Considering how technology has changed in the past decade or so, it’s not surprising that cosmetic dentistry has changed drastically, too. While years ago, the most you could put your hopes on to improve your smile was the long-term use of unsightly wire braces, today there are many options.
Makeover packages and even 3D tooth printing have made their way into the picture – and that picture shows a beautiful smile.
3D tooth printing has to be one of the biggest technological leaps in cosmetic dentistry. Using 3D modelling software, scanners and dental ceramic material, natural-looking replacement teeth can now be custom-made to fit precisely.
Smile Makeovers are the most straightforward packages. These focus entirely on aesthetics, customizing and combining various cosmetic treatments with the sole aim of designing, and giving you, the smile you’ve always wanted.
Whole Mouth Reconstruction deals with more major issues at the same time as dealing with your aesthetic needs. This could include your bite, problems with your tooth or jaw structure or bad tooth alignment, among other things. This option could see you ending up with better tooth function as well as a great smile, and facing fewer dental problems later.
- Correcting alignment: Braces have changed a lot. Once obvious and unattractive wire constructions now come in see-through, ceramics (coloured to match the teeth), or ones that fit on the back of the teeth. Accelerated orthodontics can also cut the time needed to correct alignment to a mere 3-6 months, compared to up to 3 years in the old days.
- Teeth whitening: While commercial strips and gels are available for whitening your teeth at home, undergoing the process in the dentist’s chair is becoming increasingly popular because of its no-hassle, no-mess approach and quicker results.
- Composite bonding: A composite material is coloured, shaped, contoured and bonded onto existing teeth and then allowed to harden. This process is used to reshape teeth, whiten those that ordinary whitening procedures can’t lighten sufficiently, as well as to fill cracks or reduce gaps.
- Veneers: Tough shells of composite resin or porcelain are attached to the front of the teeth to hide chips or cracks, worn enamel, bad discoloration or bad spacing. The drawback is that this procedure does involve roughening the surface of your natural teeth.
- Crowns: The most expensive option, and involving more visits to the dentist, they also last the longest. Crowns can replace more of the tooth, so are ideal for situations where the crown of the tooth is missing or has been destroyed.
- Implants: Artificial teeth are supported on a rod placed in the root area of the gums, removing the need for bridges or dentures.
- Gum contouring: Those who feel they show way too much gum when they smile could experience a change after undergoing minor surgery. If the correction needed is too great, however, it might be necessary to have more advanced surgery done, after consulting an orthodontist, periodontist or oral surgeon.