You want to improve your smile, but you are not quite sure how to go about improving it. Fortunately for you, your dentist has these answers, because dentists do a lot more than simply fix teeth—they create beautiful smiles. Dentists are skilled in a number of different procedures that can make marked improvements to your smile. Below we summarize 5 different smile-improving procedures your dentist can perform that just might be a fit for you.
The ADA Mouth Healthy article, “8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile” explains that crowns are made of metals, porcelain, resin, or ceramics, and are cemented onto your tooth. They also have multiple usages, and are designed to attach bridges, protect weak teeth from breaking, and restore teeth that are broken. The ADA Mouth Healthy article, “Crowns,” adds that they are used to cover a dental implant as well. But crowns do more than simply fix or protect teeth. The former article states that they are a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped so that they can appear as their normal shape and size.
The above ADA article, “8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile,” explains that bonding is a process by which a dentist bonds or fuses your natural tooth enamel and dentin with bonding materials such as porcelain and resins so that your tooth still looks and feels like your natural tooth. This can help to change both the color and shape of the tooth as a result, adds the ADA article, “Bonding.” It is most useful, says this same article, to repair chipped teeth because the natural color of the bonding materials closely matches the surrounding teeth.
Veneers are thin shells made of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of your teeth, says the ADA article, “8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile.” Unlike bonding, they require a dentist to remove a small amount of enamel from your tooth to accommodate the shell. They are based on a model of your mouth, and in that way, they are meant to look like your natural teeth. The ADA article, “Veneers,” further explains that veneers are an option for fixing stained, chipped, decayed, or crooked teeth. You should know that veneers are an irreversible process because of the removal of the enamel that is required.
Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth, says the ADA Mouth Healthy article, “8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile.” They are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, and they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth. The ADA article, “Implants” explains in more detail how implants work. First, posts made of titanium or other material are surgically placed into the jawbone. If just one tooth is being replaced, a customized dental crown will be used. Multiple teeth will require custom-made bridges or dentures. Then during a healing process called osseointegration, the bone actually grows around the implant to hold it into place.
The ADA Mouth Healthy article, “Whitening: 5 Things to Know About Getting a Brighter Smile,” states that teeth whitening is a simple process by which a bleaching agent (usually a whitening gel) breaks down tooth stains and discolorations on the enamel of the teeth, allowing the color to be less concentrated. The whitening agent is made up of either one of two gels, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. A tray (similar to an athletes’ mouth guard, but thinner and smaller) is first made by your dentist to fit your mouth. You then fill the tray with whitening gel during the day or overnight, and follow a maintenance schedule recommended by your dentist to help retain tooth brightness.
The above article adds that teeth whitening does not always work on all teeth. For instance, yellow teeth and brown teeth may not bleach well, and grayish teeth may not bleach at all. Teeth whitening also will not work on caps, veneers, crowns, or fillings. Finally, discoloration caused by medications or a tooth injury won’t be as responsive to whitening agents.
We at Boulevard Dental Associates hope that the above summary convinces you that your dentist possesses multiple, promising options to help you improve your smile. Of course, it is important that you consult your dentist about whether or not you are a candidate for these options, and if so, which would be best for you. Either way, you don’t have to just wish you could improve your smile–you can take the next step and visit your dentist to explore what you may actually be able to do to improve it.
ADA. 8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ways-to-improve-smile. Accessed May 10, 2021.
ADA. Bonding. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bonding. Accessed May 10, 2021.
ADA. Crowns. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/crowns. Accessed May 10, 2021.
ADA. Implants. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/i/implants. Accessed May 10, 2021.
ADA. Veneers. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/v/veneers. Accessed May 10, 2021.
ADA. Whitening: 5 Things to Know About Getting a Brighter Smile. Mouth Healthy. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening. Accessed May 10, 2021.