misalignment, spacing, staining, discoloration, chips, cracks, and breaks of teeth, as well as missing teeth and “gummy” smiles.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments
Dental veneers are a thin, shell-like piece of porcelain that is bonded over the natural tooth to change its size, shape, and coloring. Due to the nature of porcelain, veneers are an incredibly realistic, tooth-like remedy.
After taking an impression of your bite, your dentist will send the measurements off to be used for the fabrication of your veneers. Once created, the natural tooth will be prepared for the placement of the veneer. A minimal amount of enamel is removed. Next, the surface of the tooth is chemically etched at a microscopic level to give the bonding agent a firm hold to grip onto. The bonding agent is applied and then hardened, using a curing light after the veneers are placed overtop. Any final tweaks to the shape will be made at this time before they are polished to a beautiful shine!
Whitening treatments remove surface stains from teeth to achieve a bright, beaming smile. Treatment begins in office with the creation of a custom-fit tray for your bite. Your dentist will instruct you on how to properly apply the gel to your new trays and fit them over your teeth. You can then carry out treatment from the comfort of your own home following the time length and frequency of your treatment plan. Results are typically achieved between two and four weeks.
Porcelain bridges are used to replace a row of several missing teeth. Dental bridges are a custom-created tooth prosthetic that uses surrounding teeth as an anchor. A semi-permanent solution, bridges can only be placed and removed by your dentist. They are a long-term restoration that return dental function and complete your smile.
Porcelain dental crowns
Dental crowns are also commonly referred to as caps. They are placed over a broken, cracked, or discolored tooth to preserve what is left of healthy tissue. Crowns are used to restore both the aesthetics and function of your smile. Before placement, the tooth requiring treatment will be reshaped to create space for the dental crown to sit over it. At Great Miami Dental, we custom-mill your crown in office for same-day placement, resulting in a fast, convenient visit with long-lasting, natural results.
Tooth-colored fillings are an increasingly popular material used when restoring decayed, disfigured, and discolored teeth. Made from composite resin, they are also known as white fillings. These natural-appearing fillings come in a range of shades for an exact match to your teeth. The resin is molded and sculpted to the surface of the tooth by the dentist to seamlessly match its shape before being cured and polished.
Bonding, also referred to as composite veneers, utilizes a tooth-colored resin to correct shape, size, and color of a tooth, much as veneers do. Bonding, however, is a more conservative process where resin is applied and bonded directly to the natural tooth. This process requires minimal, if any, amounts of the natural tooth to be removed as a part of the preparation process. Your dentist will select a shade match for your tooth and will masterfully sculpt the resin to match that of your natural teeth. Once the correct shape is achieved, it is cured and polished to a shine.
How Cosmetic Dentistry Improves Smiles
Improved aesthetic and confidence
The most known, and perhaps obvious, use of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the color, shape, and spacing of teeth to achieve your smile goals. Stubborn stains, minor misalignment, small gaps, and misshapen teeth can all be improved with cosmetic dental treatment.
Tooth-colored fillings and porcelain-made restorations make for incredible tooth-like restorations that are a natural, seamless match to the rest of your smile. No more silver fillings or overly-white tooth replacements that stick out from your natural smile like a sore thumb.
Restoration of tooth function and occlusion
Crowns and fillings made from natural-appearing materials not only help to restore aesthetics but also function. Improved dental function allows you to talk, chew, and bite down without pain or discomfort. Replacing missing teeth with a dental prosthetic continues to support the surrounding teeth. This prevents migration, twisting, and malocclusion that would otherwise be caused as gravity pulls the teeth into the newly created gap.