As modern dental researchers continue to develop more innovative technologies, more people are visiting their dentists for reasons other than standard dental exams. This is because recent dental breakthroughs are attracting older patients who are interested in improving the looks of their teeth. As a result, Americans now spend nearly $1.5 billion per year to whiten their teeth.
In past generations, cosmetic dentistry was primarily the domain of teens and young adults – in the form of braces. For older adults, cosmetic dentistry usually consisted of bridges, crowns, or dentures, all of which were more functional than aesthetic. Due to advances in cosmetic dentistry, however, almost anyone can have a straight, sparkling smile in less time and with minimal discomfort.
Most of us know that correcting misaligned teeth is necessary to prevent future dental problems. This is the reason that so many teens get braces almost immediately following the appearance of all their adult teeth. However, cosmetic dental technology has come a long way since the days when “tinsel teeth” was a commonly heard schoolyard refrain.
Among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures today are dental implants and dental veneers. Although there are a variety of ways to correct missing, crooked, or dingy teeth, porcelain veneers and implants are the most effective methods for restoring the natural-looking aesthetics of teeth that have been chipped, lost, or damaged.
When dental patients who are missing teeth decide that dental implants might be the right choice for them, their dentists will complete thorough dental exams to determine how to approach each individual case. Oftentimes, a dentist will work with an oral surgeon, who will permanently insert a titanium post into the jawbone via the vacant tooth pocket. At a later date, the dentist will place a customized porcelain crown atop the post to complete the implant. Dental implants are 99% successful and can last a lifetime, with proper care.
For patients who want to repair chipped teeth, dental veneers are fast and realistic-looking alternatives. Most dental veneers can be completed in less than an hour, and involve the dentist smoothing the tooth surface and using resin cement to bond a natural-looking porcelain veneer to the tooth. Unlike dental implants, porcelain veneers usually need to be replaced within 10 years.
Cosmetic dentistry patients spend an average of $5000 and $6000 dollars per procedure. However, most feel the aesthetic and social improvements are well worth the cost. No matter how your teeth look, today’s cosmetic dentists have the ideal solution for you.