We all know that a terrific smile gives us greater confidence in our personal and professional interactions. And yet, we’re often ready to invest in our skin and hair while overlooking the importance of healthy looking teeth. The good news is that there are more options than ever before for whiter, straighter, healthier teeth. As we enter a new year, now is the time to make positive changes. Here are a few options for working toward the gorgeous smile we all dream of:
Professional Teeth Whitening
Almost everyone is doing it these days, but some are doing it better than others. Experts agree that professional whitening is the way to go for the best results. Professional whitening in your dentist’s office is now quicker and safer than ever and is much longer lasting than do-it-yourself whitening options. In-office whitening treatments are now the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the U.S., and because your dentist is able to safely use a higher-strength bleaching gel in his office, this means better results for you!
What Does In-Office Teeth Whitening Involve?
The in-office whitening procedure is relatively quick and painless. Your dentist will put a dental dam or protective resin in place to protect your gums and then apply a high strength bleaching gel to the teeth. The gel will stay on your teeth for around 30 minutes (some dentists also use a light treatment to activate the effects of the bleach). Your dentist will probably recommend follow-up visits for maintenance and cutting back on foods and drinks that stain your teeth.
Invisalign: The Easy Route To Straighter Teeth
Many of us grew up at a time when orthodontic care was not an option for every family and we’ve gone through life making the best of our not so perfect smiles. As adults, we may be ready to finally get things straightened out, but many of us don’t want to go through the hassle and discomfort of traditional braces.
One of the most popular cosmetic options for adults is the Invisalign alignment system. This revolutionary straightening system makes old school braces a thing of the past for adults who want straighter teeth. Invisalign technology is the least noticeable method of teeth straightening and is also more convenient for busy adults, requiring less time in the dentist’s office.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are clear plastic molds that are custom fitted to your teeth and designed to gradually move your teeth over a series of phases. During the course of treatment, you’ll be fitted for a series of nearly invisible aligners, each one designed to move your teeth toward the goal you and your dentist determine together. The aligners shift your teeth gradually, with only certain teeth targeted to move during each phase. The average treatment plan takes around 12 months and only requires office visits every four to six weeks.
What Are The Benefits Of Invisalign
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, and they are also removable. For best results, the aligners should be worn 20 to 22 hours each day, but they do give you the flexibility to remove them when eating or drinking. Invisalign aligners are made of a specially designed thermoplastic material so there are no irritating metal brackets or wires, allowing you to avoid the discomfort of traditional braces.
How Do I Get Started With Invisalign?
First, schedule a consultation with your dentist. He or she will come up with a treatment plan based on your goals. The cost of Invisalign is generally in line with the cost of traditional braces, and Invisalign is covered by a number of insurance plans. Many dentists also offer monthly payment plans to cover the cost of Invisalign treatments.
Dental Crowns And Implants
Cosmetic treatments like whitening and Invisalign are excellent options for improving teeth and gums that are basically healthy. But when teeth are lost or badly damaged (broken or decayed), dental implants or crowns may be your best options for restoring your beautiful smile.
In cases of tooth loss or extensive decay, dental implants are designed to replace not only the tooth but the root as well. Thanks to advances in materials used in cosmetic dentistry, implants are now designed to match your natural teeth. An implant involves an artificial tooth attached to a metal root that is fused to your jawbone to look and feel like a real tooth. Implants are natural looking, comfortable and durable.
When a tooth is broken, decayed or discolored because of a medical or dental problem, a dental crown may be your best bet. A crown is simply an artificial “cap” that goes over the damaged tooth and is designed to have a similar color and shape as your natural tooth. There are lots of options and materials available, so ask your dentist if this approach is right for you.
Time To Make The Change
As adults, many of us put our own dental needs on the back burner, but it’s never too late to make positive changes. With recent advances in cosmetic dentistry techniques and materials, there are more options than ever for achieving straighter, whiter and healthier looking teeth. Your dentist at Hall and Butterfield Family Dentistry can help you develop a plan for upgrading your smile and boosting confidence and self-esteem.