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Cosmetic Dentistry: More Than a Beautiful Smile

Should You Consider Cosmetic Dentistry?

Maybe you had a perfect set of pearly whites, but time took its toll. A crack here and a chip there can detract from your smile. Or you might have always had some bothersome dental imperfections, such as a gap between your teeth.

Either way, if you’re considering improving your smile, cosmetic dental procedures may be the way to go. Let’s face it; your appearance also affects the way you feel. If you’re unhappy about your smile, it can waver your confidence, leaving you self-conscious. Being happy with your smile compliments your overall dental health and well-being.

But it doesn’t stop at aesthetics and a strong self-esteem. Some procedures, such as those that repair cracked or chipped teeth, can also correct discomforting or painful dental problems, such as your bite or tooth decay.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

If you’re considering having a dental procedure, your first question may be: what is cosmetic dentistry? Some dentists define cosmetic dentistry as a procedure which is done to improve the appearance of the teeth.

But if you think about it, most dental procedures, such as crowns, implants and bridges, not only improve oral health, they also improve a person’s smile and have cosmetic benefits. So even if a procedure is done for the health of your teeth, all dentistry should be aesthetically pleasing.

But there are also some cosmetic procedures that are simply done to improve your appearance and are considered elective. Wait a minute. Making a deliberate trip to the dentist when you don’t absolutely need to? Sounds crazy right? But even procedures that are done primarily for aesthetics, such as tooth whitening, can have significant benefits. Although it does not improve the functionality of your teeth, having a brighter smile can boost your self-esteem and who doesn’t want that?

Cosmetic Dentistry Options  

Although we all have things about our appearance that we’re not too happy about, some issues are more of a concern than others. There are various types of cosmetic dentistry procedures ranging from simple to complex that may work for you.

The type of procedure recommended may depend on what you want to correct, your budget and time constraints. Remember not every imperfection needs to be corrected. What is a priority to one person may be no big deal to another.

Cosmetic dental procedures can help treat a wide variety of problems including gaps and misshapen teeth, cracked teeth and broken teeth. Whether you want subtle changes, major repairs, or anything in between, there is a variety of procedures available to improve your smile. Consider some of the following options:

Teeth Whitening: Even if your teeth are in good shape, they may not be as white as you like. Over the years, teeth can easily discolor. A cup of java may help you get going in the morning, or a glass of red wine might help you unwind at the end of a day. But both can stain and yellow your teeth. At Sullivan and Carothers, DDS, we offer at-home teeth whitening, which is a convenient and easy way to brighten your smile. If you are either looking for something fast or do not feel you would wear the trays at home, we offer several in-office bleaching options.

Bonding: Bonding is a simple and cost-effective way to improve the appearance of chipped teeth, lengthen teeth and close a gap between teeth. Bonding involves using a composite resin, which is shaped and polished to match your other teeth.

Veneers: Veneers are another cosmetic dentistry option, which involves placing permanent thin porcelain fronts on your teeth. Veneers are a good option to reshape worn teeth, restore discolored teeth or fix chips.

Implants: Dental implants are not only for cosmetic purposes, but they also provide restorative benefits. An implant replaces both the tooth root and the natural tooth using an implant post and an artificial tooth. It’s a great option to replace one or more missing teeth.

How can you Benefit from Cosmetic Dentistry?  

When you first think of cosmetic dentistry, you might think it’s entirely about appearance. But having a nice smile and being happy with how you look is not about being superficial. It’s about increasing your self-confidence. Everything from your love life to your job is affected by how confident you are.

Think about it. If you’re self-conscious about your teeth and smile, it can make you feel insecure in social situations and limit the things you do. You might even try to hide your teeth. Do you reflexively cover your mouth when you smile or laugh.

Cosmetic dental procedures may be elective as opposed to essential. But in many cases, they can also improve your dental health and provide restorative benefits. Enhanced appearance and improved dental health are not mutually exclusive. Replacing a missing tooth with a bridge or implant improves your smile. But it may also prevent your teeth from shifting and decrease bone loss in your jaw. So you’re not only leaving looking and feeling better, but you also improve your dental health.

While cosmetic dentistry won’t fix all of life’s problems, it can change the way you see yourself. Keep in mind, even small changes can have a big impact. Sometimes small steps are all it takes to boost your self-esteem. Improving your smile is about taking control of your life and making the changes you want. Having a smile you’re happy with may mean you smile more often, which is always a plus!