Braces and Dentistry
Everybody wants that perfect smile. However, many of us are too embarrassed to smile in photos or laugh out loud in front of people. Whether it’s crooked or stained teeth, or a misaligned bite, we all have something we feel needs a little work. The good news is that help is at hand thanks to advances in cosmetic dentistry, like teeth whitening and veneers, and orthodontics (braces).
These days braces are not only for children or teenagers and many adults are turning to braces to help straighten teeth or fix that overbite. With the advances in orthodontic treatments there are a number of options available to you:
– Traditional metal braces are stainless steel or titanium brackets cemented onto your teeth and connected with a small wire. These braces are usually tightened periodically by your orthodontist – a process that can be uncomfortable. This process usually takes 12-24 months depending on the severity of the dental problem.
– Clear braces are used as an alternative to traditional metal braces and are usually made from ceramic or plastic. These are also tightened periodically by your orthodontist. With both traditional and clear braces certain foods have to be avoided and extra attention has to be paid to dental hygiene.
– Clear, removable aligners are used as an alternative for people who do not want to wear braces. They are custom made retainers that fit over your teeth and are usually used for less severe dental problems. A new aligner will be fitted every few weeks to help move your teeth into the desired position. Clear aligners can be removed and cleaned separately.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Teeth Whitening
Yellowing teeth are a fact of life, whether from cigarettes, coffee or simply from aging. These days cleaning stained teeth is quick, easy and cost effective. While there are a number of different at-home methods for whitening your teeth, the most effective is still the in-office procedure performed by dentists.
In-office teeth whitening is a one hour procedure that involves applying a peroxide gel to your teeth at three 15 minute intervals. Once the dentist has protected your gums using a rubber film, a concentrated peroxide gel is layered over your teeth and allowed to rest for 15 minutes. After the third application your teeth are cleaned thoroughly to ensure no gel has been left behind. The results are usually instantaneous. The effects can last up to a year depending on your eating habits and oral hygiene.
There are some risks to this procedure such as gum and teeth sensitivity to temperature, although this is usually temporary. Another risk is the uneven colour of teeth if the gel is not applied evenly to all your teeth, but this can usually be fixed with another application of gel to the problem areas.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Dental Veneers
This thin custom made shell is placed over the tooth to cover up fractured or crooked teeth. Dental veneers are also used as a teeth whitening procedure for severely stained teeth. There are two types of materials used for dental veneers, both with different benefits:
– Porcelain veneers look more natural and are more stain resistant. These veneers usually take longer to prepare and apply.
– Resin veneers are thinner and require less of the tooth surface to be removed before applications. Usually resin veneers can be fitted in one visit.
Veneers can be expensive however, if looked after properly they can last for years making it a worthy investment.
No longer is dentistry about fixing or extracting teeth. Today people all over the world invest in cosmetic dentistry to improve the general appearance of their teeth and rebuild self-esteem. Talk to your doctor about which procedure will help brighten your smile and remember that every smile makes you a day younger. —Chinese Proverb
For more information on cosmetic dentistry and braces and if you require medical financial assistance.
Call Incred on:
Tel: 0860 INCRED (462 733)
Tel: 011 262 2385
Fax: 0865 201 513