We all know the importance of caring for our teeth; it has often been said that a great smile is your best accessory. And if you didn’t have the opportunity to address certain dental issues when growing up, don’t worry. As adults in the modern age, we have access to a considerable array of treatment options to further improve teeth alignment and appearance, and rescue or replace a damaged tooth. Here are some of the common orthodontic procedures for various conditions.
When it comes to fixing crooked teeth, traditional braces are the standard solution. Commonly associated with teenagers, many adults might find the idea of wearing braces a bit awkward. But a lot of people don’t get fitted with braces at an early age due to financial issues or a lack of dental services, so adult braces aren’t as unusual as you might think. And if your work doesn’t allow you to wear braces – you’re a model or actor auditioning for parts in Redwood City, for instance – there are invisible options such as Invisalign available at certified clinics in California.
An easy way to fix yellow discolored or stained teeth and improve your smile as an adult is to use a tooth whitening treatment. These involve a bleaching agent, usually peroxide-based, which is applied to your teeth and left on for some time. Note that any composite materials on your teeth, such as crowns or bondings, will not be affected by the bleach.
Tooth whitening can be performed at home with over-the-counter strips, gels, or other bleaching systems, or in-office with your dentist. Since bleaching agents can increase tooth sensitivity and possibly cause pain in the gums, it’s best to at least consult your dentist before deciding which type of treatment you’ll use.
Veneers, bonding, and crowns
For decayed, cracked, or chipped teeth, your dentist may recommend a variety of procedures to restore your perfect smile. A bonding material is a simple and inexpensive treatment for filling in cracks or chips. The material used will be matched to the exact shade of your tooth and then fitted and hardened using a laser or ultraviolet light.
A veneer may be recommended instead, to provide a uniform cover. However, this procedure requires the removal of some enamel to fit the molding material properly. Materials such as porcelain can be expensive, but last up to 15 years; synthetic alternatives can be cheaper but last around up to half that time.
Attaching a crown is sometimes the only option to protect a decayed tooth or save a tooth from structural weakening. Porcelain, enamel, and resin can be used, with the procedure being correspondingly more expensive.
Implants and dentures
Damaged or missing teeth can be replaced with options ranging from implants to dentures. The more permanent solution, implants are installed through a surgical procedure, which gives you a perfectly natural-looking tooth anchored in the jaw. The procedure can be expensive, though, so using removable dentures might present a more affordable alternative.
Orthodontic procedures can address a variety of situations to provide that lasting improvement to your smile. Not only does this boost your confidence, but it can also lead to better oral health as long-standing issues of alignment or damage are finally resolved. Consult with your provider and find the treatment that works best for you.