Three Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing Between Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Even if you've exhausted all over-the-counter measures for whitening your teeth, there are still many professional options available. But since dentists are able to do everything from bleaching enamel to replacing the entire front of a tooth with a veneer covering, choosing what exactly is most appropriate for you can be daunting. To help you decide on a good cosmetic dental procedure, ask yourself these three questions.

Have over-the-counter whitening products made a difference for me in the past?

The most common way for a dentist to improve your smile is by bleaching your teeth to mitigate the effect of stains. This is done after your dentist scratches your teeth with a dental scaler to remove as much plaque as possible.

If an over-the-counter whitening product has made your teeth look slightly better, but you wish that it was more powerful, bleaching is probably the best option for you. As long as you don't have overly-sensitive gums, there's little risk involved, either.

Are any of my teeth visibly chipped or uneven?

No matter how white your teeth are, a tooth that's chipped or uneven as a result of a compulsive grinding habit has a way of dragging down your overall appearance. Since you can't get any over-the-counter solution for chipped or uneven teeth, your only solution is getting a dentist to install a customized crown.

Even if your teeth are very stained, your appearance will usually improve more from a needed dental crown than from teeth bleaching. If you have to choose between one or the other procedure for the time being, choose a dental crown to both preserve your smile and prevent further chipping.

Do I suffer from any recurrent dental pain?

If your gums or tooth roots are very sensitive, you might not be able to take the pressure on your teeth that a dental scaler will exert. And if your teeth can't be properly scaled, teeth bleaching won't be very effective.

In addition to prescribing special treatment for the sensitive area, dentists commonly recommend installing veneers as an alternative to traditional teeth whitening methods. Since veneers are made out of inorganic materials like porcelain, they're both easier to clean without causing pain and less likely to accumulate plaque in the first place.

There's nothing wrong with seeking out a dentist at a clinic like Dental Associates of Tampa to address a purely cosmetic problem with your teeth. It's just important to let the particular circumstances of your mouth influence what treatment plan you get.