Your smile is an important part of feel confident about your appearance, and making a great first impression. If your smile makes you feel insecure, you aren’t alone. Studies show that one in every three people feels uncomfortable about the appearance of their teeth. In fact, one in every five people feels so self-conscious about their crooked, cracked, missing, or discolored teeth that they don’t smile in photographs. It’s possible that the iconic “duck lips” pose was invented by someone who wasn’t trying to look sensual at all, they were just trying to cover the imperfections in their smile. So if you have an imperfect smile, what can you do about it?
This is where cosmetic dentistry comes in. You might feel that cosmetic dentistry is something that wealthy people have access to, but advances in dental technology make cosmetic dentistry affordable to anyone. No one should ever feel embarrassed to smile because of a flaw in their smile. We’ve put together a list of a few of the common cosmetic dentistry procedures that “every day Joes” get to achieve a winning smile:
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
If part of your tooth is missing or decaying, you don’t have to live with it. Your dentist can apply an inlay to cover the imperfect, and make your tooth look as good as new again! An inlay is a composite resin that has the exact look of natural tooth, that is molded to your tooth in a dental laboratory, and then attached with a dental cement by your dentist. This procedure is so simple that you just need a dentist who offers general dental care to administer this.
Inlays are a good option if the damaged tooth still has the tooth cusp in good shape.
Onlays are very similar to inlays, but are appropriate when the cusp of the damaged tooth is too decayed (or missing) to simply fill in the missing pieces. When you get an onlay, your entire tooth’s surface is coated with the composite material, to give your tooth a brand new “do-over.” Getting an onlay doesn’t just conceal your tooth damage, it actually strengthens the tooth and prevents further damage to it, which would lead to the tooth being lost altogether.
- Composite Bonding
Composite bonding is a dental method that involves your dentist removing the damaged portion of your tooth with a drill, and then applying the composite and sculpting it into the shape it should be. Once your dentist has created your perfect tooth, it is cured right in your mouth, using a really strong light. This is a great dental treatment for people who have decay on their teeth that will continue to grow and destroy the teeth if left untreated. The entire decaying portion is removed, stopping any further damage from occurring. It also creates a beautiful smile, free of the damage that used to make them feel compelled to take photos with duck lips. This is one of the most affordable dental treatments we’ll mention today, making it a good option for budget-conscious people.
- Dental Veneers
Veneers basically give you a brand new smile, with a new tooth (or teeth altogether). A veneer is a little tooth covering that is made in a dental lab to individually recreate each of your teeth in perfect condition, as if you’ve never had a cavity in your life (although this is highly unlikely — in fact, 78% of people have at least one cavity before reaching adulthood). The veneer is attached to the tooth with a permanent dental adhesive, and you can say adios to those dental woes!
Veneers are a good solution for patients with almost any cosmetic dental issue, ranging from cracked and crooked teeth to unsightly gaps. As long as their is a tooth root there at all to attach the veneer to.
Let’s say you’re missing your tooth altogether. You won’t be able to get a veneer, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with your dental imperfections. If your tooth is missing, you might get away with a dental implant. Your dentist with install a metal post into your gums where your tooth was, and then attach a tooth to the post, just like the veneer. Implants look identical to real teeth, and are a permanent solution.