We are not always aware of the best way to care for our teeth, and in some circumstances, by the time we reach middle age; our teeth may have been subjected to a variety of things that may not have been in their best interest. This may include drinking too many soft drinks (and other acidic drinks), not always eating the most nutritional foods, and using teeth inappropriately to hold items (bobby pins or nails) on the job, or to open things. In some cases we can add smoking to this list or even grinding in our sleep. Such things can all have a lasting effect on the overall health on of our teeth and surrounding tissues.
Teeth are important for both speech and eating. We use our teeth to cut through food and to reduce it to a consistency that aids digestion. As such we use our teeth daily and many many times. The conditions mentioned above, plus the natural wear and tear on teeth during function can sometimes leave our teeth looking a little worse for wear.
The burgeoning industry of cosmetic dentistry is helping people of all ages to improve their smiles. At Pacific Smiles Dental we are often asked by patients “What can be done to improve the appearance of my smile?” Following is a brief look at the many cosmetic dentistry options available at Pacific Smiles Dental centres.
Teeth whitening – Teeth whitening involves the use of bleaching agents to lighten teeth and can have a significant impact on improving the brightness of your smile. Not all teeth will respond to teeth whitening and it is best to discuss teeth whitening with your dentist to see whether it is a suitable treatment option for improving the colour of your smile. Where teeth whitening is a possible treatment option, we recommend talking to your dentist about the safest teeth whitening agents to use as there are various products available on the market. Those available through your dentist are considered safe for the intended use. Find out more information about teeth whitening.
Veneers – A veneer is a tooth-coloured porcelain or composite resin facing that fits over the front facing surface of your natural tooth. Veneers can improve the appearance of your smile using minimally invasive techniques. Veneers are generally used to cover unwanted gaps between teeth, crooked teeth, broken teeth, or permanently stained teeth. They can be used as an alternative to orthodontics and crowns in some instances. An advantage of veneers is that less of the natural tooth is required to be removed when comparing to some of the alternative cosmetic dentistry options. Find out more information on veneers.
Crowns – Crowns work in a similar way to veneers in that a covering (normally porcelain or metal) is placed over the natural tooth. Crowns, however, cover the entire natural crown which is prepared by your dentist to receive the synthetic crown. Crowns are used where either strength or aesthetic improvement is desired and are commonly used in the following situations:
Find out more information on dental crowns.
Implants – Dental implants are used to replace missing natural teeth, improving the appearance and functionality of your mouth. This cosmetic dentistry option can be an alternative to either a denture or a bridge. A dental implant is like an artificial tooth root placed into the area that the original tooth was lost. An implant is a titanium device to which a ceramic crown is attached, replacing the lost tooth. Over time the implant will actually bond to your bone, securing it like a natural tooth root. The crown will be matched to the colour of existing teeth, so that it appears as natural as possible. Find out more information onimplants.
Orthodontics including Invisalign – Orthodontics is lengthy process used to align crooked or crowded teeth to improve either appearance or function (or very often both). Traditionally and most commonly, metal braces and wires are used to slowly move teeth into their desired location. The introduction of products like Invisalign have become popular as they are much less noticeable (more aesthetic) and can be removed as necessary for eating and cleaning teeth. Invisalign processes involve wearing a series of plastic guards/trays and require 100% compliance by the patient. Results can be similar to that achieved with the traditional methods, with costs associated being slightly more expensive that traditional methods. Many Pacific Smiles Dental centres offer Invisalign as a form of orthodontics.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.