Get ready for your close up
PUBLISHED: 16:32 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:44 20 February 2013
Dr Lawrence Werber from The Looking Glass Dental Practice tells Charlotte Embling some tips to clean up your smile for Christmas...
In an increasingly image-conscious world a great smile is seen as an essential asset. Extreme makeover programmes have raised the profile of cosmetic dentistry by showing how the smile is the most important element in facial aesthetics.
The most important aspect of successful cosmetic dentistry is assessment and treatment planning, which involves a careful consultation process. The most crucial part of this is to have a 'mock-up' of the expected outcome created in your mouth. This is made in tooth-coloured self-setting plastic, and although easily removed, lets you see the effect, and live with it for a day or two - and let other people see it - before going ahead. Bleaching is a good first step. The effect is often so pleasing that no further work is necessary. The ideal for all modern dentistry is to be minimally invasive. The development of tooth-coloured materials which are very strong in thin sections have made this possible.
Porcelain veneers are the gold standard for operative cosmetic work. These thin facings are bonded to the faces of the teeth, and mimic natural teeth brilliantly.
Another option is direct composite bonding, using the superb tooth-coloured materials now available to work directly on your teeth. This reduces cost by avoiding laboratory charges.
In suitable cases irregular teeth can be straightened using a series of clear plastic 'aligners' which are virtually invisible.
However minimal a procedure might be it is still a procedure and it is essential that you are made clearly aware of all the implications of treatment as well as all the different options that may be available. Whether you opt for cosmetic work or not, the single most important thing that you can do is to maintain excellent oral hygiene, and visit the dentist for regular oral hygiene checks.