You already know that you can go to your dentist when you have a problem with your teeth or gums, such as cavities or gum disease. You also know that you can see your dentist for preventative care, such as teeth cleanings and dental exams.
But did you know that your dentist might also offer cosmetic treatments that can make you feel more confident about your smile? Cosmetic dentistry may not be able to treat dental health concerns, but it can improve how your smile looks.
When you feel confident about your smile, you’re likely to notice that it has a positive effect on your mood and overall well-being. Here’s a run-down of some available cosmetic dentistry treatments and what they can do for your teeth, gums and smile overall.
You might have tried to whiten your teeth at home, using some combination of whitening toothpaste, whitening gels, and whitening strips. While at-home teeth whitening products can produce some results, you will notice a much more dramatic change if you see a dentist for professional teeth whitening.
In-office teeth whitening procedures usually use a stronger form of bleach than at-home products, which means that they can remove more discoloration and more stains from your teeth.
There are a few things that you should know about teeth whitening before you give it a try. First, it’s worth noting that is possible to go too white or too bright. Ideally, the color of your teeth will look healthy and natural, not glaringly white.
It’s also worth noting that teeth whitening results aren’t permanent. Your teeth can become stained again, especially if you eat food or drink beverages that contribute to discoloration. Red wine, coffee, and chocolate are just a few examples of food and drinks that can stain your teeth.
To keep your teeth looking bright, you might want to schedule teeth whitening every few months or as recommended by your dentist. Keeping up a good oral hygiene routine at home, including brushing your teeth, will help you avoid staining after a whitening treatment.
Your gums can develop freckles over time, just like your skin. Dark spots on the gums aren’t usually a medical concern, but they can make you feel self-conscious about smiling. Laser depigmentation is one way to reduce the appearance of dark spots on your gums and to create a more even tone on the gums.
The energy from the laser breaks up the deposits of melanin, or pigment, found in certain areas of the gums. As the gum tissue heals, it usually regains the same amount of pigment as the surrounding area, creating a more even color and eliminating dark spots.
The crown of a tooth is the portion that’s exposed and visible. The “length” of the crown varies from person to person. When not enough of the crown is exposed, it can be difficult to speak or chew. Crowns that are too short or small can also make it difficult to maintain good oral hygiene. If you think your teeth are “too small” you might feel self-conscious about your appearance.
One way to cope with small crowns is through a dental crown lengthening procedure. Although the goal of dental crown lengthening can be to improve the appearance of your mouth, it’s not a purely cosmetic procedure. Some people need dental crown lengthening if they have cavities and don’t have enough of the tooth exposed to hold a filling.
During dental crown lengthening, a dentist typically removes part of the gum tissue or bone surrounding the teeth. As a result, more of the tooth becomes visible. Along with making the teeth look bigger, another benefit of dental crown lengthening is that it can shrink the size of the gums, reducing the appearance of a “gummy smile.”
Like crown lengthening, teeth straightening isn’t always a purely cosmetic procedure, although many people do notice that they feel more confident about their smile once their teeth are straighter and their bite is improved.
One of the most popular ways to straighten the teeth nowadays is through the use of clear aligners, often sold under the brand name Invisalign. During treatment, patients wear a set of aligners for a specific amount of time, then switch to a new set. The aligners slowly reposition the teeth, so that by the end of the treatment process, the patient has an even set of teeth, a more confident smile and often, improved gum health.
Dr. John Paul Gallardo is a periodontal specialist in the Miami area who also offers cosmetic dentistry, such as gum depigmentation and crown lengthening. To learn more about his practice in Miami, FL, call 305-547-8687 to schedule a consultation today.