It is actually pretty rare to be born with a beautiful set of teeth. So how come anyone who is photographed, not just supermodels but politicians and sportspeople as well, seem to have pearly whites without a fault?
As straight, white teeth are becoming a requirement rather than an option, cosmetic dentistry is growing in popularity. It turns out that uniform dentition can change a look around completely. But how?
What is cosmetic dentistry?
There are many ways of making your mouth look different. What you can have done depends on what kind of issues you have (or what kind you perceive). Some treatments target discoloration while others target a crooked smile.
So what can be done to your teeth to make them look better?
Tooth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments. This is due to the fact that it is non-invasive and can be done both at the office and from home. Whether you decide to do it yourself or privately, there are many methods involving strips, gels, trays or LED lights.
There are a lot of such OTC products that claim to make your smile whiter. Especially recently, celebrities like the Kardashians have begun advertising these online whether it be on Instagram or Facebook.
Orthodontia, or “tooth alignment,” has been around for a long time. Is there any more of a cliche than a teenager with braces and a skin condition? Thankfully, there are now other options.
If you have issues with gapped teeth, crowding or an overbite, you can now opt for companies like Invisalign that provide see-through trays that align your teeth gradually. One celebrity who has admitted to taking advantage of this technology is Billie Eilish.
But this isn’t exclusive to celebs. Making teeth straight without the embarrassment of metal and wiring sticking out of your mouth has become so widespread that there are more and more brands that offer such treatment. Some, like SmileDirectClub or Candid, give you the option of doing everything from home without ever visiting a dental office.
While you might not catch a celebrity with braces, veneers seem to be popular in Hollywood. Hillary Duff, for instance, is quite open about mic-hitting tooth-chipping incidents that have to led her to acquire dental work.
Another celebrity whose dentition has gone through a transformation is Miley Cyrus. While her Disney days had her presenting a perfectly cute, quirky smile, later on she opted for a full and straight Hollywood-worthy smile.
Veneers are a nonreversible process, as the existing teeth have to be shaved down. This makes room for composite or porcelain overlays that are permanently attached. The procedure is not painful, but most find it uncomfortable.
Dental implants are even more invasive than veneers. They are generally recommended for missing or badly damaged teeth.
Some celebrities opt for a full mouth for cosmetic reasons only, but there aren’t many dentists who would be willing to remove and replace healthy albeit aesthetically dissatisfying dentition.
One of the most iconic scenes in the hit film “The Hangover” has Ed Helms inspecting his missing front incisor, which he presumably pulled out during the drunken bachelor’s bash. Not many know that the actor is genuinely missing this tooth.
Since it didn’t show up at all after his baby teeth fell out, he wears a dental implant, which he had removed for the purposes of the film. Nicholas Cage is likewise rumored to have a fake tooth, judging by several scenes form 1984’s “Birdy.”
Is it just to look good?
Sure, celebrities are image-obsessed, but what about us, the regular folk? Should we also spend thousands of dollars on dental improvements?
It is well known that poor oral health can lead to general medical issues such as heart and blood pressure trouble, liver damage and diabetes. Missing teeth can lead to bone retention, as the bone is not stimulated and begins to shrink. It becomes difficult to eat and malnutrition becomes a problem as well.
When facial bones shrink the face sinks, making us look a lot older. For some, this can bring along psychological issues, as they don’t feel as inclined to join in social activities that they used to love.
What’s more, when we’re not confident enough to smile we miss out on a lot of healthy hormone stimulation. Even forcing a smile can help release dopamine and serotonin that elevate the mood. So fake it till you make it.
Happier people are also considered more open, friendly and others gravitate toward them. This can make their lives easier at work and in interpersonal relationships. After all, they do say a smile is your best accessory.
Is cosmetic dentistry risky?
Sure, any invasive treatment involves some kind of risk. Even whitening, when not done correctly, can cause major dental issues, even tooth death. You should also be aware of allergies or sensitivities you have and inform the dental professional before undertaking any steps.
The most common complications linked to cosmetic dentistry such as veneers placement are nothing more than topical swelling and short-lived pain. It is procedures that are not inherently linked to aesthetics, however, such as a root canal treatment or extraction, that can have more negative implications.
Most dental treatments though, if done properly and at a respected office, involve minimal risk. Dental implant placement, for example, has a 95% success rate.
Is it worth the money?
As something becomes popular and widespread it can also become very expensive. Especially if it requires highly trained professionals and their expertise. That is exactly the case with cosmetic dentistry.
There are many financing options though, such as dental schools, where students perform the procedures, or dental plans, which offer discounts.
So, is it worth it in the end? It totally depends on what is important to you. If you believe it will make you happy, well, then, just ignore the haters who say happiness can’t be bought.
Or maybe your career requires you to be confident. It’s not always about whether it’s important to others for you to look good. Sometimes it is you who needs to decide that you look great and feel confident. One way or another, make sure you are doing it for yourself.