Cosmetic Dentistry: A Beautiful Smile Is Not Far Away
Are you unhappy with your smile but aren't sure what cosmetic, corrective options are available?
The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) reminds consumers that many cosmetic options exist to improve your smile. Your dentist can assess your needs, wishes and dental history to determine a suitable option to help restore your smile. Following is a summary of many cosmetic dental options.
* Tooth whitening or bleaching - Many whitening options exist to help a patient achieve a brighter, whiter smile. Depending on the patient's needs and dental health history, a dentist can suggest a procedure in the office or dispense a system that can be used at home. It is important to consult a dentist before starting any tooth whitening procedure.
* Bonding -Bonding improves the appearance of chipped, broken or cracked teeth by applying tooth-colored materials to the tooth's surface.
* Veneers - Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front side of teeth that are chipped or worn, permanently stained, poorly shaped or slightly crooked.
* Braces - Braces or other orthodontic appliances can correct crooked or crowded teeth or teeth that do not align properly.
* Crowns - Crowns can help strengthen teeth and improve outward appearance by acting as a cover and adding additional support for a weak tooth, helping restore a tooth that is already broken or covering a dental implant or a tooth that is stained or misshaped.
* Bridges - A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth crafted from a variety of materials such as gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials. A fixed bridge contains artificial teeth that are attached directly to the jaw or under the gum tissue and can only be removed by a dentist. If you are fitted with a removable bridge, it can be removed and cleaned at home.
* Dental implants - Implants can replace missing teeth with artificial teeth to help achieve a more natural looking smile. Since surgery is required, patients must be in good oral and overall health, have healthy gums and sufficient bone structure to support the implant and be dedicated to maintaining optimal dental hygiene habits.
* Dentures - Dentures are another option for replacing missing teeth when all or a majority of the patient's natural teeth are missing.
While there are many corrective and cosmetic options available, it is important to maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing daily, eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet and visiting the dentist every six months for regular checkups and professional cleaning.