Cosmetic Dentistry – Good Idea for Teens?

If you’re like a majority of people who had gone through periods of awkwardness when they were teenagers, you can probably identify with the plight of many of today’s teens who are currently undergoing their own self-conscious years. One of the main areas of concern is the unattractive appearance of teeth and gums, which can be caused by physical trauma or any number of congenital dental conditions.

Some people may consider such concerns as trivial matter, but the fact of the matter is that the appearance of their teeth and gums can have a tremendous impact on teenagers’ self-esteem and oral health. Parents or guardians should seriously look into cosmetic dentistry as an effective corrective measure against these concerns, which can cause emotional distress or even medical problems in teens.

Better teeth, better self-esteem, better social engagement

Not only can teens gain more confidence when they have their teeth fixed, they can also enjoy the benefits of making a good first impression on other people. Various psychological studies have shown that physical appearance can influence people’s assumptions on other people’s intelligence, trustworthiness, successfulness, and health. With better smiles, teenagers can have an advantage in various social situations that could contribute to their happiness or success later in life.

Improve your teenager’s oral health

People can have the perception that cosmetic dentistry is all about appearances. “It’s all very shallow,” they say. However, it should come as no surprise that these procedures also present a number of health benefits. For instance, having damaged or decayed teeth can have serious consequences on a person’s oral health because of the risk of infection. Other physical problems like misaligned or crooked teeth can also make cleaning more challenging, increasing the risk of teeth and periodontal diseases. Furthermore such conditions can also cause various levels of pain or discomfort.

Which cosmetic dentistry procedure should your teen have?

Before having your teenager undergo any procedure, make sure that you are aware of the risks, methods, and costs associated with it.

Cosmetic dentistry is a broad practice, comprising many different types of dental procedures that aim to improve the appearance of the teeth and gums. It is not an actual specialty recognized by the American Dental Association but a simple umbrella term used to collectively define the different kinds of dental work practiced by dentists to achieve the results described. These include:

  • Teeth whitening – A procedure performed to lighten the color of discolored teeth.
  • Bonding – Dental work which involves coating damaged teeth with special solutions and resins, sculpting the material into shape, then curing it with laser to dry.
  • Tooth enamel reshaping – A procedure that involves removing portions of the teeth to correct damage, diminish the length of the teeth, or alter their shape.
  • Dental fillings – A composite material is used to fill in teeth that have suffered decay or damage.
  • Veneers – A thin layer of porcelain or composite material is used to cover the teeth, thus improving their look and protecting them from damage.
  • Dental implants – Artificial teeth are surgically implanted into the jaw or skull bone to replace missing teeth.
  • Dental crowns – A cap type of dental restoration prostheses are crowned over the teeth to restore their original appearance or function.
  • Gum lift – Performed to re-contour the shape of the gum in order to make the teeth look better or look more symmetrical.
  • Dental bridges – Similar to dental crowns but are used in patients who are missing one or more teeth.
  • Bite reclamation – A procedure that corrects teeth that have worn down due to bruxing (grinding) or acid reflux.
  • Braces – A dental device is installed onto the teeth to straighten or re-align them.
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