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Are You a Good Candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?

By Joe McIntyre, DDS on September 26, 2016

A woman smiling, her teeth white and uniform after a smile makeoverIt may seem hard to believe, but it wasn’t too long ago that the concept of “cosmetic dentistry” was a relatively foreign one to most Americans. Cosmetic dentistry didn’t really become widespread until the 1990s; before that, dentistry was considered by most to be highly practical. If you had a healthy smile, you went to the dentist to preserve its health and beauty; it you had a dental problem, you went to the dentist to undergo a procedure that would probably permanently compromise the appearance of your smile. If you told someone that you were going to the dentist for cosmetic reasons, you’d probably be laughed at.

Now, cosmetic dentistry is an umbrella term that covers a lot of treatments, including many that were once considered purely restorative. In fact, it is such a general term that it is nearly impossible to answer the question, “Am I a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry?” When our dentists meet with cosmetic dentistry candidates at our Bridgewater, VA practice, they must first determine which cosmetic dentistry treatments they are interested in before they can address the issue of candidacy specifically. Nevertheless, there are some general criteria for cosmetic dentistry candidacy which we can present.

We invite you to read the following article about cosmetic dentistry candidacy and then contact Smiles for Life Dental Care to schedule your initial consultation with one of our esteemed cosmetic dentists.

General Criteria for Cosmetic Dentistry Candidacy

Every beautiful smile is built upon a solid foundation of good oral health. Without this foundation, a beautiful smile is nothing more than a façade - one that will inevitably crumble sooner rather than later. Therefore, patients who have extensively damaged mouths will not be good candidates for strictly cosmetic procedures, as they will be trying to skip the essential step of restoring good oral health to their mouths.

Consider, for example, a cosmetic dentistry treatment such as porcelain veneers. This is one of the most popular treatments in all of cosmetic dentistry for good reason. These custom-crafted porcelain restorations, once affixed to aesthetically flawed teeth, will blend seamlessly into virtually any smile, complementing surrounding natural teeth perfectly in terms of size, shape, color, and even texture. However, they do not replace teeth; rather, they are bonded to the front surfaces of teeth. If these teeth are weak or at risk of being lost, the veneers will do nothing to improve the situation. In fact, if the tooth is lost, a relatively expensive piece of porcelain will be lost with it.

This is just one example of why it does not make sense to undergo a cosmetic dentistry treatment unless your mouth is entirely healthy. It can also be dangerous to undergo a treatment such as teeth whitening if you have extensive tooth decay or gum disease. Obviously, our skilled dentists would never allow a patient to undergo any procedure that could put his or her safety at risk, but not all dentists are so meticulous in their screening processes. (Most are, but as a consumer, you will want to vet your dentist carefully.)

Remember, even though you may not be a good candidate for a given cosmetic dentistry procedure at first, you may be able to return form, function, and health to your teeth through restorative dentistry. At that point, you may be able to undergo the cosmetic dentistry procedure in which you are interested.

Learn More about Cosmetic Dentistry Candidacy

To find out whether you are a good candidate for the cosmetic dentistry procedure you’re interested in, contact Smiles for Life Dental Care today.

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