When it comes to aging, the first thing we tend to scrutinize is our skin, bemoaning every line, wrinkle, sag, or age spot. But teeth – either due to genetics or the ravages of time – are also huge factors in how old we look. Some of us aren’t blessed with naturally straight, bright white teeth, but even if we are (or acquire them through orthodontia or whitening), they wear down with use, shift position, and become susceptible to chips, cracks and discoloration over time.
Luckily, improving your smile and looking years younger are easier than ever, thanks to the wide assortment of cosmetic dental procedures and at-home use products available today. Your dentist can assess your smile and recommend the right one(s) for you. Here is a quick “know-before-you-go” overview of some of the most popular options.
Today, there are more tooth whitening options than ever to consider, from whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses to gel trays and strips to in-office professional treatments. While more costly, in-office procedures usually produce the fastest, most dramatic and long-lasting results.
Dental bonding is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can be used to correct small spacing issues as well as chips and cracks. It involves applying a tooth colored composite to the affected area, bonding it to the tooth, where it then hardens, and is finally polished. Bonding cannot be used to whiten your entire smile, like porcelain veneers (see below) can. And unlike porcelain veneers, bonding composite is vulnerable to staining. It is not recommended for smokers.
Many adults (even some who had orthodontia as children) are turning to braces to help improve the look of teeth that are crooked or crowded, correct an irregular bite, or jaw positioning. Besides traditional metal braces, they often have the option of Invisalign (clear removable trays), depending on the nature of the problem they need to correct. A dentist can help determine which option is best. Braces typically require multiple office visits, and can involve pain during application and tightening (traditional braces). The time commitment is daunting for some patients, and often a retainer must be worn indefinitely after the braces are removed. While braces can result in a beautiful even smile, they only correct alignment and/or bite, and don’t fix chips, cracks, worn down teeth or discoloration.
Gingival (gum) contouring:
This is a minimally invasive laser procedure for reshaping the gum tissue around the teeth for a healthier, younger looking smile. It lifts the gum line to reveal more tooth and/or evens out the gum line. The procedure usually requires one office visit and local anesthetic. Depending on the patient’s needs, it may also involve grafts or bone contouring, in which case, pain and anti-infection medications will be required.
Many dentists agree that porcelain veneers (shields that cover existing, healthy teeth) are the gold standard for total smile transformation, because they can essentially do it all -- build up worn down teeth, repair chips, cracks and discoloration, correct gaps or other spacing issues and even improve the look of gum erosion. However, not all porcelain veneers are created equal, so it is important to ask your dentist about his or her experience with veneers, what kind of veneers will be used, and where and how they are fabricated.
It is also important to request detailed information about the procedure itself. In most cases, irreversible traditional veneer procedures involve the removal of painful sensitive tooth structure, requiring numbing shots. This is not the case with pain-free SmileSimplicity veneers that leave original tooth structure intact and never require an anesthetic. And, the entire procedure is reversible in the unlikely event a patient is unhappy with the result.
More and more dentists are entrusting their porcelain veneer needs to SmileSimplicity, because they know they can count on the company’s specialized studio, experienced staff of artisan/techs and advanced technology to fabricate the flawless, high quality porcelain veneers that will delight their patients.
SmileSimplicity Porcelain Veneers are created through a process as integrated and meticulous as traditional Swiss watchmaking, which guarantees a perfect fit, color match, and natural-looking results every time.
For more information, please visit www.smilesimplicity.com.