Maintaining healthy teeth and gums has always been the priority, but these days, cosmetic dentistry has become a huge aspect of the industry. In fact, the global cosmetic dentistry market is estimated to reach $27.95 billion (USD) by 2024. Straight teeth that dazzle with whiteness are no longer just for the Hollywood elite.
More and more people want aesthetically pleasing teeth, and this demand has given way to advanced dental technology, materials, and techniques. The shape of the teeth and gums, the alignment, position, size, and color are all smiles facets that cosmetic dentistry can improve for the young and older.
Social media and selfies have helped contribute to the appeal of modern cosmetic dentistry, and that can't hurt. Patients are apt to visit their dentist more and ask about cosmetic options like Invisalign, the alternative to traditional metal/wire braces. The system uses clear, plastic, almost invisible aligners to safely and quickly straighten the teeth in a very discreet way. Dentists would agree that straighter teeth tend to accumulate less plaque and tartar and lead to better oral health.
In addition, social media inspires others to care more about their smiles and how their teeth appear. All of that can translate to better self-esteem when out in public and being perceived by others in the workplace or school and beyond. Just whitening the teeth alone is a minor investment that can transform a smile at all ages. People do notice one's teeth, and an attractive bright smile is one of the key features both women and men desire when dating.
Other popular types of cosmetic dentistry include tooth-colored fillings, for example. Most patients switch from their old-school, amalgam silver fillings for "invisible" or clear fillings. The dentist can make composite resin fillings that mimic the natural tooth shade. There are also sleek veneers that some patients prefer. These thin, tooth-color shells are cemented to the front of the teeth and can hide common imperfections like crookedness, gaps or stained teeth. Here are some questions to ask the cosmetic dentist, before a procedure is chosen.
Enamel shaping is another creative cosmetic option that allows a skilled dentist to contour the tooth enamel to balance the rest of the teeth. The shaping can improve the appearance of crowded or uneven teeth or when teeth appear too long.
Dental implants are another growing field within the cosmetic dentistry category. The titanium metal devices are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. There are also bridges designed to anchor an artificial tooth.
Crowns have also been around for decades now in the cosmetic industry. The versatile cap made of porcelain or acrylic fits over the entire tooth and can conceal multiple issues like a formerly large cavity, chipped or broken tooth, fill in spaces between teeth and hide a poorly shaped tooth.
Tooth bonding is yet another technique where tooth-colored material can be adhered to the tooth to create a better-looking tooth. Bonding can improve teeth that are broken, chipped or badly stained.
Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way, and most patients care about how their teeth look. Even minor improvements can dramatically change a smile. It's the perfect, natural-looking makeover and costs a lot less than plastic surgery.