Even with the viral crisis causing many to spend more time at home, we probably find our schedules filling up. There are Zoom meetings, a lot more emailing, longer business and personal calls, reading books that have been on the to-do list for years, more time spent on social media, and watching Netflix series recommended long ago by friends. Oh, and more sports, alas, only on some kind of screen.
Maybe the last thing you have been thinking about is how to improve your life with cosmetic dentistry, but there are good reasons to consider it now before things return to the normal frantic.
As you know, appearance is not just skin deep. It reflects how you feel about yourself and those you associate with, whether family, friends, customers, or those you may have a deeper relationship in the future. However you personally feel about that as a priority, studies consistently show that others make judgments about us almost instantly when we meet, whether on the street, at the office, or in even the limited social situations now. When in doubt, it’s always best to look as best as is appropriate. A smile is often the first thing people notice, which can get the encounter off on the right foot or not.
Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry has advanced to the point where it is no longer something for celebrities and the wealthy, and it takes far less time to get done than a few years ago. Most procedures can either be done in one sitting or a few.
Tooth-colored fillings, onlays and inlays to repair teeth, bonding, and professional whitening can be completed quickly in one sitting.
Placing a bridge between natural teeth with an artificial tooth to fill a gap created by a missing tooth needs two visits to the office, so a natural-looking replacement can be created.
Veneers, which are thin strips of dental porcelain that can be placed on the front of teeth to cover cracks, chips, discoloration, or gaps between them, require two visits. On the first, you would discuss with Dr. Marine what your shade preference is to either match your natural teeth or upgrade them to what the veneers can provide in brightness. She would then write a prescription to a top dental laboratory to craft them. When you return, she will slightly file the surface of each tooth to create an adhesive surface and make the veneer less bulky, then a bonding agent will be applied, the veneer attached, and special light will “cure” this to make it last many years.
Dental crowns, which are like veneers, but cover the entire top of a tooth, can also be done in two visits. The first time a mold is taken of the area where it is to be placed and a shade is selected. When the personalized cap is returned from the lab, the doctor cements it in place and you are ready to smile without hesitation.
There are cosmetic procedures that take more time: straightening teeth, since it needs to be done gradually; providing customized dentures, full or partial, permanent or removable; and dental implants, each of which needs to take months for the sockets to heal after an extraction and multiple visits to place them. But these can be planned around any schedule.
It is not too soon to begin to transform your smile and your life.