Paths to a Perfect Smile…
“Is there anything you do not like about the size, shape, or color of your front teeth?”
That is one question that we try to ask every patient. The reason is simple. Your dentist cannot offer options to fix your smile unless your dentist knows what you do and do not like about your smile.
Every patient is different and has different goals for their front teeth. Some want them to be straighter. Most want them whiter. Others may not like their length, width, or shape. Some smiles show a little too much gum, while others may not show enough teeth. No smile is the same.
One major key to the success of cosmetic dentistry is to first learn what the patient desires. Once that is known, options can be given to get from where you are to where you want your smile to be.
There are a lot of different ways to get the smile that you want. The following are but a few options dentists have in our repertoire.
A Good Tooth Cleaning – The first step to getting that perfect smile is to remove the accumulated stains from your teeth. Sometimes, this can be as simple as a routine dental cleaning. Many of the stains our teeth pick up can be polished out by a dental hygienist.
Whitening – Tooth bleaching is the next step to a whiter, brighter smile. Bleaching can be accomplished in a single office visit (in-office whitening) or custom trays can be made (take home whitening) to allow you to whiten your teeth at your leisure. Both systems work well. If you are a person who wants instant results and you know that you will not wear trays filled with bleaching gel every night for two weeks, then go for the in-office treatment. If you are a person blessed with patience and consistency, save some money and bleach your teeth at home. Either option can usually return your teeth to their natural color.
Orthodontics (Braces) – Few people consider braces part of a smile makeover but they surely are. Patients often have beautifully shaped, well proportioned teeth that are simply out of alignment. In these cases, orthodontics can straighten up the teeth and whitening can finish the job to create that perfect smile.
Replace Old Restorations – Dental restorations (tooth colored fillings, front crowns, etc.) tend to lose their luster through the years. Our mouths are harsh environments filled with staining foods and acids. Sometimes replacing a few of those old, worn out restorations will get your smile to look the way you want it to.
Gingival Plastic Surgery – Some people have beautiful teeth, but the frame around their teeth (the gum tissue) is not proportioned correctly. This can make the teeth look out of alignment. Gum re-contouring can often fix the problem of short teeth or a “gummy” smile.
Porcelain Veneers or Crowns - Natural, light reflecting porcelain can be used to cover and reshape front teeth. Crowns and veneers can reshape, re-arrange, and re-color front teeth in as few as two dental visits.
There are plenty of ways for your dentist to help you like your smile and your front teeth. If you are interested, just ask.
Until next week, keep smiling.
-Please send comments and questions to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.