Your smile says a lot about you. It’s often one of the first features that others see when meeting you for the first time. But not all smiles are the same, and many of us may be self-conscious about smiling – especially if we have broken, misshapen, or discolored teeth.
A bright smile in the human world also denotes good health and hygiene. And for many people, these are also factors typically related to attraction – and can also be an indicator of class. But despite these nuances, if you’ve ever desired a more beautiful or attractive smile, cosmetic dentistry may be able to offer the perfect solution.
But what exactly is cosmetic dentistry? And what should you expect during a cosmetic dentistry consultation? Here, we’ll unpack the details and get you on your way to evaluating your dental goals and getting the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Are you considering cosmetic dentistry to achieve a brighter, more attractive smile? Reach out to Alaska Dental Arts and schedule a consultation today.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
In the world of dentistry, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the aesthetic appearance of your teeth and smile. And while you may have other oral health problems that need to be fixed such as molar cavities and the like, cosmetic dentistry focuses predominantly on the front teeth that are visible when you smile.
For example, one basic procedure that cosmetic dentistry offers is teeth whitening. And though you may be familiar with teeth whitening kits or toothpaste that claims to whiten teeth, the whitening procedure you’ll have with a cosmetic dentist is much more thorough and effective – sometimes able to whiten your smile a few shades brighter with one treatment.
What to Expect During Your Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation
Instead of wasting time fumbling through over-the-counter or online solutions, getting a cosmetic dentistry consultation is going to be the best strategy for getting the smile you want. And the process is quite simple.
During an individualized cosmetic consultation, your dentist will discuss your personal dental goals. You’ll likely have x-rays taken and receive an initial screening, including an evaluation regarding your existing smile, then your dentist will recommend the best solution for you.
Options that may be considered include but may not be limited to:
- Teeth whitening
- Dental Bonding
- Dental Implants
Cosmetic dentistry is probably the best solution for creating a great smile the right way. Because as you may already know, there are a lot of gimmicks being sold online that claim to whiten your teeth in one day, straighten your teeth, and even one-size-fits-all inserts that claim to hide your teeth. But these so-called solutions will cost you money in the long run and leave the problem right where it was all along – in your mouth.
When Should You Consider Cosmetic Dentistry?
Simply put, if you’re unhappy with your teeth and smile, then this is when you should seek a consultation for cosmetic dentistry. This can include having gaps in your teeth, broken or missing teeth, worn or misshapen teeth, or discolored and decayed teeth.
At the end of the day, your smile is usually related to your sense of self-confidence. And if you can’t smile confidently, this can affect many areas of your life such as personal and professional relationships.
For example, if you work in a customer service-related position where you have to be friendly and greet others when they come to your place of employment, not being able to smile and greet a customer can seriously affect your ability to perform your job. And regardless, everyone loves a friendly smile. If you’re afraid to smile at work around your coworkers, this may be taken as a sign that you want to be left alone, or that you’re unhappy.
What Dental Procedures are Considered Cosmetic?
Any procedure that focuses on the appearance of your smile is considered cosmetic dentistry. And this includes methods to straighten or whiten your teeth as well. For example, you have a few crooked front teeth that you want to have straightened. As such, you’d go in for an initial consultation and your dentist will recommend a cosmetic solution in order to meet your dental goals.
One of the most common cosmetic procedures is known as dental bonding. This is often an inexpensive solution for fixing broken or decayed teeth. During this procedure, your dentist will look at the shape of your existing smile and form a plan to apply tooth-colored bonding material – usually a durable form of acrylic cement – to areas that need to be covered or fixed.
In addition to bonding procedures, other cosmetic procedures include:
- Orthodontics – braces & Invisalign
- Dental Implants – a procedure in which broken or rotten teeth are extracted and surgical implants are put in their place
- Veneers – a thin outer shell (usually made of porcelain) permanently affixed to your teeth to facilitate a brighter smile
- Dentures – A full or partial set of false teeth that you’ll receive to replace missing teeth or after extracting broken or rotten teeth
- Teeth Whitening – either an in-chair visit that will whiten your teeth immediately or over several sessions. Or a take-home kit given to you by your cosmetic dentist
As you can see, cosmetic procedures vary widely based on a patient’s individual needs. This is why it’s extremely important to have an initial consultation in order to assess your current smile so a dentist can provide the best solution for your oral health goals.
How Long Do Cosmetic Teeth Last?
The longevity of cosmetic teeth such as dentures, veneers, dental implants, or bonding material varies considerably. Porcelain veneers may last up to 15 years or longer, with composite resin veneers lasting around 7 years on average. But how long each solution may last also depends greatly on how well you take care of your new smile.
It’s not uncommon for patients to think of cosmetic dentistry as a one-time cure-all. However, if you smoke, drink heavily, or have poor oral hygiene habits, your cosmetic teeth may not last as long as they’re supposed to.
For example, the bonding materials used to adhere veneers to teeth can be worn down over time by drinking alcohol or soda, or anything highly acidic. And your new teeth can also get stained from common beverages such as coffee, tea, or red wine. As such, it’s important to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions in order to keep your smile bright and white for many years to come.
Create a Beautiful Smile by Choosing Alaska Dental Arts
Serving Alaska in Anchorage and North Pole, you can trust Alaska Dental Arts for all of your cosmetic dental needs. Simply schedule an appointment and come in for an initial consultation and one of our cosmetic dental specialists will assess your smile and provide advice and guidance on the best solutions for your oral goals.
No matter if you’re simply wanting a whiter smile, or if you have missing teeth, we have the expertise and solutions you’re looking for.
Could Cosmetic Dentistry be the solution you’re looking for to achieve a more attractive smile? Contact Alaska Dental Arts today to schedule a consultation.