Ways to Improve Your Smile
Whether genetics, injury, or disease, there are many reasons one might end up less than happy with their smile. Sometimes there’s a functional component that needs to be fixed, other times it’s purely cosmetic. Whatever the case, modern dentistry is brimming with treatments and procedures that can make your smile healthier, more functional — and more beautiful — than ever before.
There are a wealth of options to choose from. Here are the most common:
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular dental treatments in the world. It’s one of a handful of dental procedures that is purely cosmetic in nature — there is no restorative or functional benefit.
Teeth whitening involves applying a bleaching agent to a patient’s teeth, allowing it to break down chemicals responsible for staining. Most modern forms of teeth whitening use light-activated bleaching agents that are less sensitive than traditional bleaching options.
You can get your teeth whitened by 5-7 shades in a dental clinic in just 1-2 hours.
For a cheaper option, or for those not in a rush, you can get at-home whitening kits from your dentist. These are more powerful than the ones you find in a pharmacy, with more reliable results. Over the course of a few weeks, you’ll whiten your teeth by up to 5 shades — a very noticeable improvement.
Veneers are thin shells of material, typically porcelain, that are cemented on to teeth. The simplest way to think of them is like a fake nail, but for a tooth.
With veneers, you can reshape or recolour teeth that are chipped, cracked, or just naturally shaped differently. This allows patients to close gaps between teeth or hide chipped front teeth effectively and efficiently.
Same-day veneers are possible with a material called dental composite. The material is applied directly to the tooth and hardened in place with a curing light. These veneers aren’t as long-lasting, but are perfect for temporary veneers or for special occasions.
Crowns are similar to veneers, but more robust. Rather than a fake nail, they’re more like a helmet. They replace the crown of a tooth that has been damaged by cracks, breaks, or root canal procedures. The crown sits over the tooth to restore the biting surface and provide structural integrity.
In this way crowns are both a cosmetic and restorative treatment, providing renewed functionality while also addressing cosmetic concerns.
Dental implants are a way of replacing a tooth from the root up.
Traditionally, a missing tooth would be replaced by a bridge, or even a partial denture. Today, a single tooth can be replaced most effectively with a dental implant.
An implant has several parts — the implant itself, an abutment, and a restoration. The implant sits in the jaw bone where the tooth root used to be. This provides not just a solid anchor for the restoration, but also helps to preserve bone volume in the jaw.
The abutment is a piece which allows the restoration to sit on the implant. The restoration can be a single crown, if replacing a single tooth, or even several crowns fused together in a bridge. This is a great way to replace several adjacent missing teeth without damaging the healthy remaining teeth.
Platinum Dental stated that “using dental implants allows patients to plug unsightly gaps in their teeth while affording them the most advanced, reliable restorative treatment available”.