Plenty of people aren’t quite happy with their smiles, but they may not know what to do about it. And as it happens, they could have a few options that could easily correct their dental imperfections. One major barrier to getting dental work done is the thought that it’ll involve hours of suffering in the dentist’s chair, days of recuperation from surgeries, or even procedures like braces that can take years to produce the desired results. For many, however, a less invasive cosmetic dental procedure could be a much better choice.
For this type of procedure, you may want to consider traveling to visit a top-notch dentist. After all, the results of these procedures usually last for years, so you’ll probably want to ensure really great results! For example, there are excellent options if you’re looking for a dentist in Atlanta, such as the Atlanta Dental Spa. A great orthodontist will help you determine which cosmetic dental procedure is best for you, as well as formulate the perfect strategy to get you the results you want.
#1: Dental crowns
In cases where damage to the tooth (or teeth) is fairly extensive, a dental crown may be recommended. Dental crowns are used on teeth that are badly chipped or cracked, significantly decayed, or have any other condition that would compromise their structure. This is because the dental crowns themselves offer plenty of structure, and they can be custom-fitted to accommodate teeth in a variety of conditions.
Crowns can be formed from several different types of material, including composite resin, zirconia, porcelain, metal, or ceramic. Some of these materials last for around five years, while others last for up to 15 years. This can be a factor in which type of crown you choose, but the orthodontist also considers other factors, such as:
- Whether or not the gum tissue has receded
- Whether the crown will appear when the person is smiling
- What the crowned tooth will be used for (biting, chewing, etc.)
- The extent of decay in the tooth
If you get a gold crown, that could set you back around $2,500; otherwise, you’ll likely pay between $800 - $1,500 per crown.
Dental crowns: how they work
Since these are used for teeth that are potentially quite damaged, the dentist usually has to file down the tooth in question until the decayed/cracked portions have been eliminated. Then they’ll make a mold from the tooth (and the surrounding area), from which the crown will be made. And of course, the filed-down tooth can’t just stay that way while you’re waiting on the crown; you’ll be given a temporary dental crown to tide you over. All that will take place in one visit; during the next visit, the crown will actually be glued to the tooth, and then you’re good to go!
That’s how the typical crown procedure works, anyway. There’s also another type of procedure that can be completed on the same day. Instead of sending a physical mold to a lab that makes the dental crowns, the dentist will use a digital scanner and a 3D machine to craft a perfectly fitted crown while you wait. Speaking of which, you won’t have to wait more than 4 hours or so, which isn’t bad considering how much of an impact the procedure can have on your smile!
These are what you might get if you just want to address more minor issues, such as tooth staining, mild decay, or cracks in the teeth. Veneers come in the shape of a shell that’s fitted over the tooth, and permanently bonded using dental glue. Some only want one or two veneers to cover up “problem teeth”, while others want a makeover for their entire smile.
There are two different types of veneers:
- Composite veneers, which last from 5 to 7 years, and cost between $300 - $2,000 each.
- Porcelain veneers, which last from 10 to 20 years, and cost between $1,000 - $4,000 each.
Veneers: how they work
Just like dental crowns, veneers also involve a certain amount of filing down on the enamel, but only about the thickness of your fingernail. There could also be a considerable amount of planning involved for the aesthetic side of things; a skilled dentist can give you veneers in the exact right shade, shape, and length for your skin tone and facial features.
#3: Tooth whitening
While this term can refer to at-home as well as professional treatments, in this case we’re talking about the cosmetic procedure performed by an orthodontist. Not only is it more effective for stubborn stains, but it can also work much more quickly. Even if your teeth tend to instantly stain when you drink wine or coffee, eat berries, or consume other deeply pigmented foods or beverages, a tooth whitening treatment can reverse those stains. In fact, with the right care and dental hygiene, you could maintain your results for up to 3 years afterwards! And at a price that’s between $500 to $1,000, it’s quite a bit cheaper than either crowns or veneers.
Tooth whitening: how it works
In the more traditional procedure, the dentist will start by making a custom-fitted mouthguard to keep the bleaching product off of your gums. You’ll then receive the bleaching product to apply daily at home, usually for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. Depending on the level of staining, and how white you want your teeth to end up, these treatments can last for up to a month.
Another option is laser whitening, which can lighten teeth by 5 or 6 shades in just one hour. A bleaching product is applied, and then the dentist uses a laser to activate it.
Having a smile that makes you happy is important, but that isn’t the reality for everyone. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to spend agonizing hours at the dentist’s in order to achieve your ideal smile. With the right cosmetic dental procedure, you can change your teeth, as well as your life!