One of the fears that keeps people from investing in cosmetic dentistry is that it just won’t last. You want to enjoy your new, beautiful smile for ten, twenty, thirty years or more. And you can–modern cosmetic dentistry can yield that kind of durable results.
But you have to do it right. Here’s how.
Pick the Right Dentist
Choosing the best cosmetic dentist makes all the difference for your cosmetic dentistry procedure. A dentist with training, talent, and experience can give you results that not only look better, but fit better, too. Better fit can help reduce the risk of chips and cracks. It can also help reduce the risk of marginal problems that lead to small cavities around the edge of your restorations.
An essential skill to look for is that your dentist is training not only in cosmetic dentistry, but neuromuscular dentistry as well. Neuromuscular dentistry is the study of how the bite works together as a unit, creating harmony between muscles, joints, and teeth. Having a harmonious bite can reduce the risk of cracks and chips.
Select a Procedure with Long-Term Results
With cosmetic dentistry, you can often achieve the results you want with more than one procedure. Some of these procedures have greater durability than others. For example, while dental bonding and porcelain veneers can both be used to correct chips or extend your teeth, dental bonding may last a few years while porcelain veneers may last a decade or more.
You can replace a missing tooth with a dental bridge or a dental implant. While a dental bridge will easily last ten years, a dental implant is more likely to last 20 or 30 years.
Choose Durable Materials
Modern cosmetic dentistry has developed many new materials that are much more sturdy than those used in the past. Not only can these materials stand up better to bite force, but they can resist abrasion from food and tooth brushing, and they are resistant to attack by acidic foods. They can be even more stain resistant so you won’t have to change them out for cosmetic reasons too soon.
Talk to your dentist about the different materials available as well as the benefits and disadvantages of each. Remember that sometimes there’s a tradeoff between durability and attractiveness. You don’t always want to use the strongest material. That’s where neuromuscular dentistry can help–balancing your bite allows you to get better results without always needing to use the strongest materials that may not be as attractive.
Ditch Bad Habits
It’s also important to stop doing the things that may have damaged your natural teeth in the first place. Although modern dental materials are stronger, more stain resistant, and more acid resistant than your natural tooth material, they can still be chipped, cracked, worn, or stained over time.
For the health and beauty of your teeth, please quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Also stop chewing on nonfood objects, such as pens, pencils, paper clips, clothes, and fingernails. Don’t use your teeth as tools, which means: no ice breaking, nut cracking, or bottle opening with your teeth. These bad habits can damage your restorations and/or the natural teeth that support them.
Actual patient of Dr. Brad Durham
Perform Proper Maintenance
Your restorations won’t develop cavities, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep brushing and flossing. The teeth under your restorations can develop cavities. Gum disease can undermine teeth and dental implants. These days, most failures of dental restorations aren’t failures of the restoration, but of the tooth or bone that supports them.
Keep brushing your teeth twice a day. Floss every day and take special care to properly clean around your restorations. This applies even if you have no natural teeth left, just the dental implants.
Make your regular dental visits on the schedule your cosmetic dentist recommends. Sometimes, you might be asked to come back more often (say, three times a year) or less (maybe once a year). And make sure your hygienist and dentist knows about your restorations, if you had them placed in a different office. Restorations need to be treated a little differently than natural teeth.
A Beautiful Smile for Years to Come
If you are in the Hilton Head area, and you’re looking to get cosmetic dentistry that you can enjoy for years to come, please call (843) 706-2999 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.