Do you feel self-conscious about laughing or smiling in front of others? Do you try to hide your mouth’s problem areas when talking or smiling? If you have stained, crooked, gapped, decaying or missing teeth, it can easily cause you to lose confidence in your appearance.
Your dentist knows that the side effects of poor dental health have negative consequences beyond an unattractive smile. Fortunately, modern dentistry and many dentists provide a vast array of medical and cosmetic solutions to give you a healthy smile that you can be proud of.
Common dental problems that can be corrected:
- Discolored or Stained Teeth
- Cavities or Chipped Teeth
- Crooked or Gapped Teeth
- Decaying or Missing Teeth
Discolored and Stained Teeth
Over time, the food and drink you consume can make your teeth go from pearly white to yellow. Each time you drink a cup of coffee or sip on a glass of red wine, you expose your teeth to damaging surface stains. In addition to eating and drinking, smoking stains your tooth enamel and damages your gums.
If you want to bring back some natural shine to your teeth, teeth whitening toothpaste, gels and light applicators are readily available.
If you want to see more significant improvement, seek counsel and treatment from your dentist. Dental office teeth whitening procedures produce the fastest results and are the safest form of tooth bleaching. Thicker peroxide gels, potassium nitrate and fluoride desensitizers all help to control gum and tooth sensitivity.
If you have naturally discolored teeth, your best alternatives may be bonding resins and tooth veneers. These products can be colored to match surrounding teeth and can correct a variety of dental disorders.
Cavities and Chipped Teeth
Unfortunately, much of the food you eat actually damages your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth turn the sugars you eat into acid, which attacks your enamel and creates cavities. To protect a tooth from further damage and decay, dentists remove the plaque and prepare the cavity for filling.
If you have had several cavities filled, you may have a mouth full of metal. The drawback to metal fillings is their striking visibility against white enamel. Though rare, gold fillings can cause an electric current known as a Galvanic Shock. Silver (amalgam) filling contains mercury, which presents its own health risk.
Fortunately, better looking composite, ceramic and acrylic filling materials are available today. These materials more closely match your teeth, but they are no more permanent than metal fillings and can be more expensive.
The life of any fillings, crowns and chip repairs depends on their size, usage and how well you care for them. To maintain your teeth, brush and floss daily and maintain regular yearly appointments with your dentist.
Crooked and Gapped Teeth
Even with the greatest personal dental care you may find that your adult teeth are just slightly out of place. If you already have relatively straight teeth with minor gapping, bonding could be used to fill in the gaps or realign them. If you have a mouth full of damaged or discolored teeth, porcelain veneers may be your best option. With veneers, the existing tooth is ground down and the veneer becomes the new front exterior shell. Veneers also help with cosmetic restorations for patients with enamel damage from long-term bulimia or methamphetamine usage.
Decaying and Missing Teeth
If your teeth are decayed beyond repair or missing entirely, you still have options. Depending on the location and number of teeth lost, missing teeth can be replaced using dental bridges, dental implants and partial dentures.
If your decay advances with gum periodontal disease and becomes beyond repair, dental implants provide an aesthetically pleasing permanent solution. For a less expensive option to replace missing teeth, try dentures. Full or partial dentures have made recent improvements in comfort and appearance.
If you fail or neglect your oral cleaning routines or dental check-ups, you put your healthy smile at risk. Your oral health affects your overall health. A clean mouth not only reduces cavities, but also improves the health of your entire body. Healthy teeth allow you to eat the foods you want, while also reducing the amount of harmful bacteria you swallow.
We often do not appreciate what we have until it is gone. Take care of your smile and yourself — have cavities filled, chips repaired and teeth cleaned. Smiling improves your immune system, reduces blood pressure and conveys feelings of happiness. Remember, the world always looks brighter from behind a smile.
To learn more about Grand Rapids cosmetic dentist Dr. Kent Wildern and the services we offer, please contact us here or call us at (616) 364-8716. Kent Wildern DDS and his dental team strive to provide patients with optimal care while making them feel right at home.