Perhaps you’re one of the many readers who are sceptics, not willing to concede to the superficialities of modern society, nor willing to conform to snap judgements of someone you’re meeting for the first time.
However, whether or not we choose to admit, we subconsciously base our impressions of a person on the attractiveness of his or her appearance. It takes us mere seconds to form a snap judgement. Our teeth can be a catalyst for assumptions regarding success, popularity, intelligence and general health, whether during a job interview or making a first impression.
Therefore, a smile affects what others perceive about you more than you think.
How A Cosmetic Dentist Can Change Your Life
A survey done by Kelton Research indicated that Americans perceive people with straight teeth to have more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth. These include attributes such as a cheerful disposition, surrounded by loved ones and being successful.
Nearly one-third of Americans say they typically notice a person’s teeth, and 20% say it is the facial aspect that they remember most. The surveyed individuals also perceive those with straight teeth to be:
- 45% more likely to get a job
- 58% more wealthy
- 57% more likely to attract a possible mate than those with crooked and dull-looking teeth.
The good news is that a nice and healthy set of teeth can be achieved with the right treatment.
The key is to understand what your treatment options are, your commitment level and your expectations. Your dentist will provide you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is dental work that improves the appearance of your teeth, gums or bite (the way your teeth fit together). It focuses on improving your dental aesthetics. These include your teeth’s colour, position, shape, size, alignment and overall smile appearance.
On the other hand, dental treatments that are medical needs are not considered cosmetic dentistry. An example is braces, which can be necessary to align your teeth for proper chewing and oral functions.
What are the different types of cosmetic dentistry?
You can makeover your smile with cosmetic dentistry. The options include teeth whitening, composite bonding, and ceramic veneers.
The timeframe for your cosmetic treatment depends on the outcome you want to achieve. It can range from a single visit up to a year or more if teeth have to be replaced or realigned.
1. Teeth whitening
Teeth whitening is the fastest method to improve your smile in a non-invasive manner. Using a peroxide gel as the whitening agent, the underlying tooth structure is oxidised without inducing significant changes in tooth structure and its contents.
Chairside whitening outcomes are achieved at the end of the treatment, which generally takes 45–60 minutes.
However, teeth whitening is a reversible process. This means you’d have to repeat this process in a year or so when your teeth start getting duller.
The whitening procedure works best when you have evenly yellow and dull teeth. People who have uneven stains and discolouration in their teeth will find that the treatment does not even out the colour of their teeth.
2. Composite bonding
Composite bonding (also known as composite veneers) is a treatment where resin filling materials are moulded onto your front teeth, where it is highly visible when a person is smiling.
It is commonly used as a filling, or to mask internal stains of teeth that cannot be bleached away in a whitening treatment. The resin covers problem areas, making it appear whiter and more even.
These bondings / composite veneers are a cheaper alternative to ceramic veneers (covered below). However, these composite materials can get porous over time. This causes them to yellow, lose their lustre or trap stains more easily.
However, they can still be considered as a long-term transitional treatment towards converting to ceramic veneers down the road. They allow patients to test what it’s like to have a veneer, and for dentists to assess a future veneer’s stability and longevity while patients function with them.
3. Ceramic veneers
Ceramic veneers are laminates that cover the front of your teeth. They are the (in)famous cosmetic treatment of choice of celebrities and the rich and famous.
With the advent of smile makeovers, ceramic veneers are marketed as a faster solution to fix misaligned, discoloured or misshapen teeth. Veneers sported by public figures and celebrities are often unnaturally white and straight. While the flash-brightness is a look that more public figures and celebrities will want, it may not be an appealing look for most individuals.
However, what most people don’t know about veneers is that they are highly customisable. These bespoke restorations can replicate the contours and colours of natural teeth. Veneers are routinely used to mask misshaped or discoloured teeth that are not responsive to teeth whitening or routine cleaning.
Veneers can also mask teeth that are unusually grey or have spotted appearances.
In addition, patients that have misshapen teeth (for example unusually small incisors) can compensate for the size discrepancy with veneers.
However, while veneers are also marketed to “correct” misaligned teeth, veneers don’t actually straighten teeth. They only mask the misalignment. Therefore, patients with severe overcrowding are still encouraged to seek orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth before having cosmetic treatment.
A Comparison of The Cosmetic Dentistry Options
|Cosmetic Option||What It Does||How Invasive||How Long Results Take to be Seen*|
|Teeth Whitening||Whitens the colour of your teeth||Non-invasive||One session of teeth whitening|
|Composite Bonding||Changes the appearance of your teeth’s colour, shape and size||Medium||Two visits|
|Ceramic Veneers||Changes the appearance of your teeth’s colour, shape and size||Most||Two visits|
Thus, the type of treatment you need for a beautiful smile depends on what problems you may have. Your desired smile can be achievable with proper planning in the right hands.
Book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists today to get started on your smile journey today.