For years and generations to come, friends and family will admire your wedding day pictures. They will remark about your beautiful dress, hairstyle and flowers. But what will they say about your smile?
Cosmetic Dentistry for Your Wedding Day
A bride’s smile is one of her most important features. The smile embodies exuberance, personality and confidence. On your wedding day, your feelings are captured forever on film and video and in the memories of your friends and family.
This is one day that you won’t want the photographer to prompt you to smile. On this perfect day, you should smile with confidence because so many of your emotions will be communicated through your smile.
Today, there are many ways a bride can enhance her smile for her wedding day. Thanks to recent advances in dental technology, a good cosmetic dentist can correct almost any imperfection of the teeth. Whether your teeth have become stained over time, or were left just a little unfinished by nature, virtually any aesthetic problem can be corrected- and with the right help, others will admire your smile because it looks beautiful naturally, but they will never guess that you’ve had a little help.
Whether you feel that you need a quick fix or treatment that is more extensive, your first priority should be to find a cosmetic dentist with whom you feel confident and comfortable. Cosmetic dentistry is rapidly becoming one of the most popular requests of patients today. It integrates art and science with the needs and desires of the patient.
Cosmetic dentistry is generally not covered by insurance, so you should go to the dentist who you feel is most qualified, not to whom your insurance restricts you. Ability varies widely among cosmetic dentists, so choose your dentist wisely. Ask to see the portfolio of your dentist which exemplifies his or her work, not someone else’s.
Good cosmetic dentistry is not a beginner’s skill, it requires years of experience. Your planning should start as far in advance as possible, as no bride should make drastic changes to her smile right before the big day.
The easiest way to make an improvement in your smile is teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is the most popular and cost effective cosmetic procedure performed by dentists today.
When it is done under the supervision of a dentist, the results can “renew” a tired looking smile by removing stains left behind by coffee, tea, smoking, and many foods that we eat. For your whitening procedure to be most effective, your teeth will have to be thoroughly cleaned first.
Teeth whitening is a technique that uses a special whitening gel that is applied to your teeth. These gels come in various strengths and brands. Your dentist will consult with you regarding which is best for you.
There are two types of whitening techniques available. The first, and most conventional way, involves your dentist making custom trays to fit your mouth perfectly. Whitening solution is placed in the custom trays and worn for a few hours (or while you sleep), for a period of 7-10 days.
Beware of teeth whitening procedures that are sold in drug stores and on infomercials because they can be harmful to your teeth. In order to get the best results, see your dentist so that your teeth whitening can be professionally monitored.
The second whitening technique is perfect for the bride who wants immediate results. It is called “in-house” or “power” whitening. This procedure gives the same results as “laser whitening” at half the cost.
The entire procedure is done in the dental office. An intensified whitening solution is applied to the patients teeth and it is activated by a high intensity light- the procedure usually takes about an hour. “Power” whitening is becoming increasingly popular because it gives immediate results.
Another effective way to enhance your smile is through the use of veneers. They are an effective and permanent solution for brides who have teeth that are chipped, discolored, or malformed. A porcelain veneer is a thin (approximately two millimeters) and solid covering of porcelain for the entire tooth.
Brides who want a quick, long-lasting aesthetic change often choose veneers. Veneers are also a popular solution for people in the public eye who want a smile that is consistent in color, shape, and in harmony with the rest of their face.
Veneers need to be translucent and natural looking, not opaque. They need to be thin, not thick and bulky. Your results will depend on the skills of your cosmetic dentist, his or her lab technician and the quality of porcelain products that they use.
Perhaps one of the most serious dental challenges that a bride can face is a missing tooth. This can make smiling almost impossible and very embarrassing. There are two ways to replace missing teeth. The first is a fixed bridge. This is a porcelain tooth fused to two adjacent crowns for support.
A second solution is the dental implant, which is a post that is placed in the bone that anchors the missing tooth. A porcelain crown is built over this supporting structure. Dr. Rodger Kingston, an oral surgeon, feels that, “Dental implants are a highly successful way to aesthetically restore missing teeth.”
If a bride has crooked teeth, options are available. In fact, there are two ways to straighten your teeth before your wedding. You can have straight teeth in two weeks with porcelain veneers or crowns, or in many cases, straight teeth in six months using the latest orthodontic techniques.
Orthodontics or “braces” allows the bride to have her own teeth straightened naturally. There are many different types and colors of braces available today- clear braces and removable braces are very popular among adults.
There are many other cosmetic procedures to improve your smile that are available today. If you feel your teeth are short and your gums are too long, this can be corrected by minor cosmetic periodontal surgery. Dr. Peter Nordland, a periodontist, feels that a “gum lift” procedure can put your gum tissue at a normal level “with very little discomfort.”
Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way over the past decade. Before your wedding day, take the opportunity to evaluate your smile and then decide for yourself if enhancing your smile through cosmetic dentistry will help you smile with confidence on your wedding day and for years to come.