What is cosmetic dentistry? It is certainly about more than just appearances. Beyond creating a radiant smile, it could replace lost or damaged teeth, prevent bone loss or improves chewing function, depending on the procedure. Basically, anything we do beyond routine maintenance or medically necessary operations would probably fall into this category.
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry options. It is affordable, fast and it provides dramatic improvement in nearly every case.
You would have two main professional whitening options: in-office and in-home. The take-home kits have specific instructions, but basically they are designed to provide improvement through successive applications of the treatment. Results from the in-office procedure should be more immediate — great for weddings, public appearances or just to get a quick reset to your natural, brilliant smile.
Veneers are durable, stain-resistant surfaces that dentists attach to your teeth. They come in various types of materials. They last a long time, but each type has a different level of durability — you and your dentist would discuss these specifics.
In general, we would recommend veneers for teeth with healthy root systems that just need some improvement in the looks category. You might consider this option if you have:
- Permanent stains, such as from tetracycline or too much fluoride
- Discoloration from root canals
- Large, noticeable fillings
- Chips or breaks
- Excessive wear
This is typically a quick, easy and relatively permanent option for changing the shape or color of your smile. Ask your dentist for some before and after photos — you will be surprised at how transformative veneers can be..
Healthy teeth have their own way to stay in place. However, various conditions can undermine the strength of the neck, periodontal tissue and root — the parts that usually help the tooth stay snug. When those essential anchors go, it is usually time to pull the tooth and put in an implant.
Dental implants are the most permanent form of tooth replacement. They have two parts: the post and the dental crown. The post replaces your root, binding naturally to your jaw. The crown is the visible part, usually designed to match your other teeth.
Cosmetic Dentistry for Seniors
Seniors or others with significant tooth loss usually find that individual implants or fixed bridges look better, feel better and are much easier to care for than removable alternatives, such as dentures. Talking, eating and even the appearance of aging tend to be just the same with implants as if the tooth were real.
The Cost of Cosmetic Dentistry
There are so many options that it is difficult to give an exact cost range for treatments. In general, whitening is the most affordable cosmetic procedure, followed by veneers and then implants. Working on more teeth costs more, but would not necessarily require multiple appointments. If you would like to schedule a cleaning and inspection, feel free to call us at 602-775-5656 to do so and we can discuss the full catalog of available and appropriate treatments.
Is it safe to get multiple implants at once?
Yes: In fact, patients often prefer to get multiple implants in one appointment. General health is the most important deciding factor here, followed by comfort level.
How long do veneers last?
Depending on the type, veneers typically need a refresh every 6 to 10 years.
How long do implants last?
Implants are designed to last. Even the most economical systems often last well over 25 years with proper care and bi-annual preventative dentistry visits.
How quickly do implants heal?
Most patients avoid chewy foods for a couple of weeks after getting implants. The immediate discomfort usually only lasts for a day or two.
How quickly does whitening work?
Clinical, in-office whitening works immediately. Serious stains might require multiple treatments or other procedures.