If our great grandparents were to come for a dental visit at our office today, they would be shocked by how things have advanced in the past few decades. Computers aside, the entire experience is different. Dental offices offer friendly front desk staff who greet you with a smile and a cup of coffee. Televisions keep you occupied while you wait and even during your treatment. Kids play video games in the waiting room and often there are digital advertisements explaining dental treatments.
However, the real changes have occurred in the treatment rooms where patients enjoy improved comfort, quicker treatments and an assortment of advanced cosmetic treatments to improve smiles. Here we look at the biggest advances in dentistry and what they mean for you.
Digital x-rays make it easier for us to take dental images while keeping accurate records of your teeth. This is the best way for us to track changes. However, digital images using an intraoral camera allow us to share real-time images of your teeth on a screen so we can discuss treatments and point out areas of concern.
This can work wonders when helping patients visualize issues, including cosmetic issues, so you can understand what treatments can help improve the appearance of your teeth. You get an up-close and personal look at the less attractive details so you can see exactly how your teeth look to other people.
More Natural-Looking Materials
There used to be no choice but to have glaringly obvious fillings made of metals. These dark, or sometimes gold, restorative treatments make smiling a challenge but also even make yawning or laughing embarrassing since all your fillings are revealed.
However, today new materials such as composite resins allow us to provide restorations with a completely natural and undetectable look. This includes bonding cosmetic treatments that can be used to correct a number of smile concerns. The new materials are long-lasting and look natural providing your best smile ever.
More Functional Tooth Replacements
Missing teeth were always associated with dentures that don’t fit properly and make it obvious you had lost some of your chompers. However, today advancements in tooth replacements have created very natural-looking and natural-feeling dental implants. Dental implants use a titanium post that is inserted into your bone. The titanium easily fuses with the bone, creating a firm replacement for your tooth root. Artificial teeth are then affixed permanently to the posts creating a perfect smile.
However, the added benefit of this advancement is that the titanium posts act just like your original roots, providing stimulation that helps avoid the bone loss experienced by denture wearers. Implants are available for single crowns, bridges, uppers, lowers or your entire mouth.
Caps or crowns used to be the ideal way to improve your smile. However, they often appeared quite fake and took away from your appearance. Today many imperfections can be corrected with very natural-looking dental veneers. Veneers are made of thin layers of porcelain or composite material that are affixed to the front of your teeth. The shells hide a long list of issues allowing us to reshape teeth and provide cover for imperfections. The veneers are colour matched for a seamless look with your existing teeth.
Computer Assisted Design
Also known as CAD, computer-assisted design and manufacturing technology is now very common in the dental world. This technology speeds up the crafting process for a long list of dental restoratives, cosmetics and even the design and making of products like Invisalign clear braces. Items such as crowns can often be produced in a day instead of weeks like traditional lab processes. This makes it easy for same or next-day cosmetic treatments that can provide a tooth replacement in the case of knocked out teeth or a whole new smile for items like crowns or veneers.
If you feel self-conscious about your smile, it might be your gums and not your teeth that are causing the problem. Some people have gums that sit too high, too low, or just unevenly across their teeth. When this happens it can interfere with the appearance of your smile. However, with the introduction of laser surgery, gum contouring procedures have become much easier.
We can address gum-related issues using a laser instead of a scalpel to change the appearance of your gums. We can reshape gum tissue for cosmetic purposes to remove excess tissue or create a more pleasing “line” for your gums. Lasers allow precision cutting as well as immediate healing.
Even traditional methods such as braces have a new look thanks to technology. Invisalign invisible braces use digital imaging to create customized aligner trays to help reposition teeth. The aligners are switched up every few weeks, with each new set easing the teeth closer and closer to their ideal position. The trays are made of clear acrylic, making them virtually invisible, and adjustments at the orthodontist’s office are no longer required.
Teeth whitening chemicals and methods continue to improve with new advancements every year. Treatments have become less painful, can be completed much more quickly and have the option for in-office application, or customized trays for home use. The most effective treatments work alongside laser light technology.
Protective gels provide comfort from sensitivity, while Zoom technology provides whitening by as much as eight to 10 shades. At-home treatments see results from two to six shades. Laser technology also makes appointments shorter and often fewer applications are required.
Picture Perfect Smiles
People now have far more accessible cosmetic treatments thanks to advancements that offer easier and more affordable solutions. Patients have their choice of treatments ranging from Invisalign braces for adults, to “snap-on smiles” for front teeth perfection. You can speak to our team to discuss your dream smile and we can create a customized cosmetic treatment plan to help you reach your smile goals.
To learn more about advanced cosmetic dental treatments and periodontics in Mississauga, call Bristol Dental at 905-712-3409 or contact us here.