With the new year upon us (finally!), there are many choices to be made, many that center on our physical well-being. Our concerns change over the years, including things that happen as we age like arthritis and hair loss, over which we have little control. One thing we can affect is our dental health. Thankfully, more attention to home care and preventive visits to the dentist and hygienist can influence our ability to save our teeth and look good.
Today’s dentistry offers a number of techniques and materials to get get a great smile. Silver fillings that have broken down or started to leak can be replaced by tooth-colored composites. These strong restorations can be color-matched to the tooth so that they blend right in. Additionally, as they are bonded to the remaining tooth structure, the composite fillings help to hold the teeth together, resulting in fewer fractures. To keep them looking fresh, whitening can be accomplished in the office through the Zoom technique, a procedure that can make a huge difference in about an hour and a half. The newly-whitened teeth can be kept that way with custom-fitted whitening trays and whitening gel. Much like the use of hair coloring to “keep the gray away,” the gel maintains the brightened teeth; the gel can be used without the Zoom technique, accomplishing the whitening treatment over a longer time period – taking a few weeks to achieve the desired shade.
But tooth-colored fillings and whitening may not be enough to give you the smile that you want. Porcelain crowns and veneers may be just the thing to bring your smile “up-to-date.” These beautiful restorations can be used to fix discolored teeth, fractured or chipped teeth, or teeth that have had root canals (nerve and blood vessel removal) that often leave the teeth brittle and/or discolored. In a fairly conservative – but predictable way – the crowns and veneers can be used to get your smile back – or give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
Though we may have aged gracefully, with or without the changes that come with maturity, it’s wonderful to know that we can control how our teeth feel and look. As we move into 2021, we can make a strong resolution to move into our Boomer years with a beautiful smile. Bring it on!!!