After having gone to school for more than 16 years and working hard to maintain …
You know the importance of good dental hygiene. A great smile can make or break a first impression. Regular trips to the dentist, brushing and flossing all contribute to a beautiful smile, but sometimes a little more is necessary.
Having a trusted family and cosmetic dentistry practice is important for any family. You’ll be taking your children to the dentist twice a year from a very early age, as early as their first birthday. You yourself will go as well, and it helps to have someone you trust and have faith in. You’ll all get those fluoride treatments and cleanings and x-rays to keep your mouths healthy, but what happens when it’s time for cosmetic dentistry?
According to the AACD (The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry), cosmetic dentistry is any dentistry that focuses on creating a positive change to your teeth and your smile. Cosmetic dentistry isn’t always simply aesthetics; it often has many dental health benefits that go along with it. Some common cosmetic dentistry procedures are:
- Teeth Whitening
- Chipped Tooth Repairs
- Porcelain Veneers
- Dental Implants
- Enamel Shaping and Contouring
Many dentists specialize in both routine and cosmetic dentistry, and if they don’t, they can probably refer you to a good cosmetic dentist.
Why Have Cosmetic Dentistry Done?
Some people don’t really see the point of having work done if you don’t need it, others wholeheartedly believe in the power of cosmetic dentistry.
Some procedures are more of a combination of necessary work and cosmetic, like implants or braces, but others that may appear solely cosmetic actually add some benefits of increased feelings of well being. For instance, those who have their teeth whitened report feeling like they look younger or make a more positive first impression. It’s a great self esteem and confidence booster.
Because so many people are seeking orthodontic treatment, unfortunately it makes those who don’t stand out more. As college graduates enter the work force, a bright, white smile full of straight teeth is becoming the norm, and those without may feel at a disadvantage, whether they are or not. Again, it can come into play as a big confidence thing, which in turn makes a brighter feeling of well being and happiness.
As mentioned, some work may be necessary, but can be finished in a more cosmetic manner. Dental implants are a great example of this. Because an implant is an anchor that holds in replacement teeth, it doesn’t depend on holding onto other teeth, like a bridge. It can also look more natural. Because sometimes teeth held in place by bridges can shift, an implant can keep a smile and tooth alignment in line. Sure, you may be able to get away with fixing a tooth without an implant, but an implant is much healthier and looks much better than the alternatives.
There can be question sometimes about whether all the orthodontics performed is really necessary. Plenty of people have somewhat straight teeth but still get braces or other othodonture. Is it really necessary? The answer is usually yes, as teeth shift as people age. Perhaps teeth are still straight, but a bite has changed into adulthood, and things get out of alignment. Braces could have saved this while at the same time maintaining the straight smile.
When to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry
Sometimes, like with an implant or crown, it’s not so much of a factor of when to consider to have it done or not. Other times, like with whitening or orthodontics, you may be trying to figure out if and when to have it done. There are some factors that come into consideration…
- Do you have a big event coming up? Maybe you have a wedding or high school reunion to attend. You may want bright white teeth – go for whitening. But maybe you don’t want the adult braces you were planning on; hold off on those, then.
- Usually insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic dentistry, so look into cost before committing.
- You’re feeling self conscious around others and in pictures. If the way you feel about your smile is affecting your daily life, it’s time to look into cosmetic dentistry. With all the things that can be done these days, it may be worth it.
If cosmetic dentistry has been on your mind, have a talk with your dentist. Inquire about procedures, cost, and recovery time, if any. If they personally don’t perform the procedure you want, they more likely can refer you to someone. Good luck!