Cosmetic dentistry shouldn’t be taken lightly. Spurred by the ice-white results sported by Hollywood celebrities, nearly everybody with an interest in cosmetic rejuvenation or enhancement believe they are an ideal candidate. Just because you own a set of teeth, does not mean you rank as an acceptable candidate for a cosmetic dental procedure. Weighing up factors such as the physical structure, alignment and symmetry of your teeth, coupled with the pronouncement of your jaw and bite all contribute to suitability for prostheses or whitening procedures. Medical evaluation takes into context whether you are susceptible to reaction with commonly used medication/ implements, including anaesthetic, rubber or peroxide. Reactive, pre-existent ailments or illnesses are yet another, vital consideration in determining suitability. In short, you may not pass the prerequisites for your preferred treatment, however, you could be ideal for another and you won’t know until you undertake a short audit.
Cosmetic dentistry audits are, by and large, simple application forms designed to use as a framework for treatment. Mandatory questions relate to your motivations for surgery (in order to assess your psychological wellbeing) and medical background, coupled with any prior details of dental work received. Although generally covered during the first examination, it will aid your specialist in formulating a unique picture of your overall dental health. Excluding any key information relevant to your health could have dire implications during surgery; therefore honesty and detail are advisable.
Whitening and composite bonding are common cosmetic treatments used for minor teeth complaints, such as discolouration, chipping and early elements of decay. Tooth whitening can be achieved via several unique procedures, the majority of which are non-invasive and take less than an hour per visit. Bleaching and laser whitening necessitates several successive visits, until the desired result is achieved, but, it isn’t for everyone. Chemical bleaching entails the use of oxidised chemicals, such as carbamide peroxide, which can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma.
Bleach and laser whitening treatments can prove ineffective long-term if you smoke or consume coffee and red wine to excess. Composite bonding is a fantastic solution for unsightly gaps between teeth; concealing minute areas of decay and covering over a chip or crack, effectively creating a partial or fully new aesthetic surface for the tooth. It may not prove ideal if decay is in the advanced stages, or a tooth is broken in such a way that the nerve/pulp has since become exposed. A cosmetic dentist may outright refuse bonding for those who have undergone root canals or whitening procedures.
Fixed prostheses, such as a dental implant or bridge, can work wonders for your smile should you have been unfortunate enough to lose a tooth. Not only are these prostheses a hard-wearing replacement for the original tooth, they are now virtually undetectable – modified to match both the contours, symmetry and colour of your regular teeth. A fixed bridge anchors an implant to one or more existing teeth, creating the illusion of a real tooth, whereas a dental implant is usually fixed to the former tooth socket, or bone. Sufficient bone is required in order to carry out this procedure, rendering those with any form of brittle bone disease or decayed bone unsuitable. Similarly, should the adjacent ‘anchor teeth’ either side of a gap be too decayed, a bridge will not withstand wear and tear long-term.
Achieving the perfect smile is possible; however you may need to steel yourself for an alternative to whitening or restructuring. Your cosmetic dentist is by far the best source of advice, generally providing direction in the form of a treatment programme, which will reflect aspects of medical history and dental health. That perfect smile needn’t be a pipe dream!