It has become a common practice to consider cosmetic dentistry procedures as a way to improve the appearance of your smile. But while most people relate cosmetic dentistry with smile makeovers that will boost your confidence, it is essential to educate yourself about the pros and cons associated with each procedure.
One of the most economical types of cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth to several shades lighter and enjoying a whiter and brighter smile. Teeth whitening can be done professionally in the dental office or at home with the help of over-the-counter products.
- Relatively inexpensive compared to other variations of cosmetic dentistry. Professional teeth whitening is usually costlier than over-the-counter products.
- One of the quickest forms of cosmetic dentistry. Teeth whitening is done in the dental clinic usually only takes about an hour.
- Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity.
- It is not permanent. The whitening effects last only about six months before the procedure needs to be done again.
- Some amount of stain-causing foods like wine, sauces, excessive tea, and coffee, etc. need to be avoided.
- May not work on extreme discoloration or some severe stains.
Dental bonding is a procedure done on teeth with minor gaps, chips, cracks, etc. A tooth-colored composite resin is molded onto these imperfections and activated with a curing light. This hardens the resin into a tooth-like structure and corrects the minor defects. Composite resin is also used for filling dental cavities.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Teeth can be fixed in a single appointment.
- Minimally invasive.
- It does not last very long. Most composite resin restorations last about 5-7 years.
- It can be used to fix only minor defects and imperfections.
- Staining due to various reasons may occur over time.
Dental veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that can be bonded onto the front surface of the anterior teeth. They are capable of completely transforming the appearance of crooked, malformed, discolored, or unevenly spaced teeth. The widely popular ‘Hollywood Smile’ makeover can be achieved with dental veneers.
- A quick approach to fixing most cosmetic dental problems.
- Completely transforms dental appearance into a perfect smile.
- Relatively long-lasting.
- They are usually quite expensive.
- Patients with habits like clenching or grinding may damage the veneers. They made need to wear night-guards while sleeping.
Also known as ‘caps,’ crowns are like veneers but cover the entire tooth instead of just the front surface. Dental crowns are also made of porcelain, but newer varieties are made of materials like zirconia. They are usually placed on decayed or damaged teeth, and after root canal treatments to lend structural integrity to the tooth.
- Lend support to extensively damaged teeth and may save it from the need for extraction.
- It can serve multiple purposes.
- Long-lasting if fabricated well.
- Tooth requires extensive preparation.
- May lead to gum recession or tooth sensitivity.
- The shade of the crown may not match the rest of the teeth after a given period of time.
- It can be expensive if needed on multiple teeth.
Implants are biocompatible screws drilled into the jawbone and topped with dental crowns to replace missing teeth. Because of their impressive qualities and advantages compared to traditional means of tooth replacement, dental implants have risen immensely in popularity. The dental implant procedure involves a surgical step for the installation of the implant screw into the bone. After a waiting period of 4-6 months to allow for osseointegration, the dental crown is placed onto the implant.
- Long-lasting. Do not require replacements if the procedure is done well.
- Improves appearance by preventing the bone loss that may be caused as a result of missing teeth.
- Improves the quality of life by eliminating the need to replace and maintain dentures and bridges.
- Can be very expensive
- The healing phase after surgery can last very long, which, in turn, increases the duration of treatment.
- The risk of infection is prominent and requires care and maintenance during the postoperative period.
Orthodontic treatments, commonly referred to as getting braces, are common among teenagers and adolescents. However, adults can qualify for orthodontic treatments as well, depending on the type of correction required with their teeth. Braces are metal or ceramic brackets placed on the teeth and connected by wires. They can be used to correct dental problems like gaps, crooked, or misaligned teeth.
- The effects of a correctly done orthodontic treatment usually last a lifetime. It can help in correcting most kinds of defects with the alignment of the teeth.
- Orthodontic treatment can be expensive.
- The complete treatment usually takes at least a year. In some cases, the treatment may take even several years.
- Aesthetically, traditional braces can make an individual conscious of their appearance.
If you are unsatisfied with the appearance of your teeth, cosmetic dentistry can assist in giving you a bright and more youthful smile in a relatively short span of time. The right kind of treatment for you will depend on your dental health and requirements, your budget, and your dental insurance coverage.