Cosmetic dentistry – The changing of our lives

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

"Nothing personal, Doc, but I don't like coming here!"

As a dentist, I have to say that this statement is the one that I hear most often. I don't take it personally because I know that down deep, most people appreciate the care given to their mouths by dental professionals. Still, day in and day out, that "nothing personal Doc" statement is something that I have learned comes with the territory.

However, the territory is changing constantly. Cosmetic dentistry is one aspect of dentistry that is in permanent overdrive. Bleaching, all porcelain single crowns and bridges, bonded esthetic fillings and onlays and a myriad of other procedures have left the patient with a lot more choices than ever before. The old silver filled teeth and chalky looking crowns are being replaced by many new and exciting options. Once people are educated about what cosmetic dentistry can do for them, their attitudes about good dental treatment and its proper maintenance change drastically.

Suppose a woman had discolored, chipped or misshapen front teeth. Perhaps she doesn't smile very often due to being embarrassed about the look of her smile. Once esthetic porcelain restorations are placed in her mouth, there was a tremendous boot in her self-esteem. Patients have mentioned how they used to talk with their hands in front of their faces all the time. Other people say that replacing old, ugly crowns in the front of their mouth brought them peace of mind. No longer are they afraid that others are staring at their teeth. Instead, people ask if their hair is different or whether they've lost some weight. The effect of beautiful and natural dental work is that of illusion. Something is different, but because everything looks so natural, nothing stands out. Gone are the days of yesteryear when the white chicklet "Hollywood" look was the norm after someone had "caps" done.

Please don't think that cosmetic dentistry is only for the front teeth. New and exciting options are available for the back teeth, too. Tooth colored ceramic restorations can eliminate the silver look of the past. Tooth shaded ceramic onlays can be placed to strengthen a broken down tooth that in the past could only be fixed with a crown. These onlays are much more conservative because much more tooth structure is left intact. If a crown is needed there are several new types that are incredibly lifelike and vital looking. Many of these esthetic looking crowns are very difficult to detect.

If you have been walking around with some "old" dentistry, and do not like how it looks anymore, you owe it to your self to investigate the new alternatives.

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