If you are looking to straighten your teeth, but don’t want a mouth full of metal, you’re in luck! Today’s dental technologies have advanced, and while you can still fix crooked teeth with traditional metal braces, now you can get a straighter smile more discreetly, comfortably, and conveniently with clear aligners.
What are clear aligners and how do they work?
Clear aligners are clear plastic orthodontic devices that straighten crooked teeth. They are made from thermoplastic polymers and are customized to each patient. Many people report that clear aligners are less painful than traditional metal braces because there is no metal rubbing against the inside of your mouth, and you don’t have to have them tightened regularly in an office. Clear aligners are also beneficial for oral health, as you can remove them to do a thorough flossing and brushing twice a day.
With a specific end goal in mind, a series of clear aligner trays are created for you by using putty impressions or 3D digital scans of your teeth. The aligners work in stages by using gentle force to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. Patients typically switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks, and each new set moves your teeth a little bit more to achieve the smile you’re looking for.
How long do clear aligners take to work?
The treatment length depends on the individual patient and their goals. Most patients wear their clear aligners for 12-18 months. Some people with minimal crowding or spacing get the results they want in as few as six months, while patients with more severe crowding might need to wear aligners for up to two years. Essentially, the more your teeth need to move, the longer the treatment will take. Aligners need to be worn for 22 hours per day, so if you wear them less than that, treatment will take longer and won’t be as effective.
Who is a good candidate for clear aligners?
Patients with mild to moderate crowding or spacing usually have the best results with clear aligners. People with more severe crowding, however, have had success using clear aligners for a longer period of time. You are also a good candidate if you had braces before and your teeth have shifted since removal or if you have developed an underbite, overbite, or crossbite. If you are committed to wearing the aligners for 22 hours per day and changing to your new aligners about every two weeks as instructed by your healthcare provider, you will likely have success with clear aligners.
What is the process like?
It is easier than ever to use clear aligners to straighten your teeth. First, schedule an appointment with Lifetime Dental Health to get an evaluation and learn more about the process. At your first appointment, we will ask you some questions about your smile goals and examine your teeth to see if you are a good candidate for clear aligners. If we determine that clear aligners are a good choice for you, we will take impressions of your teeth with dental putty, or digitally scan your mouth to produce a 3D digital model of your teeth. Next, a series of custom aligners will be produced for you. Most patients will get 20 to 24 sets of aligners. When you receive your aligners, you’ll start by wearing the first set for about two weeks for 22 hours per day. You will switch to your next set of aligners about every two weeks. Most dental providers recommend an office visit every six to eight weeks to make sure the aligners are working properly and that your teeth are moving progressively. If you stick to your schedule and wear your aligners as instructed, you can achieve your smile goals! Once you have completed treatment with your clear aligners, it is recommended that you wear a retainer to keep your teeth straight.
What if I am not a good candidate for clear aligners?
If you have severe crowding or gapping, have dental implants or bridges, or active gum disease and poor oral hygiene, clear aligners may not be for you. But don’t worry! You don’t have to give up on the beautiful smile you are dreaming of. There are many other options to get the smile you are looking for, including:
Traditional metal braces – if you have severe spacing or crowding, or a severe bite problem, traditional metal braces might be for you.
Veneers – if your teeth are shaped irregularly, broken or chipped, or discolored or stained, veneers can give you the smile you’re looking for.
Contouring or reshaping – if your teeth are cracked, chipped, overlapping or crooked, an in-office contouring or reshaping procedure can help.
Speak with us to find out which treatment option is best for you. At Lifetime Dental Health, we are proud to offer multiple options to straighten your smile, including our own Clear Aligner Program. We also offer Invisalign and Six Month Smile in addition to a variety of cosmetic dentistry options. Contact us today at (614) 333-9442 to schedule a consultation.
The holidays are upon us, and they represent the time of the year to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while. That’s why now is the ideal time to learn about how cosmetic dentistry can get you the perfect smile for the holidays. You’ll want to reconnect with your loved ones without having to worry about the imperfections that have affected your smile over time.
Cosmetic dentistry, like the options that Lifetime Dental Health offers our patients, is the ideal way to elevate your pearly whites just in time for the holidays.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the broad term for any number of procedures that improve the aesthetics of your smile. If your smile is discolored, has alignment issues or gaps, or if your teeth are chipped, broken, or otherwise damaged, cosmetic dentistry procedures can go a long way in rebuilding your smile back to what it used to be.
Over time, constant use of your teeth and other factors can wear down despite your best efforts to maintain good dental health. Chipped or broken teeth can also happen suddenly in accidents, necessitating cosmetic dental procedures to put your smile back the way it was.
One myth is that cosmetic dentistry is a vanity procedure. There is nothing vain about wanting to improve the look and feel of your smile. The perfect smile can boost your mental health — as well as the comfort of your bite and teeth.
What kinds of procedures does cosmetic dentistry include?
There are a number of different dental procedures that fall into the realm of cosmetic dentistry. They include:
Teeth whitening – You might be surprised just how big of a difference whitening your teeth can make when it comes to getting the perfect smile. Especially for people who are daily coffee drinkers or have other teeth-staining habits, like wine and tobacco use, teeth discoloration can occur over time until you have an unsightly smile. In-office whitening procedures are highly effective, or your dentist can provide you with at-home steps to take to turn up your smile’s wattage in as little as two weeks. There are also a number of over-the-counter gels, strips, and pastes available for use, though they are not as immediately effective as those provided by your dentist.
Veneers – Veneers are shells that are customized to fit your teeth and boost your smile. They are molded from porcelain or resin, depending on your preference and price point, and are highly effective at improving the aesthetics of your smile. Veneers can fix everything from color to shape of your teeth. One drawback to veneers is the expense. Lifetime Dental Health is pleased to offer LUMINEERS, a veneer solution that cuts down the long wait of traditional veneers. You can have a brand new smile in as few as two office visits with this procedure.
Bonding – Dental bonding is when resin is shaped to correct an issue with your existing tooth, then hardened using light to bond to the tooth. It is then shaped and polished to look indistinguishable from its surrounding teeth. Bonding is a wonderful option for chips, cracks, and damages due to decay. It is a quick procedure at an affordable price.
Crowns – Crowns protect cracked, broken, or weak teeth with a sturdy cap that can be made from metals, porcelain, resin, or ceramic materials. The price depends on the material, location of the crown in your mouth, and severity of the issue the crown is correcting. CEREC crowns are wonderful options for these procedures since they can be done in a single office visit instead of over several appointments like traditional crowns. CEREC crowns offer swift dental solutions that are durable and comfortable.
Contouring – Dental contouring works with your existing enamel, making minor changes to the shape and polish to correct the look and feel of your teeth. This is ideal for instant results and painless procedures.
Braces – Braces are dental tools used to fix the alignment of your teeth over time. With today’s technology, there are a number of comfortable and convenient options, including traditional metal braces, affordable and discreet clear aligners, and the premiere Invisalign system. With clear aligners, patients can expect a brand new smile within a year.
Bridges – Bridges offer permanent or removable options to replace missing teeth. They are a great way to restore your speaking and chewing — along with your confidence.
What cosmetic procedures does Lifetime Dental Health offer?
At Lifetime Dental Health, we’re proud to offer all of the above cosmetic dentistry procedures. If you have a question about what kind of procedure would be best for the needs of your smile, we’re happy to help. Just give us a call at (614) 333-9442 or ask one of the team members at your next appointment.
We all have a thing or two about ourselves that we would like to change or improve. Some people may want longer hair, smaller feet, or maybe the perfect smile!
It is perfectly okay to want to make changes here and there to satisfy your personal wants.
Read on to learn about ways to achieve your dream smile with the help of cosmetic dentistry!
What is cosmetic dentistry?
The simplest way to define cosmetic dentistry is procedures that are used to enhance someone’s teeth to create a flawless smile. There are many procedures available for you to obtain the perfect smile; the method will vary for each person and depends on the work that is needed.
What are the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?
1. Prevents Future Dental Damage
The main benefit of cosmetic dentistry is that it can prevent future dental damage. Aside from improving the appearance of ones’ smile, ideally, the cosmetic procedures focus on improving the size, shape, position, alignment, and color of the patient’s teeth. Correcting or fixing these things ultimately eliminate additional dental work down the line, assuming the patient continues practicing preventative care.
2. Increases confidence
Your smile is generally the first thing that someone sees. Many people that do not have a smile that they are proud of, find themselves being self-conscious, and they try their best to avoid smiling or showing their teeth.
Increasing your self-confidence can often open new doors in your life.
3. Improved Health
Aside from repairing typical dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, cosmetic dentistry can also improve other health factors such as diabetes and kidney issues, to name a few.
It has been proven that most people who have poor oral hygiene often also suffer from other health issues such as diabetes and kidney issues, as mentioned above.
Once a cosmetic dental procedure has been completed, and your smile has been restored, you would be much more likely to continue a proper oral hygiene routine — ultimately improving your overall health.
What are the disadvantages to cosmetic dentistry?
Many cosmetic dental procedures can be costly for most people. The price varies depending on the work required and the procedure chosen.
Cosmetic dentistry is not unaffordable; in fact, ask us about payment plans to assist patients with financial need.
This disadvantage ties together with the previous one. Most dental insurance providers will not cover cosmetic procedures; this leaves the patient to pay out of pocket or reach out for financial assistance through the practice or even a financial institution. However, there are some dental procedures that are both cosmetic and beneficial for your overall health that can be covered by insurance.
What cosmetic dentistry options do I have?
There are many cosmetic dental treatments available. A few of the most common procedures are:
Bonding is similar to the veneer procedure. The difference primarily lies in the material used. Bonding is aimed at decayed, chipped, and even fractured teeth. The material composite resin (plastic) is used during the repair. The repair is completed in a single visit.
The disadvantage of choosing the bonding procedure is that the composite resin material that is used is not as durable as the natural tooth. So biting fingernails, eating ice, and chewing on other hard things can cause the material to chip.
The bonding procedure generally lasts two to four years before needing to be repaired; this timeframe also depends on how well the teeth are taken care of during that time. With proper care, bondings can last much longer.
Fillings are a way to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay. A tooth is filled with either gold, silver (Amalgam), composite (plastic), or porcelain.
The filling used will depend on the type of damage done to the teeth.
Each filling has its advantages and disadvantages, ranging from cost, durability, and additional procedure time.
Crowns are also known as “caps.” They act as a cover that goes over a tooth. Crowns can be considered both a cosmetic procedure and non-cosmetic procedure, depending on the damage to the tooth or teeth. The idea is to restore the shape, size, and overall appearance of the tooth. There are also three different types of crowning options.
Each crown option has its own disadvantage, ranging from cost, fit, and fragility.
4. Dental implants
Dental implants are the replacement of the root of a tooth or teeth. A metal piece is placed into the bone socket. The metal piece is then covered by a type of crown, which acts as the new tooth.
One of the main disadvantages of dental implants is the cost. This procedure is one of the most expensive cosmetic dental procedures available. Another possible concern is that the procedure is a surgical procedure. Any surgical procedure carries some risks to the patient.
Veneers are primarily used when someone is experiencing issues with chipped teeth, teeth that are oddly shaped and even gaps between teeth. A very thin cover is placed over the tooth or teeth to obtain a more appealing look.
Since the enamel is removed during this procedure, one of the main disadvantages is that the tooth or teeth receiving the veneer may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks.
Veneers are simply a way to make your teeth look better and do not prevent decay.
Bridges are meant to close or “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. These are also known as false teeth and often are anchored by crowns.
One of the main disadvantages of dental bridges is that the structure of the patient teeth can be changed after the bridge has been placed. Also, tooth decay can still present itself if the bridges are not fitted properly.
If you are thinking about investing in your smile with cosmetic dentistry contact us at Lifetime Dental, 614-333-9442. Our professional dental staff will be more than happy to assist you with any questions.