Did you know that, about 100 years ago, 50% of North American adults had no teeth? Now, fewer than 10% of 65+ adults have this problem, thanks to better awareness and preventative dental care. Most of us know the basics a dental appointment can provide. You get your teeth cleaned, plaque polished off, and gums and teeth checked for disease or cavities. But what you might not realize is that cosmetic family dentistry offers many options for improving the appearance of your teeth. Here are three common procedures you might be interested in.
1. Full Mouth Dental Implants
Have you lost a tooth after an accident, decay, or other problem? One potential solution is implants. In most cases, implants are titanium screws that are carefully inserted into the jawbone, in place of the missing tooth. Over a period of several weeks, the jawbone heals around the implant, thereby anchoring it in place. At this point a fake tooth, or crown, can be inserted over the implant, preserving the appearance of a full row of teeth. Implants have a 98% success rate, and can be less cumbersome and require less follow up care than other options such as bridges and dentures. Mini dental implants for dentures can also be used. Instead of having a crown, these implants help hold upper dentures in place in order to minimize discomfort.
2. Teeth Whitening
Are your teeth looking dingy and yellowy? This happens to most teeth over time as a result of exposure to everything from cigarettes to tea. Luckily, this effect can be reversed easily with the help of cosmetic family dentistry. A dentist will apply a peroxide solution that leaves teeth bleached and whiter than before. For patients who have really bad discoloration, or additional problems such as cracks, veneers can be a good solution as well. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells placed over the surface of the tooth.
Want straighter teeth, but not the clunky braces that come with it? One option many adults enjoy is invisalign. Instead of reorienting teeth using wires and brackets, invisalign is a series of clear alignment trays that slowly move teeth into place. For many people, invisalign is also a more comfortable solution. The trays are changed out more frequently than metal braces are tightened, meaning that the soreness felt during the switch is not as dramatic. The best solution for fixing crooked teeth should be discussed with family dentists, though, because some displacement issues are difficult for the invisalign model to alter.
What procedures have you received from cosmetic family dentistry?