It’s all very well having social media and smartphone cameras, but if smiling is too embarrassing because of poor teeth, it can be a bit much when family and friends ask for a ‘selfie’.
But just as smartphone technology has raced ahead so has dental science and technology. The very latest equipment and techniques allow a smile makeover Bondi Junction to become a reality. There is no longer any need to refuse to send photographs because of misaligned or gapped teeth.
What help is available?
Many decades ago children could be seen walking around with ‘scaffolding’ on their teeth, but all that has changed. Contemporary braces are still used today, but they are much improved and far more comfortable to wear. There are many other appliances and techniques now available and adults are becoming more and more amenable to having their teeth straightened.
Clear braces are one of those new inventions made popular because they are quite inconspicuous and can be worn while at work. A comprehensive dental appointment is required to assess the suitability of this treatment, as a different treatment may be more practical and suitable.
Veneers are another procedure where a thin layer of porcelain or composite is applied to the teeth. Crowns and dental implants are also treatments to replace broken or damaged teeth.
To correct misaligned, gapped, or crowded teeth this procedure is a highly computerized process that uses a series of trays to move the teeth. By taking numerous photographs, X-rays and 3D scans the dentist compiles a comprehensive image of the oral cavity.
A virtual presentation of what the result will be can be viewed allowing the patient to see their future smile. This is sent to a laboratory where a series of trays are created. Each tray has a slightly different orientation than the next and each is designed to move the teeth gradually in a particular direction.
The trays, which fit over the teeth, are like gum shields, and each tray is worn for around two weeks at a time. The whole treatment depends on the patient’s dental condition and can take up to a year.
Veneers effectively come in two forms, porcelain and composite and are generally used to correct conditions such as stained, chipped, cracked, or worn down teeth. An amount of tooth surface equivalent to the thickness of the wafer-thin veneer will need to be removed.
An impression of the tooth or teeth will need to be made which must be sent off to the dental laboratory, where the veneers are cut and shaped to perfectly fit and match the colour of the natural teeth. These are then sent to the dentist who will fit the veneers by applying a special dental bonding agent. After any adjustments and polishing the veneers will be permanently in place.
Facing the world
The procedures that dentists can now utilise can bring more than a smile to the faces of many patients who have had to suffer the anguish of suppressing a smile in public. Not wanting to send photographs of themselves to friends and family can now be made a thing of the past with so much help at their fingertips.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.