According to the British Dental association, up to 80% of British people are not happy with their smiles. Since there are a greater number of safe cosmetic treatments today than ever before, this statistic is truly troubling..
A person’s smile can do a lot. When it looks good it can lead to a person smiling more often which promotes sociability and positive feedback from others, both which can give a person self condence and self esteem boosts. Conversely, a smile that’s poorly taken care of or out of sorts could take someone the opposite direction. Feeling your smile is unattractive will leave you smiling less and seem less approachable despite how happy and nice a person you may be. It is for these reasons that cosmetic dentists exist. While a general dentist can keep your mouth healthy, a dentist that has the artistic sense and drive to pursue cosmetic dentistry can help you design and build a smile that you can be proud to show the world.
So you've decided that you want to make your smile brilliant. Now what? There are many things that your cosmetic dentist will go over with you when deciding exactly what is needed to get your smile looking great. The all important rst step is to take appreciation of you as an individual; your facial shape and appearance, hair color, skin color/tone, lip shape and size, teeth, and even your gum tissue will play a role in designing your new beautiful smile. It is important to express your personal opinions about what you like and dislike about your smile as well so that your cosmetic dentist can take them into account when discussing with you the best treatment plan to get your smile where you want it to be.
Make a List
Go ahead; make a list of everything you don’t like about your smile. In all likelihood, there is a solution to each problem you point out. With all the techniques available today, there is no reason why you should remain unhappy with your teeth. Some imperfections that patients often seek to change are: - A “gummy smile” that shows a disproportionate amount of gums to teeth - Cracked, chipped, or worn teeth - Missing teeth - Slightly crooked or asymmetrical teeth - Gaps between teeth - Stained or discoloured teeth.
Building an Action Plan
Once you've decided what your initial smile goals are, your cosmetic dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. After it has been determined that your mouth is healthy, photos will be taken at different angles to use as a reference. Together, you and your dentist can go over every detail of your teeth and mouth, determining which features can be improved or changed for the better. The result will be a collaborative plan that you feel comfortable with.
Finally, meticulous measurements will be taken of your face to establish the best tooth size, shape, and color to complement your individual features. Your dentist will then explain the various techniques and methods that will best achieve your goals. Below are a few treatments that might be recommended:
- Dental bonding
- Gum re contouring
- Teeth whitening
- Porcelain crowns or restoration
- Orthodontic measures such as Clear Braces
- Dental implants or dentures
- Porcelain veneers
Concerns over Cost
Here’s some food for thought: 99.7% of adults rate their smile as their most important personal asset. If this is true, wouldn't that smile deserve an investment? Since dental care can often be paid for on a payment plan, it’s not much different than other investments you make to improve your future.
Dr Sam Afshar DDS (Swe) MScs (KCL London).
British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry,
Accredited Implantology surgeon,
Principal Royal Arsenal Dentists