Cosmetic dentistry is not just about the outward appearance of a smile. There are many aspects that go into creating a beautiful and healthy smile. There are also many benefits to having a great smile that many of us do not really think about. Below are some of the effects cosmetic dentistry can have on your overall well being.
It may come as a surprise to some patients, but cosmetic dentistry procedures can actually help patients realize improvements in overall health. Specifically, patients who elect to have certain cosmetic procedures can significantly improve physical, mental, and emotional well being.
-Improved Physical Health. For patients who suffer with Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain, bite alignment issues, and other craniofacial conditions, cosmetic dentistry can help to reshape affected areas in a way that is optimal for physical health. Examples include:
*Stronger teeth. Dental Bonding, dental implants, and porcelain crowns can be used to restore chipped, cracked, damaged, or missing teeth. The goal of any good cosmetic dentist is to preserve as much natural tooth enamel as possible while still developing a smile any patient can be proud of. When cosmetic dentistry treatment is complete, patients will experience a stronger, fuller, and more properly aligned smile that stays healthier, longer.
*Healthier gum tissues. A smile free of periodontal disease is important to maintaining optimal overall health. Recent research has linked periodontal disease to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Cosmetic dentistry should never be performed on a patient with progressive periodontal disease or poor at home maintenance. Without a proper foundation, any cosmetic dental care will be doomed to fail over time.
*Realignment of the jaw and/or TMJ, reducing joint pain and preventing teeth from becoming misaligned over time.
*Natural realignment of the airway and oral soft tissues, making it easier for the body to breath at night. Such procedures have been shown reduce snoring, curb sleep apnea, and improve overall quality of sleep.
-Increased Self Confidence. Cosmetic dentistry can improve how we perceive ourselves. An increase in self confidence and self esteem will give ourselves a greater self image. Research has shown that an increase in self esteem is vital to physical health.
-Increased Smiling. With a new-found smile, you will find yourself smiling more. This will make you more attractive to others whether in love or business. Research has also indicated that those who smile frequently often live longer and lead a higher quality of life.
-Teeth Whitening. This has become a billion dollar cosmetic dentistry business with products ranging from in office whitening to at home whitening with customized dental trays, whitening strips, paint on gels and even whitening toothpastes. The differences between the types has to do with speed and depth of whitening. Teeth whitening can have a dramatic effect on almost anyone’s smile for a relatively low cost and minimal time involved.
-Dental Implants. Missing teeth can make you feel uncomfortable with smiling, socially awkward, or may make you look older than you are. Replacing lost teeth can be done with very natural results. Dental implants are a great way to achieve cosmetics, strength, and durability. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. The best part is, once restored, the dental implants should last a lifetime.
-Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves using tooth colored materials that can be bonded to teeth to change shape, color, and length. This same material can also be used to fully cover the front surface, (called a composite veneer). Dental bonding can generally be completed in one visit.
-Porcelain Veneers. While the initial cost is higher than the other cosmetic dentistry options, this may be cost effective if extensive changes need to be made. Porcelain veneers can change shape, color, length, and even correct minor misalignments of teeth. This will last a long time, will not stain, and is a very strong, natural looking material.
-Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns are the strongest and most cosmetic options available. They are made from modern dental porcelains that range in strength and esthetics. If done properly, no one should ever be able to tell a porcelain crown from a natural tooth. Modern porcelains possesses strength, color properties, and light reflection properties that very closely mimic our natural teeth. Porcelain crowns can be used to change bite alignment issues as well as change alignment of front teeth which are more extreme such as those issues that porcelain veneers alone cannot fix. More natural tooth structure needs to be removed in preparing a porcelain crown vs a porcelain veneer.
-Snap On Smile. This is a modern, conservative way to improve your smile without any permanent dental work. All that is required is having your dentist take impressions of your teeth, choosing a color, and the dentist sending them to a lab to have your snap on smile fabricated. Once the snap on smile is made, you simply clean your teeth, apply a fluoride gel inside, and slip it on over your teeth. You can talk, eat and smile with it all day long.
-Gum Contouring. For those with a gummy smile, this can be a real confidence booster. This cosmetic dentistry procedure is generally done in one visit and can give incredible results for many with an overly gummy smile. Gum contouring simply removes the excess gum tissue and reshapes the gums to ensure you obtain the desired look. For some, this may require reduction of bone, in this case, it is recommended that you see a periodontal surgeon.
-Tooth Recontouring. Changing the shape or alignment of teeth in a minor way can have a dramatic effect on a persons smile. Tooth recontouring involves removing small amounts of tooth structure from edges of teeth to correct a tooth that might be misshapen or slightly misaligned.
-Orthodontics. Minor tooth movement can be utilized by your cosmetic dentist to bring your smile in line and allow for a better harmony between your smile and function.
A well trained, experienced cosmetic dentist can not only transform your smile but your entire well being. Your cosmetic dentist can improve the outward appearance of your smile but also bring it back into balance.