Loosely defined as any dental procedure that improves the look of your smile, cosmetic dentistry is an excellent solution for those with broken, stained, misshapen, or otherwise imperfect teeth. The focus is on appearance rather than functionality, but many cosmetic procedures also improve the overall quality of your teeth. Here is an overview of some popular cosmetic dentistry solutions.
- Planning Your Smile: Your cosmetic dentistry journey begins with a cohesive plan of action. If you have any existing dental disease, such as cavities or gum disease, the first step is to treat those issues and restore your mouth to optimum health. Then, you are ready for a full assessment of your current smile and the areas that could use improvement. Your dentist will take all aspects of your features into account, from skin tone to eye color, as well as the dental issues that you want to correct. With this information, your dentist will lay out a proposed treatment plan.
- Teeth Bleaching or At-Home Whitening: Whiter teeth are a top request among many dental patients, and thanks to new technology, this is easier to achieve than ever before. Whether you prefer an in-office deep bleaching solution or a custom-formulated at-home whitening kit, the results are generally dramatic and can last for many years. If your teeth are in good shape, but are suffering from stubborn stains or darkening, this may be the only cosmetic procedure you need.
- Dental Veneers: Strong and durable, yet thin and unnoticeable, porcelain dental veneers are an excellent solution to dental problems ranging from deep staining to misshapen or broken teeth. In many cases, dental veneers can even cover gaps and misalignment. Today’s veneers are stain resistant and incredibly natural looking, giving you a brand-new smile in just two visits.
- Mercury Filling Replacement: Silver-mercury amalgam fillings were the treatment of choice for cavities for many years, and some dentists still use them today. However, dental research has consistently shown that they are not the best solution.
It is difficult to detect new cavities or cracks behind these fillings, and the material does not bond to the tooth surface nearly as well as composite resin does. In addition, silver-mercury fillings create an obvious dark spot that takes away from the aesthetics of your smile. For these reasons, having your silver-mercury fillings replaced with white composite materials can dramatically improve both your smile and your overall dental health.
- Dental Implants: The most natural replacement currently available for severely damaged or missing teeth, dental implants are an excellent solution to major dental issues. A biocompatible titanium implant is placed where the tooth root used to be, and is finished with a very natural looking crown. Much stronger, more stable, and more comfortable than dentures, dental implants feel and function like your own teeth.
Dental implants can be used to replace individual teeth, to anchor a bridge that spans a run of missing teeth, or even to support an entire upper or lower arch of replacement teeth. Depending on your individual needs and existing oral health, you might even qualify for an All-on-4, a single-visit procedure that eliminates the traditional four to six-month healing process between placing the implants and creating the final restoration.
- Crowns: A time-tested solution for badly failing teeth, crowns are still an important part of modern cosmetic dentistry. New techniques and technology allow your dentist to carefully remove only the damaged portion of the tooth, leaving its underlying structure largely intact. Today’s crowns are highly realistic and natural in appearance, and are strong enough to restore an average of 98% of the original tooth strength.
For those whose teeth are healthy but aesthetically displeasing, cosmetic dentistry is a wonderful way to restore self-confidence and create a winning smile. If you have underlying dental disease, it must be treated first to create a healthy, optimal environment for cosmetic solutions. No single procedure is right for everyone, so your journey will begin with a thorough examination and proposed treatment plan. Depending on your existing smile and the results you hope to obtain, you might undergo one or several procedures to create the best new smile for you.
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.