Maybe you missed getting braces as a kid, or that gap-toothed smile that once looked adorable isn’t sitting right with you anymore. If so, it could be time to go to the dentist for some cosmetic work.
Of course, not everyone wants or needs perfectly straight white teeth. But if you do, braces, veneers or crowns can help, says dentist Dr Ira Kirshen, adding: “These three procedures are extremely safe and beneficial.”
What’s involved? “We determine if the teeth are too big or small [for the client’s facial proportions]; too white or not white enough; and, most importantly, if the position of the teeth is proper in relation to the lips and face,” says dentist Dr Sol Weiss. Here’s what else you need to know:
IDEAL IF… You have a damaged, cracked or badly chipped tooth, a large broken filling that can’t be replaced, significant wear from grinding or clenching, or if you need to replace an old crown.
WHAT ARE THEY? Also known as “caps”, crowns protect teeth from further damage while making teeth more aesthetically pleasing. They encompass the entire tooth (the original tooth is filed to make room for the crown), and can change its shape and position. Today’s crowns are made from a variety of materials including porcelain over a zirconia base, or solid porcelain (avoiding the old problem of metal shine-through, or the black line where the tooth meets the gum).
A crown can be made in myriad shades, says Dr Weiss, then “fine-stained” to add translucencies and white spots to make it look as natural as possible.
WHAT’S NEW Some dentists make crowns in their offices, eliminating the need for multiple appointments. Typically, though, crowns are made by an outside lab.
TIME COMMITMENT You’ll have to wear a temporary crown for about a week before getting your permanent crown.
EXPIRY DATE Most crowns will last ten to 15 years, but they may last longer.
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