Are you unhappy with the appearance of your smile? Does the problem go beyond simple discoloration to include chipped teeth, poorly shaped teeth, black triangles near the gum line, and other cosmetic concerns? If so, you might be considering cosmetic dentistry to restore the beauty of your smile. But there are numerous options for repairing your teeth, such as veneers, dental bonding, and BioClear. So how do you find the one that’s best for you? Start by prioritizing your ultimate goals. Then assess your restrictions. Finally, determine which of these treatments best achieves your goals while remaining within your restrictions.
As always, consulting with a cosmetic dentist is recommended. The best time for a consultation is after you’ve figured out your goals and restrictions, but before you’ve settled on a strategy. A cosmetic dentist can provide the best guidance at this point, because they can look at your teeth and determine which cosmetic dental procedures will actually work best for you.
What Are Your Cosmetic Goals?
You’re looking for cosmetic dentistry because you want to improve the appearance of your smile, but if you think about it, you’ll realize that’s not the full extent of your goals. You should consider other priorities such as:
- How natural will results look?
- How many teeth do you want to treat?
- How long do you want results to last?
- How important is it that the procedure be reversible?
- Are you concerned with preserving natural tooth structure?
All cosmetic dentistry delivers good results. They can all pass muster for a natural tooth under casual inspection. But not everyone is going to give your teeth simply a casual glance. In particular, you might be prone to closely examining your teeth, so you might be disappointed if your result is not fully biomimetic (like natural).
Getting just one or two teeth treated is often much simpler than getting full mouth restorations.
Cosmetic restorations have different expected lifetimes. Having a reversible procedure is largely about preserving natural tooth structure. Once we remove a substantial amount of your tooth surface, you cannot go back to having a smile without restorations.
What Are Your Limitations?
If you want to find the best cosmetic restorations for you, it’s important to recognize that you have limitations. You want to select restorations that can achieve your goals while staying within your limitations.
Common limitations include:
- Time to completion
- Oral health
Budget is one of the biggest restrictions people run up against. Know what you can afford for your cosmetic procedure. Make sure you take into account your various financial options. Dental insurance won’t cover the cost of cosmetic restorations, but you may be able to get financing to help you fit the procedure into your budget.
Time is another big limitation. You may have a tight schedule and can only manage procedures that can be completed in a single visit. You may also need results quickly–some procedures can give results today, but others require weeks to complete.
Are Veneers Best for You?
Dental veneers give the most naturalistic results. The ceramic has the same luster as natural tooth enamel, and can achieve the proper translucency to fully mimic tooth enamel. Veneers also have the best longevity. They are expected to last over a decade, and sometimes can last up to 20 years. In contrast, dental bonding may last just two or three years and BioClear lasts somewhat longer. While veneers are more expensive, we have a more affordable option: Lumineers, which are a type of compromise veneer. Not as attractive, but also not as expensive, they are right for some people.
BioClear and dental bonding can be completed in a single visit, and they’re less expensive. Choosing between BioClear and more traditional dental bonding usually depends on the application. For simple chip repair, bonding works best, while BioClear is better for closing black triangles and other tooth gaps like a diastema. Because of their speed and low cost, these treatments are best for emergency treatments. On the other hand, sometimes people like to try these out when they are considering veneers. They can give you an idea of how veneers can transform your smile. Then when these short-term treatments need to be replaced, you can upgrade to veneers.
Consult with a Cosmetic Dentist in Blue Bell
If you are considering ways to improve your smile in the Philadelphia area, we can help you find the best method for you. Please call (610) 272-0828 today for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Ken Siegel at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.