When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, there are a few myths that Dr. Flewelling likes to dispel. The first is that Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialty. It is not a recognized dental specialty and every dentist is a cosmetic specialist, trained in the esthetic shape and shades of teeth. Second is the myth of the “famous Hollywood smile”. Ross from “Friends” had a smile that would literally glow in the dark, it looked unnatural and is not consistent with modern esthetics. Dr. Fleweling’s philosophy is that a natural smile is the most esthetic choice.
In the modern era, society places a high value on our smile. According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey, 99.7% of adults believe a smile is an important social asset and 96% of adults believed an attractive smile makes a person more appealing.
Even more revealing, 74% of adults in this same survey felt that an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chance for career success. Notably, when respondents were asked, “What would you like to improve most about your smile?”, the most common response was: Whiter and brighter teeth.
Moreover, a great smile helps convey feelings of warmth, happiness, vitality and good health. Many believe that a bright smile conveys youthful vigor, boosts confidence and self-esteem, and encourages people to smile more. It just makes sense.
This makes dental whitening a starting point for many. There are many over-the-counter tooth whitening solutions that are both safe, and provide a good esthetic. But sometimes the gels can provide a poor taste and sensitivity. In these cases, Dr. Flewelling can create a system of whitening that will contain the whitening material to the specific surfaces of your teeth that require whitening and eliminate much of the sensitivity that is generally associated with tooth whitening.
Many people can easily become frustrated when whitening doesn’t create the “super smile” they were looking for. It is important to remember that there is a yellow/orange colored mineral, under our enamel, called dentin. Sometimes, as we age and our enamel thin’s, it can be difficult to block that coalition from our smile. In these cases a restorative approach is necessary.
Popular cosmetic dentistry solutions include the use of porcelain dental veneers that can be applied to an existing tooth or even several teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of dental porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth, while providing good function, strength and resilience. Dental porcelain can be sculpted to closely replicate the look of natural tooth enamel with long term resistance to decay.
Other advancements in cosmetic dentistry include direct bonding. Direct bonding can be an effective treatment option because it serves to bond the filling material and the tooth’s original enamel. This can allow for lasting repairs that can enhance the functionality of an individual tooth or help support adjacent teeth. Tooth bonding can repair a chipped tooth in several different ways.
Sometimes All Ceramic crowns are necessary to provide the proper esthetic and function of the tooth, depending on the unique situation of each person's bite and smile.
Another cosmetic dentistry option can be the use of dentures. While dentures as a stand-alone solution have been used for tooth replacement for many decades, the use of dentures can present challenges when eating. Alternatively, a hybrid solution may involve the use of dental implants to secure the dentures. Dentures anchored to dental implants help the esthetics of your natural smile, as well as your general oral health.
For significant issues where the alignment of teeth is a serious problem, cosmetic dentistry may require the use of orthodontics, commonly been referred to as “braces”. In some cases, Dr. Flewelling can assist with clear teeth aligner systems of various types that can be utilized to help resolve less severe alignment issues.
Finally, it’s important to highlight that some cosmetic dentistry procedures need to be implemented on an emergency basis. Patients that have suffered the loss of one or more teeth broken during a fall or perhaps an automobile accident may be enduring physical pain, as well as the trauma of being seen in public with missing or seriously damaged teeth.
As an expert in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Flewelling understands the special needs of patients in these situations, and offers a wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures that will mitigate physical pain, improve the overall appearance of individual teeth and make your smile the best it can be.
Call Four Flags Family Dentistry for a consultation today.