When Your Dentist Says “Cosmetic,” They’re Treating More than Your Appearance
When you hear the phrase “cosmetic dentistry,” what do you think? You might assume that it relates to a procedure that only has aesthetic value but lacks any health benefits. And no one would blame you for the assumption—that’s why “surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” are two very different things, after all. But the truth that every dentist wants you to know is this: the better your teeth look, the healthier they usually are! In fact, many cosmetic procedures have a positive impact on your oral health, and are often prescribed as treatment for actual health conditions. Here’s how:
Correcting a Misaligned Bite
Under the “cosmetic” category you’ll often find orthodontics. Wearing braces may seem like it’s just about giving you a nice, even smile, but the truth runs much deeper than that. Having an even bite may give you the confidence to smile more often, but more importantly, it’s good for your jaw and your teeth. A misaligned bite can lead to all kinds of issues, such as bruxism, damaged teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder, and more. Having straight teeth doesn’t just look good—it’s good for you!
Another risk associated with misaligned or crooked teeth is poor hygiene—when teeth aren’t positioned properly, it can be difficult to clean them thoroughly, and the buildup of plaque and bacteria over time can leave you with serious tooth decay. Cosmetic dentistry to correct your alignment improves your ability to keep your teeth clean, saving you from cavities, caries, and other symptoms of tooth decay.
Healthy Teeth and Bones
Your dentist may use cosmetic procedures such as veneers, crowns, and implants to repair or replace damaged teeth. A damaged or broken tooth is not something anyone should leave sitting in their mouth, but an empty space where a tooth once was is even worse. See, your jaw bones actually rely on stimulation from the roots of the teeth to remain healthy. Once that stimulation is taken away, the bone begins to disintegrate and deteriorate, which if left unchecked can lead to a facial collapse in severe cases. Therefore, if a tooth is damaged but the root is still intact, your dentist will want to install a crown—typically seen as cosmetic—to protect the root from further damage or decay. A lost tooth, on the other hand, can be replaced by an implant, which uses a titanium screw to fulfill the same purpose the root typically performs.
If you think cosmetic dentistry is just about how your teeth look, think again. These procedures are all designed to be just as beneficial to your oral health as they are to your appearance, letting you smile confidently and with peace of mind!
Finding the Dentist—and the Clinic—that Meets Your Needs
So you need to see a dentist. Perhaps you’re experiencing a serious tooth ache or another issue, or maybe you’re having a dental emergency and can’t wait. Or maybe, you just haven’t had a cleaning in a while and know you really need it. Whatever the reason, you don’t have a dental clinic that you are a regular patient at, so now you’ve found yourself looking for a clinic to go to. Whether it’s a one-time visit or a long-term commitment, picking the right clinic is a matter of knowing what to look for. Visit their website, and look for the following:
Of course, you want to make sure that a clinic actually offers the services you need in the moment. After all, what you be the point of even trying to make an appointment if you can’t get the service you need? But if you’re looking for a dental clinic that you can become a regular patient at, look beyond your immediate needs and into the future. How wide of a variety does it offer? That includes restorative services such as crowns, veneers, bridges, and dental implants, cosmetic procedures and smile design service, orthodontic treatment, periodontic (gum) treatment, and more. You never know what you, or a member of your family, could need some day in the future, so be prepared.
In an ideal world, you would never have a dental issue so severe that it couldn’t wait until a regularly-scheduled appointment. But you don’t need us to tell you that the world is far from ideal! Bad situations happen, and unfortunately sometimes there is just not getting around it. A broken or lost tooth, for example, is a situation that will only be harder to treat as time goes on. In such an event, a clinic that offers emergency dental services will be able to take you regardless of appointment.
A good practice has more than one dentist—it has a team that specialize in different areas. A clinic with only one dentist is typically a bad sign. Look for clinics that employ two or more, with different specialties, not to mention dental hygienists as well! The more combined experience a team has, the better you can feel about putting your care in their hands.
You don’t want to be treated just anywhere. The ideal clinic doesn’t look like something out of a horror movie, with gently strobing lights that give you a headache and create a sense of anxiety and unease. You need to feel comfortable and safe, and the setting should reflect the professionalism, cleanliness, and friendliness that you would expect from the people staffing it. Don’t settle for just any dental clinic—you should feel good about entrusting your care there.
Visit a Dental Clinic for Temporomandibular Disorder Treatment
Ask any dentist, and they will tell you that the human mouth is a complicated thing. Between the teeth, the gums, and the jawbone, there is so much that could potentially become an issue if not tended to right away—and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is one of them. Your temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to your skull, and works like a hinge. A healthy joint means smooth, seamless jaw movements, including eating, chewing, talking, and even yawning. However, TMD can make these movements more difficult, and you may need to seek treatment at a dental clinic.
Symptoms of TMD
Fewer than half of all people suffering TMD actually experience pain in their jaw, making it difficult to recognize that help is needed. If you experience any of the following, call your dentist to make an appointment:
- Your jaw pops, cracks, or clicks when you move it
- Your jaw becomes locked
- You have difficulty opening your mouth wide or chewing
- Unexpected discomfort when biting down
- Difficulty aligning your teeth properly
- Pain in your facial muscles, neck, or shoulders
- Buzzing in your ears
These are all potential signs of temporomandibular disorder, and a diagnosis can help determine the course of treatment.
The first step in treating TMD is a proper diagnosis at a dental clinic, especially since there are other common oral health issues which can cause similar symptoms, and it is important not to administer the wrong treatment, lest more damage be caused. If, after careful examination and potentially X-rays, your dentist has determined that you have TMD, the next stage is determining the severity. Surgical treatments are only required in the most severe cases.
For minor cases, your dentist may recommend that you be fitted for a mouth guard to wear while you sleep, to help avoid bruxism (grinding of the teeth). You may also be prescribed medication, and provided a list of suggestions for behavioural and lifestyle changes that can mitigate the discomfort, such as eating soft foods, improving your posture, and minimizing jaw movement, among others. You may also require restorative dental work such as crowns, implants, and even orthodontics to improve the evenness of your bite.
In severe cases, surgery may be the best course of treatment. Surgeries range from removing damaged or inflamed tissue or debris from the joint, to open-joint surgery.
If you are experiencing or develop any symptoms relating to temporomandibular disorder, please consult a professional immediately. Contact your dental clinic to make an appointment. It is only by way of proper diagnosis that your condition can properly be treated and further damage mitigated.
When we smile, we bring the world closer to us. We invite others to embrace our presence as we show them that we will be warmly receptive. A smile shows our warmth, health and confidence. A beautiful smile never goes out of style. A beautiful, aesthetically pleasing smile can change your life and make an impact on the world around you! Shy to smile? Dreamed of a perfect movie-star radiant smile? Maybe you have always felt self-conscious by your crooked or stained teeth, or experienced an injury, permanent loss or chip to your teeth or deterioration due to age or gum disease. If so, an improved smile is one of the easiest cosmetic enhancements possible. If you currently are not happy with your smile due to: gaps, chips, stains, crooked or irregular teeth, misaligned or uneven gums, then a visit to your dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry is all it takes to change your life! People are surprised to learn how easy improving their smile can be. Sometimes a simple fill of a gap or redefinition of a “gummy” gum line will make a big impact. An invisible orthodontic straightening device can realign teeth and a veneer can add lost luster and symmetry. Today it is possible to simulate your new smile with GPS Technology. Patients can visualize the magical and magnetic potential of their smile, as new technology intelligently assesses a 2-dimensional image and prepares the teeth for a laboratory 3-dimensional wax-up of their ideal smile. Precisely, the alignment of your teeth and gums will be measured to a fraction of a millimeter with the technology of an M- Ruler. Final crowns, veneers, bridges or any removable appliances may be produced in a lab. It’s revolutionary! Modern cosmetic dentistry is both exciting and stress-free. Today there is little guessing in cosmetic dentistry. The aesthetic results are predictable and easily produced and reproduced. One or even two sessions with your dentist can produce spectacular results. You will take these results with you into your daily life. Your subtle or major enhancement will make a gracious impact on your appearance. You will be proud of your glowing smile, introduce yourself to others with new confidence and look fantastic in photographs. Ask your dentist to see a portfolio of their current before and after pictures, with some of the fantastic results of their many satisfied clients. Patients are surprised how easy the process is. Both the dentist and patient feel elated by the results of cosmetic dentistry! Now that’s another reason to smile!
If you’ve recently been told you require orthodontic treatment, you are not alone. In 1996 the American Association of Orthodontists reported that 4.4 million North Americans received some sort of orthodontic treatment. Why is this sort of dental treatment so common? Well there are several reasons as to why your dentist may suggest orthodontics:
– Teeth which are crowded (Class I malocclusion)
– Teeth that stick out
– An under-biteover-bite: when your lower teeth protrude farther than your upper teeth (Class II malocclusion)
– An over-under-bite: when your upper teeth protrude farther than your lower teeth (Class III malocclusion)
– A cross-bite: when your upper and lower teeth do not align laterally
– Large gaps in between adjacent teeth
While these irregularities can occur naturally, they can also be worsened by bad habits such as grinding your teeth and/or thrusting your tongue. It’s important to fix these dental issues because they can result in the following cosmetic and health impairments:
– Misaligned teeth can cause problems with enunciation and can cause or worsen a lisp.
– Crooked teeth can create an extra buildup of plaque, which is harder to reach via brushing and flossing. This increases the risk for periodontal disease.
– Misaligned teeth can also impair the ability to chew food properly, resulting in indigestion and possible gastrointestinal problems.
– Misplaced teeth can result in increased wear on your teeth, which can weaken teeth and increase the risk for chipping or breaking. This would result in the need for a more serious operation such as a crown or dental implant.
– Straight teeth will maintain the shape of your jaw and gums and are considered more attractive looking.
What types of orthodontic treatments are available?
The most common type of treatment used to be metal braces, which consist of brackets, wires and elastics. While metal braces used to be the treatment most often recommended by a dentist, there is now an alternative with invisalign. Invisalign in Laval provides wearers with a more comfortable alternative to metal braces. Invaslign braces consist of clear plastic retainers. Unlike metal braces, invisalign retainers are removable, which means wearers can eat, brush and floss more effectively. Cosmetically, invisalign retainers are practically invisible, eliminating the embarrassing factor of metal braces. If you’re looking for an effective alternative to metal braces, consult your dentist about invisalign in Laval.
So, while your dentist suggesting orthodontic treatment can be an inconvenience, maintaining an aligned and healthy keeping your mouth healthy is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Additionally, new treatments, such as Invisalign in Laval, provide comfortable alternatives to traditional orthodontic treatments.