“The only thing that warms a heart as much as a beautiful song is a beautiful smile.” - Garth Brooks
How do you feel about your smile? Is it dingy and dark or healthy and bright? Is it an asset or a liability? Whether we like it or not, people do tend to judge us by our appearances. The way we look can say a lot about our attitude, our health, and the way we feel about ourselves. A radiant smile exudes warmth and self confidence and helps one feel at ease around others. Our smiles are an important part of our non verbal communication and studies have shown that our smile is the first thing that people notice when meeting for the first time.
Unfortunately for many, our smiles do not always reflect who we are and how we feel inside. We may feel inhibited to smile giving people we meet a false sense of being unfriendly or closed off or lacking in self confidence. Some people even go so far as to cover their mouths when smiling to avoid embarrassment.
For those who are not blessed with a natural beautiful smile or for those who just want to enhance an already attractive smile to be the best that they can be, Cosmetic Dentistry can offer both physical and psychological benefits. The better we feel about ourselves the more confident we appear to others and there is evidence to suggest that our appearance and self confidence even effects how successful we are in our careers and relationships.
What exactly is Cosmetic Dentistry and is it really expensive? Actually, cosmetic dentistry is anything that we can do to enhance the appearance of the smile. It may be as simple as whitening the teeth with a bleaching agent or as complex as a complete smile makeover with veneers. It could involve orthodontics to align crooked teeth or implants to restore missing teeth. In many respects much of modern dentistry is cosmetic in nature. Even routine fillings are made to match the color of your own teeth but, for the purposes of this discussion, we will refer to cosmetic dentistry as that which is done for the primary purpose of enhancing the smile.
Each patient will need to discuss with their dentist the goals and the appropriate options for their unique condition. Generally the “less is best” principle applies. Often dramatic enhancements can be achieved with simple and relatively inexpensive procedures such as whitening. The popularity of tooth whitening is evidenced by the fact that it is now a multi billion dollar a year industry world wide. Whitening can significantly brighten a dingy smile and can be accomplished gradually using over the counter products or dentist supplied systems at home or rapidly with an in office system such as Zoom. A whiter brighter smile can have a dramatic impact on how we feel about ourselves and how othere see us.
When problems such as tooth size, shape, position or already existing restorations exist than whitening may not be appropriate by itself. Dramatic smile makeovers can often be achieved utilizing porcelain bonded veneers which can alter color, shape, size, and even mild misalignment of teeth. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the front surfaces of teeth and are custom designed to achieve the desired effects. High tech veneers can often be done with little or no preparation to the teeth and are extemely durable and long lasting. With careful planning an experienced and talented dentist/ceramist team can create absolutely beautiful and natural looking smile makeovers.
There will be cases where even veneers may not be able to fully restore a compromised smile due to tooth position or facial imbalances. In these cases orthodontic movement of teeth may be indicated to realign teeth. Orthodontic movement of teeth can be accomplished with conventional braces but in cosmetic cases can often be done with the Invisalign system of aligning teeth with clear removable aligners which are almost invisible during wear.
It should be emphasized that any dental treatment, including cosmetic dentistry, should put the health of your teeth and mouth first. A good cosmetic dentist will avoid doing anything to your teeth that will compromise their health. Whatever is designed should support healthy function and allow you to maintain a clean and health oral environment.
So, if you think you would like to experience the benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry, have a discussion with your dentist find out how you can have the smile of your dreams. Remember, you only have one chance to make a great first impression so why not wow ‘em with a dazzling smile!