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Who Should Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the fastest growing areas of dental care, but who should consider cosmetic dentistry and what types of procedures are offered? Fortunately, many licensed dentists are now offering a variety of these procedures in-office, making a consultation with your dentist the first and perhaps most important step in deciding if cosmetic dentistry is right for you.

Who Should Consider Cosmetic Dentistry?

When it comes to this field of dentistry, many of the procedures are considered elective rather than essential. However, it is also possible for some procedures that are primarily cosmetic in nature to also have oral health benefits.

In terms of who should consider cosmetic dentistry, the following are some of the top reasons people choose to do so:

  • Lack of confidence in their smile – Whether it is due to stained, uneven, or missing teeth, many people with these issues often find that they are less confident in smiling for fear of calling attention to what they view as an imperfect smile. The boost in a person’s self-confidence that can come from having a cosmetic dentistry procedure can be well worth the investment.
  • State of their oral health – As previously mentioned, some cosmetic treatments can also positively affect a person’s oral health. For example, teeth that are not crowded or bunched together can be easier for a person to brush and floss more effectively. While adjusting crowded teeth can be viewed as a cosmetic procedure because they affect a person’s appearance, the same procedure may also keep food and plaque from becoming trapped and developing into cavities or more serious conditions like periodontal disease.
  • Chipped teeth – Teeth can become chipped in a number of ways, including grinding the teeth, eating hard foods or even freak accidents. This can make a person feel uncomfortable about smiling for fear that their chipped tooth would become obvious. However, implements such as dental crowns may help mitigate these issues.
  • Stained teeth – Stains on teeth often come from lifestyle choices such as smoking or even repeatedly drinking substances such as tea, coffee, or wine. Other people may have tetracycline-stained teeth which are stained from the inside. While professional teeth whitening will work for the former, the latter may require veneers to cover up unsightly stains.
  • Irregular shape of teeth – Some teeth can be shaped differently from others and may appear pointy, flat, or even short. Some individuals may find that that their teeth appear short and their gums long. In this case, a Houston dentist may be able to cut back the gums so that the teeth appear more normal in length.
  • Missing teeth – While a missing tooth may be embarrassing for some people, it can also be a dental health issue. Having one or missing teeth can impact how an individual eats and speaks and could lead to deterioration of the jawbone over time. Fortunately, dental implants and bridges can assist with missing teeth and help prevent unwelcome side effects.
  • Desire for a younger looking smile – As we grow older, our teeth can become stained and uneven. Cosmetic treatments such as professional teeth whitening and veneers can be instrumental in making teeth look brighter. In addition, other dental tools such as bonding and crowns can help teeth appear less worn. The cumulative effect can be a younger looking smile for some patients.
  • Uneven bite – Some individuals with an uneven bite may be recommended to get their teeth straightened via dental braces. While it is true that these methods can help straighten teeth to give a more aesthetic appearance, it can also help eliminate other conditions sometimes associated with an uneven bite, such as aching in the teeth or head.

Am I Eligible for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Those considering cosmetic dentistry procedures should consult with their Houston dentist to determine eligibility. Most people with good oral health would likely be eligible.

However, people who have serious tooth decay, a large number of cavities, or gum disease may not be immediately eligible for cosmetic dentistry procedures. These conditions generally should be addressed and treated before thinking about cosmetic dentistry.

Six Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Now that we’ve covered those that should consider cosmetic dentistry, let’s take a look at what some of these procedures entail. Here are six of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures:

  1. Dental braces: Individuals who have gaps between their teeth, overbite or underbite issues, or crooked or crowded teeth may be candidates for braces. Braces require an investment of time and will need to be worn until the desired objective is achieved. Exactly how long they must be worn is unique to each patient and their own dental health issues.
  2. Dental bonding: A relatively low key but effective way to eliminate irregularities in the teeth like discoloration, chips, or cracks is dental bonding. The procedure involves a dental professional applying a special resin material to the affected teeth and can be done in the Houston dentist’s office.
  3. Dental crowns: If a tooth is compromised in terms of functionality, strength or some aspect of its appearance, a dental crown may be recommended. A crown is a type of hollow cap that fits directly over a tooth and extends to the gum line. It can be matched to the color of a patient’s surrounding teeth and is made from a variety of materials. Crowns generally require multiple visits, one for the placement of the temporary crown and one for the placement of the permanent dental crown.
  4. Inlays and onlays: Inlays are generally used to address tooth decay that has caused a cavity. It is for this reason that they can be tailored in color to match the appearance of the surrounding teeth. Onlays are similar to inlays but are typically used to fill larger cavities. Inlays and onlays can be made from ceramic materials, composite resin, or gold.
  5. Porcelain veneers: Veneers made of porcelain laminate are designed to help cover or hide imperfections found on the surface of a tooth, such as the shape, stains or damaged enamel. Porcelain is strong and durable and can be customized to match the color of the patient’s adjacent teeth.
  6. Teeth whitening: A person who experiences lightly stained teeth may be a good candidate for professional teeth whitening by a licensed Houston dentist. Professional whitening can be more effective and last longer than that of over-the-counter applications. The process may take multiple visits depending on the patient’s desired outcome, but it is not considered permanent.

When it comes to who should consider cosmetic dentistry, it may just be you! If you struggle to be at peace with missing, chipped, misshapen, or stained teeth, consult with a reputable Houston dentist who offers cosmetic dentistry and see if any of the above procedures are a good fit for you.

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