5 Ways to Have a Better Smile
A lot of people are unhappy and embarrassed about their smiles because of ongoing problems with their teeth. Here are some dental procedures to consider for improving your smile if brushing and flossing are not enough.
Dental crowns are caps placed over the tooth to restore the shape and size, add strength and improve appearance. A crown usually requires only two dentist visits. The first visit will examine and prepare your tooth for the crown by dental X-rays. Your dentist will then make an impression of your tooth for placing the crown. The second visit is for getting the crown. You will get a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the crown will be placed.
Dental bridges are made of 2 or more tooth crowns and are supported by natural teeth or implants. In addition to an improved smile, bridges will help you chew and talk better, maintain your face shape and stop your other teeth from shifting out of place. Abutment teeth are prepared at your first appointment. A portion of enamel is removed to make room for a crown. Your teeth impressions are made and sent to the lab. You will be properly fitted for the bridge on the next appointment. It may take a few dental appointments to ensure a proper fit. To get a good fit your dentist may cement the bridge in place for a couple weeks.
Dental veneers cover the front surface of your tooth with thin, custom made shells. They are bonded to the front of your teeth and improve color, shape, size and length. Dental veneers usually require three dentist visits. The first visit involves examining your teeth to see if veneers are appropriate. X-rays may be taken and your dentist may make impressions of your teeth and mouth. The second visit removes ½ millimeter from the surface of your tooth. Your veneer will be made in the laboratory and sent to the dentist in 2 to four weeks. Then your tooth is cleaned, polished and etched. A unique cement goes on the veneer then it is placed on your tooth.
Dental bonding uses tooth colored resin and a special light to bond with your teeth. Not much preparation is needed for teeth bonding. The tooth’s surface is roughed up and a conditioning liquid is added. Next the resin is applied, molded and smoothed into shape. A bright laser hardens the material. Last your dentist will trim, shape and polish the bonding. Anesthesia is rarely used and bonding only takes 30 to 60 minutes per tooth.
Dental implants replace your natural tooth roots and are made to match your real teeth. They improve appearance, speech, comfort and oral health. Dental implants also make eating easier. First the tooth root implant is placed in the missing tooth’s bone socket. After the implant bonds to the jawbone an abutment attaches to the post to secure the implant. A crown is attached to the abutment after your dentist gets a model of your bite.