Years ago, if you had a problem with your teeth, you had a very limited number of options available to you to solve your problem. Today, dentists offer a dazzling array of cosmetic dental solutions. You only have to go back 30 or 40 years and if you had a painful tooth the inevitable outcome would be extraction, followed by a dental bridge or plate. Dentures were loosefitting, painful, prone to falling out and clicking, and had to be kept in a glass of water overnight.
Move on a couple of generations, and dental landscape has changed forever. Celebrity makeovers and raised public awareness of oral hygiene means that today the standard and quality of dental care has never been higher and access to it has never been greater. The range and complexity of dental procedure is available today is simply staggering, and the world of cosmetic dentistry is booming. Below, you will look at some of the main treatments that are now routinely available across the length and breadth of Britain.
By far the most commonly paid for cosmetic dental treatment in the UK is teeth whitening. Whether it be home-based, using trays and gel or in practice-based laser teeth whitening, if your teeth have become yellow and stained them for a very small investment you can have a completely new smile within a couple of hours. Laser treatment involves firing blue light at a gumshoe filled with a special type of gel. The light activates the cleaning ingredient within the gel and the results can be spectacular.
Dental veneers are another much more common technique for fixing gaps in teeth and improving the appearance of your smile. Veneers are very flexible form of treatment which can fix many different problems with minimal pain or invasion required. Essentially very thin layers of porcelain are glued or bonded onto the surface of the existing teeth. A very small amount of drilling may be required for the contouring effect and a small amount of enamel needs to be removed from the surface of the existing teeth in order for the bonding agent to work. Veneers can last for many years and can transform someone’s smile. Depending on the type of veneer chosen costs can vary from around £200 to around £1000 per tooth. The vast majority of dentists now offer full flexible finance options and you can normally pay for these treatments over a number of years.
There are huge variety of teeth straightening braces out there now, including invisalign, inman aligner, lingual and other invisble braces. Effectively all of these devices do the same thing, which is straighten your teeth. In the past the only option was to wear a wire braces which were unsightly and could take years to do their job. Nowadays certain types of braces can straighten teeth within six weeks. Prices vary and your dentist should be able to advise you on the correct product for you.
Dental implants are a more invasive type of treatment where extracted teeth are replaced with a new false tooth root, normally made from titanium. Effectively titanium implant is our screw which is fixed into your jawbone, the jaw then grows around the screw and makes a rocksolid artificial root. Once the implant is solidly placed an abutment is attached which allows a crown, bridge or denture to be attached. The whole process of dental implants can take up to 6 months to complete and it is one of the more expensive treatments out there. However, it is without doubt the best option for people with several missing teeth who don’t want to wear dentures. Not everyone is suitable for dental implants and it is a fairly invasive process so your dentist should advise you at the initial consultation whether or not dental implants are for you. At this stage x-rays and MRI scans can be used and sometimes bone grafts are required.
Dental implants can last a lifetime with minimum maintenance so although they appear to be expensive over a long period of time they can work are very price effective method of replacing your teeth.