Many patients at our dental practice here in Harrow Weald ask us about cosmetic dentistry and how they can achieve a more beautiful smile with the minimum amount of pain, discomfort and of course, cost.
We thought it would be good to summarise your cosmetic dental options in a short blog post and perhaps show you some celebrities that have had cosmetic dentistry so you can see how much smiles can be improved.
What is the simplest form of cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry used to be considered a separate field of general dentistry, however we believe that all dentistry should be cosmetic and look great. So the simplest form of cosmetic dentistry is to look after your dental health. If you keep your teeth clean then plaque will be less likely to build up, if less plaque buildup there is less chance that he will develop gum disease which can look unsightly (not to mention be very bad for your health!).
If your teeth are clean they are also less likely to retain stains from things like red wine and especially smoking.
Cosmetic dentistry really does start at home with your daily dental health care regime.
The next simplest thing to offer which can have a radical difference on your smile is teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is one of the simplest forms of elective dentistry available today and can be offered to almost everyone that has their own, natural teeth.
Unfortunately teeth whitening does not work if you have dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, veneers or dentures. If you have any of these then you can have your natural teeth white and but they will then be whiter than the surrounding Crown, bridge or veneer so this may need to be replaced to match your new whiter teeth.
What if my teeth are very badly discoloured?
There are different forms of teeth whitening, home whitening is the simplest form and involves you using a bleaching gel inside a custom fitting tray which fits precisely over your teeth.
Sometimes teeth are too dark to warrant this kind of procedure and so we can use internal bleaching. This is something only offered at the dentist and only for some clinical conditions, it is certainly not available to everybody. It does however help us whitening teeth if they have been root treated which is a common cause for them going dark and grey.
Dental veneers can also be offered if your teeth are very badly discoloured, these are a precision made thin shell of high-strength dental ceramic which fits precisely over the surface of your existing tooth. There will normally be a requirement to remove a small amount of your natural tooth structure in order to accommodate the dental veneer, this makes the procedure non-reversible and permanent.
We sometimes see the outline of the tooth around the gum is even, or perhaps you are showing too much gum.
If this is the case gentle re-contouring of the gum area can help to restore this area, sometimes you may find that one side of your mouth looks fine on the other side of your gum shows too much, this can certainly be seen in the before photograph here. With careful and delicate gum contouring this can be overcome and new dental crowns or veneers can be made over the existing teeth to give a perfectly new, straight and whiter smile.
Dental crowns, veneers and bridges for cosmetic dentistry
Many times it is necessary to use a combination of techniques to achieve the desired result, this can often involve, re-contouring, teeth whitening, crowns, veneers and bridges to replace missing teeth.
Dental crowns and veneers can be used to derotate crooked teeth, fill in chips and correct badly broken down or worn teeth.
Of course these new crowns, veneers and bridges can be made whiter and brighter than the existing teeth.
Bridges can be used to replace missing teeth however dental implants are also often used to fulfil the same role.
What if I want to just change the position of my teeth?
This is an excellent point, some people are perfectly happy with the shape of the teeth, the colour of their teeth and have no chips or worn down areas. Their teeth I just in the wrong place!
If this is you then orthodontics can help. Historically orthodontics was only offered to children, principally this was because adults did not want to be seen wearing the classical metal train track braces. There are however alternatives available now which are far more discreet and comfortable to wear, making them more attractive to adults.
One such orthodontic system is the Inman aligner. This allows us to straightening teeth in approximately 12 weeks, it uses a revolutionary design to push and pull your teeth at the same time, clearly in the direction required!
Because of the design of the Inman aligner it is possible to achieve a straighter smile in far less time than it is with conventional orthodontics.
The Inman aligner is also discreet and many people wouldn’t see that you are actually wearing an orthodontic appliance.
In order for the appliance to work effectively you need to wear it 20 hours per day, only taking it out to clean your teeth or to eat.
The Inman aligner can also be very effectively used in conjunction with other treatments. It is quite possible to begin with orthodontic therapy to straighten your teeth into a more natural position, we can then whiten them and perhaps use dental veneers on some of the teeth to achieve the result that we require.
Many patients believe that they require one particular form of cosmetic dentistry, some people only want orthodontics, some only want veneers but the truth is that a combination of techniques and systems is often required to achieve the result you want.
You have begun your journey to investigating the options for cosmetic dentistry in the next logical step is to request an appointment with the dentist to discuss exactly how you can go about achieving the result you want.
Dr Joshi offers the local people of Stanmore, Kenton and Harrow Weald a free consultation for cosmetic dentistry. To download your voucher please enter your details to the right of this page.