Upgrade your smile in 2021

Upgrade your smile in 2021

When you improve your teeth, you improve your smile and confidence. And a little bit of confidence goes a long way toward reaching your goals and aspirations. 

The number one way to keep teeth bright, healthy and good looking is by brushing and flossing every day, right? 

Yes, and there’s more to it than that. 

External factors and teeth-whitening

Smoking, caffeine, age, food, trauma and medications such as some antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications all contribute to teeth becoming discoloured and losing their sparkle.

Whiter teeth are what most people want to improve about their smile, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found when they did a survey. In comparison, the American Association of Orthodontists reported that about 90% of patients requested tooth whitening as their main go-to for a smile makeover.

Defects and aesthetics

Smile makeovers, considered to be the most popular procedure in cosmetic dentistry,  tackle all the defects that make people self-conscious about showing their teeth. These defects may include dental stains and discolouration, gaps between the teeth, missing teeth, ageing teeth, damaged dental work, uneven gum lines, chipped, cracked, crooked, crowded, worn down, misaligned, misshapen or broken teeth.

To get the most natural, well-proportioned, aligned and healthy-looking teeth, you have to consult your dentist, who will assess your bone and facial structure, skin tone, teeth bite, gums, size and structure of your teeth and lips before making a recommendation.  

Depending on the health of your mouth and teeth and whether the structure may be able to handle changes, you may not qualify as a suitable candidate for a smile makeover.

When it comes to teeth whitening, it is advisable to consult your dentist first. As with everything, one size does not fit all when it comes to individual teeth conditions. 

At-home remedies

DIY products are best avoided because over-use may strip away enamel. These at-home products contain bleaches and chemicals that can either be toxic or cause an allergic reaction. The safest and best option is the in-office teeth whitening procedure done by the dentist. Depending on the state of the discolouration, only one session is required for less severe cases, and the whitening may last between six months to two years, 

With cosmetic dentistry, teeth can be magically transformed with the latest techniques. Not all procedures are covered by dental insurance, so it may take some budgeting and saving if you want to invest in having your teeth improved. Advances made in cosmetic dentistry mean that decayed, gap-toothed smiles or worn teeth can be reconstructed with a range of technologically advanced natural-looking materials. 

Fillings

Dental or composite bonding repairs chipped or decayed teeth, closes gaps or alters the shape of the tooth. A durable composite resin, which is the same colour as the teeth, is shaped and moulded to your teeth and this leaves an improved, natural-looking smile. 

Dental veneers or laminates – not to be confused with crowns – are thin custom-made shells made from resin or porcelain and are dyed to fit the colour of your teeth. The veneers are bonded to the cover the front of the tooth. Veneers are ideal for mending chipped, skew or crooked teeth and to adjust spacing. Notably, porcelain has greater stain-resistance than resin. 

Although crowns are usually considered to be medically necessary for severe conditions like decay and breakages, they can be used in cosmetic dentistry. More tooth enamel has to be removed to apply the thicker crown. Veneers take about three sessions at the dentist while dental or composite bonding can be completed in one visit. 

Gum reshaping

Gum reshaping, gum contouring or gingival contouring or tissue sculpting evens out the gum line and is designed to fix gummy smiles. Gum reshaping also cures gum recession. Gum reshaping is a surgical procedure that requires anaesthetics, although some dentists may use more modern technology like radiosurgery or lasers.

Recovery time takes a few days and requires pain relief remedies and a soft food diet. 

Surgery is also required for tooth implants. Metal posts designed to provide bone support are wedged into the jawbone below the gums. These posts will hold the replacement teeth.

Enamel shaping or enameloplasty fixes small chips, uneven enamel or crooked teeth. This procedure can only be done if the enamel is thick enough because, with enamel shaping, small amounts of enamel are stripped away with a sanding disc, to smooth out or re-contour teeth. 

As always, consult your dentist before you do any of the above procedures. Even if you are paying out of pocket for the procedure itself, you could still save money by having dental insurance that covers the consultations, medication and other factors around the surgery. 

Affinity Dental

The dental industry is made up of several specialists. Usually, people use the run-of-the-mill family dentists for everyday needs. But, there are orthodontists, endodontists, periodontists and prosthodontists, among other options that can be explored.

It all depends on exactly what it is you need done and the amount of money you are willing to spend. 

People opt for a dental insurance policy so that when they do need some extra procedures done, they are financially covered.

Does medical insurance cover specialists?

Not all dental insurance providers cover specialist work. Often, individual specialist consultations are covered and others not. It depends on the insurance provider and the terms of your insurance contract. 

Dental insurance covers the cost of specific procedures, check-ups and emergencies either in their entirety or to an agreed-upon percentage, depending on the type of plan you choose. In turn, the insured pays a monthly premium. Dental insurance policies help many people to budget for the cost of major dental procedures effectively.

As for Affinity Dental, there are three tiers of dental insurance available at different price points. Each of these options covers certain specialist work to various degrees. 

Adults and children need to visit the dentist at least twice a year, and these dental maintenance appointments can start adding up.

Dental insurance will cover you for any additional treatments such as crowns, root canals or fillings, whether they are done at the dentist, or specialist practice.  

Usually, a dentist will refer you to a specialist, if needed. 

If you need to find an Affinity Dental approved dentist in your area, click here.

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