As your son or daughter begins filling out college applications, it is a good time to consider sending them off with their best face forward. A recent study established that nearly three out of four adults believe that a less than attractive smile hinders professional success. For college students who are already planning for summer jobs and internships, that can be terrifying. Therefore, preparing them for the next phase of their lives and young adulthood often includes the gift of cosmetic dentistry.
Replace Metal Or Gold Fillings With Tooth-colored Inlays Or Outlays
In recent years, many dentists and patients have moved away from the use of metal or gold fillings in favor of tooth-colored inlays. They both protect against additional decay and preserve the strength of the damaged tooth. It will be helpful to note that inlays and onlays are virtually identical to one another, except that onlays also encompass the area of adjacent back teeth when it is necessary to replace cusps. Inlays usually are used on the front teeth.
While standard fillings are made of metal and assume the appropriate shape after being placed into the decayed area of the tooth, tooth-colored inlays and outlays are customized to the tooth externally. They are made using a dental mold for a precise fit, placed into the dental structure and then typically bonded to the tooth.
Tooth-colored onlays and inlays are often preferred for the following reasons:
- They are less obvious
- The desire for consistent coloring and appearance of teeth
- Bonding inlays can make the tooth stronger than standard fillings
- They are easier to clean
Consider Professional Dental Whitening
Although there are a variety of over-the-counter products that temporarily whiten teeth, they simply cannot complete with professional whitening. Regardless of the frequency and quality of dental care that your child has received over the years, their teeth could still be stained or discolored due to normal eating and drinking habits. Fortunately, as little as a single visit with the dentist can erase the stains that coffee and all-night study sessions left behind.
A tooth that has not had a root canal can benefit from vital whitening. It starts with the use of a whitening agent on the teeth. Patients will often have a laser or similar light directed towards the teeth, in order to speed up the process. In severe cases, patients may be sent home with professional whitening trays that have been fitted to their precise dental measurements.
If your teenager has needed one or more root canals, additional measures will be taken for those teeth, as they cannot use vital whitening. In that instance, the tooth will have the whitening agent placed within it for a few days, with a temporary filling providing protection. Although the whitening agent will need to be removed, your son or daughter can have the process repeated numerous times until the tooth gets to the preferred color
It is also important to note that while the results of professional whitening last longer than over--the-counter products, they are not permanent and teeth can become stained again. The cosmetic dentist will recommend appropriate intervals to return to maintain that beautiful smile.
In conclusion, cosmetic dentistry is an ideal gift for the recent high-school graduate. As young adults preparing for mature responsibilities at college, an improved smile today can impact them for many years.