Achieving Long-Lasting Benefits for Your Smile
If you’ve ever heard the old wives’ tale that you should smile when you’re having a bad day to instantly brighten your mood, you might be interested to learn that there’s actually some science behind it. While smiling likely won’t completely flip your day around, scientific studies show it can give you a small boost of happiness. Smiling simply feels good, especially when you’re able to let loose with an easy, confident grin. Unfortunately, if you’re self-conscious of your smile, it might not come easily. And if this is the case, cosmetic dentistry can help you gain the freedom of a beautiful smile you can love and feel confident in.
Cosmetic dentists do this by going beyond the surface level to give you a healthier, more functional smile as they resolve its aesthetic issues, ensuring you can be confident that your smile is as healthy as it is beautiful. However, since cosmetic dentistry uses a wide, versatile range of treatments to accomplish this, you may have difficulty piecing together what your treatment options are. Here’s a breakdown of some of the main issues cosmetic dentistry can remedy.
The clear plastic aligners Invisalign offers is a more comfortable and discreet alternative to traditional braces. While braces stand out against your teeth, making patients of all ages self-conscious of their smiles, Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible. No one will even know you’re wearing them! Without metal braces covering your teeth, you’ll be able to see and benefit from the changes in your smile as they happen, giving you steadily increasing confidence in your smile as your treatment progresses. While there are severe cases only braces can treat, Invisalign can resolve almost any issue braces can and often at the same cost, though the final cost will depend on your individual case.
Straightening your teeth also improves your oral health by making your teeth easier to clean; crooked teeth are harder to clean properly, which makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay and gum disease. Additionally, teeth that stick out slightly are more likely to suffer injuries if you take an accidental blow to the face, and misaligned bites can cause frequent headaches. As a result, straightening your teeth can lessen your chances of getting a dental injury and can cut down on or eliminate your headaches. Once your treatment is complete, all of these benefits work together to give you a healthier, more confident smile.
Porcelain veneers can close gaps between teeth, change their shape, cover stains that can’t be removed with tooth whitening treatments, repair chipped or cracked teeth, and cover overcrowded, uneven, or slightly crooked teeth. The porcelain shells are designed specifically for you and are adhered to the surface of your natural teeth, so the treatment involves a mixture of science, dentistry, and art—and that’s where the magic happens. Dr. Berrien works with you to choose the size, shape, and shade of your veneers, which allows him to design a single tooth that blends in perfectly with your natural teeth, giving you a completely new smile that complements your facial features or anything in between.
The stain-resistant, durable porcelain stands up to daily wear and tear well, so veneers can last for 15 years or more if they’re cared for with proper oral hygiene. Veneers can do much more than simply transform the appearance of your smile, however, as the treatment can make it easier to clean previously crooked teeth, reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity from enamel erosion, and protect cracked or chipped teeth from decay, as well as from further injury.
Dental bonding is a quick and inexpensive cosmetic dentistry treatment made from a tooth-colored resin that matches the color and gloss of your natural teeth perfectly. Although it’s not as versatile as veneers, it can perform some of the same jobs, including restoring minor chips and cracks in teeth and protecting them from future damage, covering stains, eliminating gaps between teeth, and making small changes to a tooth’s shape; these changes can make it easier for you to clean your teeth, which can decrease your likelihood of getting cavities or gum disease in the future. The resin is vulnerable to staining and needs to be replaced every three to 10 years, depending on how well it’s cared for, but it’s an affordable and effective treatment option that can improve the appearance and health of your smile.
When your teeth are damaged by severe decay or an injury, such as a severely cracked or broken tooth, dental crowns can restore the damaged tooth’s appearance while protecting it from further harm. They do this by sitting on top of a damaged tooth like a cap; this setup protects the tooth and gives the crown the stability it needs to allow you to eat normally. Crowns are milled from porcelain and are designed specifically for you using a mold of your mouth, so you can design a completely new, more attractive-looking tooth or create a replica of the damaged tooth to simply restore your smile. Either way, crowns blend in with natural teeth so well no one will be able to tell you have one. While crowns protect your teeth against cavities, you still need to dedicate yourself to great oral hygiene to lengthen its life and protect it from threats like gum disease, which attacks teeth at the root. With great oral hygiene, a crown can last around 15 years.
Losing a tooth to decay or injury can make it difficult to chew normally and often delivers a hard blow to your self-confidence, but it also causes far-reaching consequences for your oral health. When you lose a tooth, your remaining teeth begin to shift into the gap over time. Not only does this cause further self-confidence issues regarding the appearance of your smile, but it makes your teeth harder to clean thoroughly, therefore increasing your chances of getting cavities and gum disease. Thankfully, porcelain bridges prevent this by filling the gap in your mouth, preventing your remaining teeth from shifting—all while restoring your smile’s appearance and functionality. Porcelain bridges use crowns to attach to the teeth on either side of the gap in your smile; the crowns support one or two false teeth, called pontics, between them. Like many other cosmetic dentistry treatments, porcelain bridges are designed specifically for you so they fit perfectly and look natural when you smile. This great fit restores the function of your teeth and helps you smile confidently again.
If you’re looking to regain confidence in your smile and infuse a bit more happiness into it, cosmetic dentistry’s wide range of treatments likely has a solution that will give you the healthy, functional, and beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. If you have any questions about which treatment is right for you, feel free to call and schedule a consultation with Dr. Berrien at any time.