Cosmetic dentistry aims at creating a positive change in your dental formula; improving your smile and oral health at the same time. If you have broken, misaligned, chipped, misshapen, discolored, stained, or worn down teeth and gaps you don’t like, cosmetic dentistry can help get these dealt with.
Cosmetic dental services can be done effectively by local dentists as long as they are correctly accredited, so there is no need to travel far away to seek the services of a cosmetic dentist. Unless their reputation makes it worth it, a local dentist will actually be the better option in case your procedure will take more than one visit. It is safer and more comfortable to travel a short distance after dental procedures. This is especially true if anesthesia and strong medication is used as it may impair your judgment and ability to do things like safely crossing the street.
Because there are different dental issues that need fixing, it follows that there are different procedures you can undergo to fix each one, each with its own special requirements. It’s great to be well-versed with the options available and terms used in cosmetic dentistry so that your consultation can be effective and your needs fully met. Cosmetic dental solutions include porcelain veneers, bonding, bleaching and whitening, dental crowns, inlays and onlays, bridges, and braces.
A thorough consultation is important, as is research for the procedure you need. This enables you to know the right questions you need to ask as well as preparing you mentally for the procedure you undergo.
Finding a Reputable Cosmetic Dental Office
As with any other medical procedure, you need to do your due diligence before settling on a dentist. This will ensure you get a quality procedure that does not need to be redone in some months or even weeks. A few ways of finding a good cosmetic dentist include:
- Seeking referrals from friends and family who have undergone a cosmetic procedure and gotten positive results. You can also find out from your general dentist if they know a great cosmetic dentist, and read online reviews of dentists in your area.
- Check your dentists; credentials to make sure they have experience spanning a number of years which is always a great thing. Also, find out if they have pursued post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. Extra accreditation is also a great thing to have, and a good example of this is a certificate from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
- Ask for before and after photos from any dentist whose office you end up in, because for cosmetic procedures, a professional who does a good job is bound to be proud enough to display it.
- Communicate exactly what you want during your consultation and don’t rush it. Make sure you have exhausted all possible concerns before you leave the consultation, and you have understood everything that your specific procedure will entail.
- Find out what technology they use, and understand what each does. A quick online search will uncover the best modern technologies that cosmetic dentistry can make use of.
Safety Products that Dentists Use
Any dentist office worth its salt needs to adhere to the highest safety standards possible, especially if the pandemic witnessed in 2020 is anything to go by. To make sure there is a lower chance for infection or issues after a visit to the dentist, the dentist will make use of these safety products:
- Surgical masks to protect both of you against liquid particles or even gas present in the air
- Eye protection like goggles and full-face shields
- Protective gowns to guard against bodily fluids that may splash accidentally
- Gloves to make sure no germs are transferred from your dentist to your mouth and vice versa.
If you have been in an accident, or you fell ill and subsequently lost a few teeth, cosmetic dentistry has a solution for you in the form of tooth replacement. Your smile has a big impact on your whole face, and so cosmetic dentistry is probably on the same level as facial surgery. A missing tooth or teeth can negatively impact your smile and also cause several issues like affecting your speech, the integrity of your jawbone, and your ability to chew well among others.
Fortunately, there are a number of options available for you if you need to replace missing teeth. These are:
Dental implants; a permanent solution if you need to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth in different spots. The process of getting dental implant starts with replacement of your tooth’s root with metal screws. The false tooth is anchored on these screws and after the implant has healed, a dental crown is placed on top of the implant and secured firmly. They are permanent and natural, and don’t affect neighboring teeth in any way, but some people may not like that it is invasive and a bit costly.
An implant-supported bridge is another option that is great if you have multiple missing teeth in a row. In this case, only the two teeth at the ends are implanted by screwing while the ones in the middle are supported by them. It is economical, effective, and natural, but while it will last for a long time, it will need to be replaced over time.
The third option is a tooth-supported bridge which makes use of your existing teeth to support a bridge instead of implants. A dental crown is placed on each of the teeth on the ends with the bridge in the middle, then they are cemented in place. This option is fast, non-invasive, economical, and provides a realistic look. It however presents an opportunity for infection as the teeth to hold the bridge have to be filed down to the right size, and they may get damaged if the crowns are improperly fitted.
Removable partial dentures are also a great option for people with a few teeth missing in a row. Additional teeth can be added directly to the dentures if more are lost, and they are easy to repair and replace. This option is also one of the cheapest ones around and to cap it all, they are easy to use. They can however be uncomfortable to wear and need to be removed and cleaned each night, and may also not look as natural as implants.
The final option is a flipper which is a temporary partial denture that can flip in and out of its position while being independent of any surrounding teeth and lacking metal clasps. A flipper is cheap, painless, and lighter when compared to a partial denture, and provides a great temporary solution for missing teeth. It can however be uncomfortable, and because it is meant to be temporary, it may be prone to breaking.
If you have ever had an oral issue get out of hand, you know how painful and costly it can be to treat it. Regular visits to a dentist for checkups are important, and as mentioned elsewhere in this article, a general dentist can be your first stop in finding the right cosmetic dentist for your specific needs.
Having a family dentist fixes a lot of these issues for most people because besides providing you quality care, they are your confidant and will give you the best advice to make sure you have impeccable oral health.
More advantages you can get from having family dentistry include:
- Reduced dental anxiety each time you have to book an appointment for one issue or another, which is something that affects children as well as adults.
- The convenience of knowing you don’t have to search far and wide and take risks just to find a trustworthy dental practitioner who will put your needs above all else.
- They know your family history, which is important when seeking advice on getting cosmetic dental procedures. Since most of these are superficial, a good family dentist will advise you well on what you need to do before and after a procedure. They will also guide you on if you should get it in the first place or have something different done.
- Since you will have undergone regular dental care for some time leading up to having a procedure, getting a cosmetic procedure won’t be barred by having to seek general dental care first.
A family and cosmetic dentist can help you realize your dream smile with a few procedures. If your family dentist happens to also be registered in cosmetic dentistry, then it is exponentially beneficial. You can go to the same place that you are familiar with for oral care and cosmetic improvements, the best possible situation.
Dental Practice Brokers
A dental service broker is a professional who helps you navigate the transition processes of a dental practice. These include retiring from one, buying one, or even selling one. Good dental practice brokers will help you get through all these processes successfully, so it is imperative to find one you can work with. A few guidelines on finding the ideal one are:
- Picking one with the right experience and specialization, and one who can get it up and running. They also need to have dealt with a buy or sale of one recently and within your area, to be sure they know the dynamics of dealing with your case efficiently.
- A dental services broker with integrity will help you maintain confidence in their high standards of work. The Practice Sales Promise is a voluntary code of conduct that is open to all dental brokers and has 15 points to ensure a high level of service and integrity. If you can find a dental broker who is committed to this promise, you will be sure of a good transaction.
- A good dental broker will also ideally have contacts of pre-qualified dentists looking to buy a dental practice. This ensures you of a fast and smooth process.
- Be careful when using the services of a free agent because the buyer pays the agent, creating a conflict of interest with you not knowing the agreement between them. In the best scenario, the dental broker you settle for should have a sole duty to care for your needs.
- Make sure the one you choose uses the best current practices which include approaching a large group of buyers as opposed to just a few. They should also be able to offer you support throughout the process.
With this information, you are ready to get your perfect smile so find a good cosmetic dentist and go for it. Note that cosmetic procedures aim for a cosmetic outcome though, so if you have other oral health issues that need fixing, get these looked at by a general dentist first. It is a better move to get cosmetic procedures later after you have fixed health issues. This way, you don’t have to destroy dental work that costs you money to get to the root of a serious cavity, or even gingivitis.
Also, there are plenty of DIY options available especially for more topical procedures like whitening and straightening teeth with braces. While you can get a mail-order set of whitening gels and treatments as well as braces, it is always a great idea to be evaluated by a professional dentist. They will do a thorough analysis and see things you may not be aware of, making the treatment you would have picked with no advice either wrong or ineffective.
Finally, note that a bright smile does not always reflect a healthy set of pearly whites. Get to the root of any decay or infections you may have before undergoing a cosmetic procedure. After all, you don’t want to have a bright set of teeth in your mouth but nothing to smile about due to pain and other issues.