Did you know that, within the last five years, tooth whitening procedures and treatments have grown by more than 300%, and Americans spend an average of $1.4 billion on tooth whitening in any given year? Stained or yellowing teeth can cripple Americans’ self-esteem. Greater problems, including malocclusions, gaps, and missing teeth, can even lead to permanent health problems, such as irregular jaw relationships and premature tooth loss. What are some of the most common ways to correct the appearance and structure of teeth?
Traditional, metal braces use arch wire, bonding materials, ligature elastic, and a series of brackets to apply gentle and constant pressure to teeth. With time, this constant pressure shifts teeth into place. Americans are not, however, restricted to metal braces alone. The 22% of American adults wearing braces, for example, may opt for subtle and effective alternatives, such as clear aligners. Clear aligners, including the well-known Invisalign, also use pressure to correct teeth over time. Invisalign can also be conveniently removed and replaced before and after meals. Ask your insurance carrier whether they cover clear aligners, or whether they classify clear alternatives as a form of cosmetic dentistry, in order to get an accurate estimate of costs.
Just over six years ago, in 2006, 600,000 people chose veneers to improve their smiles. Since 2008, the use of dental veneers has increased by as much as 250%. Veneers typically fit over teeth, and provide a quick fix for gaps and missing or misshapen teeth. Some veneers, such as Lumineers, are especially thin and bright, and can be used as a fast means of permanently whitening teeth. Top cosmetic dentists and dental digital xrays can determine whether patients are well-suited for veneers.
A dazzling white and confident smile can be a valuable asset to bring into social situations. Cosmetic dentists and dental digital xrays can help determine whether patients would benefit most from traditional wire braces, clear aligners, or delicate veneers.