To get a better idea of how aesthetic dentistry can improve oral health outcomes for cosmetic treatments, let’s take a look at a situation where a young adult with healthy teeth wants full veneers for purely cosmetic reasons.
Why are veneers so popular among social media users?
Veneers have become a tremendously popular way to cover up stained, chipped, crooked, misaligned, misshapen or worn out teeth – mainly due to the growing obsession among social media users with having the perfect “selfie smile”.
In situations where patients have severely damaged or malformed teeth that cannot be whitened, veneers are a great way to improve your smile and strengthen weakened teeth.
But what if you already have healthy teeth but think that you want a full set of veneers for that perfect selfie smile?
The disadvantages of getting veneers for purely cosmetic reasons
Typically, a healthy patient wanting veneers for cosmetic reasons prefers to take the quickest route to achieve the perfect smile. Then presto, they have an instant perfect smile. However, the trade-off that a patient makes for a dozen bright white porcelain veneers over their own healthy teeth may include:
- losing natural, healthy teeth structure unnecessarily during prep,
- the need to replace veneers up to a few times in their lifetime,
- a higher risk of future oral health complications, and
- ongoing follow-up dental treatment costs that may be expensive.
Aesthetic dental veneer options for healthy teeth and gums
A dentist following aesthetic dental principles might recommend a more comprehensive treatment plan to avoid or minimise the impact of these potential oral issues.
For example, an aesthetic dentist might recommend a “compromise” treatment resulting in the need for less invasive prep and veneers. This is made possible by straightening a patient’s teeth first via orthodontics.
The thought of undergoing orthodontic treatment might put off a lot of patients who can’t wait. However, short-term aligners, such as Invisalign clear aligners, have been developed specifically for the cosmetic industry. Invisalign aligners can be used to straighten the front teeth in as little as 14 weeks. This is a much shorter time frame compared to standard orthodontics.
Once a patient realises that this dental option is available, they soon realise they can achieve the smile they desire, along with better long term oral health and functional benefits – just by taking that extra step. They can still get their veneers but will only need to be fitted with minimal veneers involving less invasive prep.
The veneer-free path to a beautiful smile
An aesthetic dentist might also be able to persuade the patient to refuse veneers altogether.
As a patient’s treatment progresses step-by-step, their perspective and decision-making process change. They will be able to see how close the combination of orthodontic treatment and teeth whitening has got them to their perfect smile. From there, all that might be required to complete the smile makeover is composite edge bonding to perfect the teeth’s shape.
The aesthetic dental approach in this instance has just saved the patient’s natural teeth from an otherwise invasive smile makeover treatment. No tooth structure or gum tissue has been removed. Instead, they have a beautiful, healthy smile with their very own natural teeth!
Comprehensive treatment planning – the key to success at Leeming Dental
At the end of the day, each individual experiences changing perspectives on their oral health and smile at each new life stage. In addition to clinical reasons, there are often psychological reasons for seeking treatment to improve their smile. All these reasons are often perfectly valid, and acting on them can make a profoundly positive impact on a patient’s long term health and well being – something we always see in our clinic.
There are a lot of clinical factors that need to be considered when treatment planning for an aesthetic smile makeover. When treatment is planned properly and takes each patient’s individual practical needs into account, significant improvements can be made – without sacrificing long term health.
We recommend that our patients spend a lot of time in the consultation and planning stages to discuss your needs. By doing so, you’ll be fully informed about how different treatment options can alter the course of your long term health.
Our aim is to fully understand your personal situation first, in order to prevent any harm to your oral health and build from a solid foundation.
Let’s get started on your new smile at Leeming Dental!
Aesthetic dental treatment innovations can help you achieve a smile that is natural, beautiful and healthy. To schedule a consultation at Leeming Dental with our aesthetic dental specialists, call our helpful reception on 08 9310 3367 or book online today.