5 Cosmetic Dentistry Problems and Procedures to Fix Them
If you are a middle aged adult, you probably have undergone at least one cosmetic dentistry procedure in your life.
Various types of dental problems require specific procedures to get them corrected. In your younger days, you might have worn corrective braces for your teeth. It is also possible that you had your wisdom teeth removed when you were a young adult.
Human dental development
Adult humans normally have 32 teeth – eight incisors in the middle, four each for the lower and upper jaws; four canines, just outside the incisors; eight premolars between the canines and molars; eight molars; and four wisdom teeth.
With the exception of the wisdom teeth, all other permanent teeth erupt by age 13. The wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically erupt by age 18.
Like many other mammals, we humans replace our teeth only once in our lifetime. We are diphyodonts, but some mammals like kangaroos and elephants are polyphyodonts, capable of multiple teeth replacements throughout their lifetime. This biological ability is absent in humans but we have artificially solved this problem through dental science.
Factors such as genetic predisposition, diet and oral hygiene affect the long-term health of your teeth and gums. Ageing, of course, is a natural process, and it also affects oral health to a certain degree.
As you grow older and eventually become a senior, you might need other types of dental procedures such as fitting prosthetic teeth, implants, veneers and crowns.
Here are some common cosmetic dentistry problems and the corresponding procedures used to solve them:
1. Uneven, overlapping or crooked teeth
This is the most common cosmetic problem among children who are transitioning from having deciduous teeth (commonly called “milk teeth”) to permanent teeth. The presence of milk teeth while the permanent teeth are erupting oftentimes causes the misdirected or crooked growth of the permanent teeth.
If you want your child to have even teeth growth, you may consult a dentist if it is advisable to extract the decayed milk teeth. In most cases, the milk teeth fall off naturally, but there are some cases where they may impede or redirect the eruption of permanent teeth. Another solution is to fit braces to guide the cosmetic contouring of the teeth.
2. Teeth protrusion or overbite/underbite
Teeth protrusion is commonly caused by the misalignment of the upper maxilla of the skull and the lower maxilla or jaw. The overall aesthetic attractiveness of the face can be undermined by this condition. It can also cause some patients to not be able to properly chew their food. In some cases, the mouth cannot be properly closed because of overbite or underbite.
You will need the expertise of an orthodontist to correct this condition. In most cases, the problem can be solved by fitting metal braces that can gradually be adjusted to guide the proper alignment of the lower and upper maxilla.
3. Teeth discolouration
People who habitually smoke typically suffer from teeth discolouration. Those who regularly drink coffee and wine are also susceptible to teeth discolouration. This may range from greyish to yellowish stains that are virtually impossible to remove through brushing alone.
Teeth stains are embedded in the porous surface of the tooth enamel, which make them very hard to remove. A dentist might recommend bleaching or other abrasive approaches. Hydrogen peroxide is used as active ingredient in teeth bleaching products. The extra oxygen in the bleaching solution breaks down the molecular bonds of the stains.
Stains due to smoking, however, are more challenging to remove through chemical bleaching. Your dentist might recommend other procedures such as abrasive bleaching or ultraviolet light bleaching.
4. Dental plaque and tartar
Plaque is perhaps the easiest problem to address, typically not requiring professional treatment from a dentist. Plaque is a colourless film comprising bacteria and the substance that they secrete. It is easily formed after a person eats sugary food as it creates a condition where bacteria multiply faster.
Children who like to eat sweets are susceptible to plaque, but proper brushing and flossing can ensure the removal of this substance before it turns into tartar. That is why it is essential to inculcate basic oral hygiene in children as early as possible.
On the other hand, if the plaque is not removed, and calcifies or mineralises into tartar, professional cleaning will be required.
5. Tooth decay
Once your permanent teeth are already out, you need to take extra care of them to avoid tooth decay.
Daily brushing, flossing and gargling with an alcohol-free mouthwash after meals help a lot in maintaining dental health. You should also be careful about your diet and avoid food and beverages that are high in sugar.
Tooth decay typically starts with plaque that has progressed into tartar which was not removed. The bacteria in tartar secrete acidic metabolic wastes which then gradually dissolve the teeth.
Small cavities can be cleaned and filled but once the pulp is already affected, you may need to undergo root canal procedure. If the level of decay is worse, your teeth might need to be extracted. Dental prostheses, implants and veneers are some of your options.
Professional dental help every step of the way
Whatever dental problem you might have, you need to find the right professional to help you to have the best possible treatment without necessarily spending a fortune.
If you are looking for dependable and affordable dental care, you may want to drop by at Bayside Smiles.
We offer state-of-the-art dental services at reasonable fees.
Here at Bayside Smiles, your comfort and safety are paramount.
Call now and book an appointment with us.