A smile is a powerful thing. Smiling makes us feel good; it raises our spirits and increases our well-being and confidence. It also demonstrates warmth and confidence to those around us and in doing so can de-fuse and relax social situations. A smile is also intensely attractive, precisely because it displays warmth of character and confidence; think of the impact of that Julia Roberts smile.
Eben Van Der Walt, a dentist in Surrey, UK says:
“Modern cosmetic dentistry can help us feel good about smiling and displaying our teeth in public. Techniques such as veneers, lumineers and teeth whitening can transform the aesthetic of a person’s smile and help to give them the confidence to smile openly and widely, perhaps for the first time ever.”
Cosmetic dentistry comprises a range of surgical and prosthetic techniques that are designed to straighten misshapen teeth and give our smiles greater symmetry, brighten and whiten yellowing teeth, and cover or repair chipped, cracked and broken teeth. Using modern implant technology, Cosmetic Dentistry can also replace missing teeth. Implants have greater structural integrity compared with dental crowns, bridges or dentures and so can provide a more permanent repair for missing teeth and a better cosmetic appearance. Single teeth can be replaced but even full mouth reconstruction can be achieved with modern implants.
Another very popular Cosmetic Dentistry treatment is ‘dental bonding’. Dental bonding is a very versatile treatment that entails the use of a mouldable, paste-like material to repair or reshape teeth or to fill large gaps between teeth (diastamas). The material can also be used to replace unsightly amalgam fillings.
Let’s look at cosmetic dentistry through the eyes of a typical patient. Someone in their mid-forties may have several unsightly fillings, a couple of broken or cracked teeth, mal-aligned incisors and a general discolouration; nothing too out of the ordinary. A Cosmetic Dentist could treat this patient by attending to the crooked teeth via orthodontic techniques such as the application of an Inman Aligner. This devise is worn inside the mouth and gently straightens the teeth and moves them into the desired position. The cracked teeth might be treated with veneers, which involves shaving a thin layer off the front of the damaged tooth and attaching a porcelain cover, or by using dental bonding procedures to fill the cracks or chips.
Next, dental bonding could be used to replace this patient’s existing amalgam fillings. The paste used in dental bonding is white and be coloured to match exactly the patient’s own tooth colour and so provides an excellent cosmetic finish; unlike the dark grey amalgam. Finally, laser procedures or professional bleaching products could be used to remove stains and discolouration from the surface of the teeth to make them look whiter.
The effect of this treatment? This person would leave the surgery feeling more confident. They would look happier, warmer and friendlier and in their eagerness to show off their new smile, they would make those around them feel great. That’s why more and more people are turning to modern cosmetic dental techniques to change the way they look on the outside, and feel on the inside.