Dave Gordon, DDS, Logan Peak Dental
I often hear, “I don’t like my smile. What are my options?” This is a good question, and it’s important to consider all options before jumping into what can be an emotional and financial investment. There are many treatments available that can make your smile a dazzler.
This is perhaps the cheapest and fastest way to improve your smile. You can either whiten your teeth quickly at your dentist’s office, or more slowly at home. Both ways are effective if your teeth respond to the bleaching agent. Some people have types of discoloration in their teeth, so they won’t get whiter no matter what they try. The only products that truly whiten teeth have hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as their active ingredient. So called “whitening” toothpastes typically do not have these ingredients, and make their claims on the toothpastes ability to remove surface stains from foods such as marinara sauce, coffee, tea and cola drinks.
Consider this first before seeking treatments that will alter the shape of the teeth. I know having braces as an adult isn’t “cool,” but there are options available that are less noticeable than conventional braces, such as Invisalign. If Invisalign isn’t an option for you, it’s still important to consider the long-term consequences of permanently altering a tooth versus the short-term inconvenience of wearing braces. It’s always a good idea to consult an orthodontist before making a final decision.
This is the most common thing patients ask about. A veneer is, just as the name implies, a false front to a tooth. Your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the front of the tooth, then a dental lab makes a thin piece of porcelain to fit in its place. The good thing about veneers is that you get to keep most of your tooth structure intact; the bad thing is that they rely on just glue to hold themselves in place. Even the “best” tooth with the “best” veneer performed by the “best” dentist is susceptible to coming off. If this happens, you’ll have to see a dentist.
These are like veneers except they extend around the back of the tooth, allowing them to hold onto the tooth a lot better. Crowns can fix the shape, size and color of your teeth while providing a predictable, long lasting, worry-free smile.
The cost of altering your smile can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, but the potential outcomes can completely change your life for the better.