Best Cosmetic Dentist – Not All Cosmetic Dentistry is the Same

Not all cosmetic dentistry is the same. Not all dentists have the same credentials. If you want to be sure that the care you are getting is on the cutting edge of art, science and technology, you should also be sure to do your research on dentists and the procedures they offer.

That research always pays off. When you find the right dentist, you know that your cosmetic work will be completed with a focus on health, function and beauty. Without the proper combination of those elements, your work won’t be comfortable, won’t last, and may even damage your teeth.

Why should I consider cosmetic dentistry?

If you feel self-conscious about your smile, especially if you cover it or avoid smiling altogether, you are the ideal candidate for cosmetic dentistry. Remember, cosmetic dentistry, despite its name, is not only about the way you look. Cosmetic dentistry can repair and strengthen chipped, cracked, broken or worn-down teeth and can even allow us to replace missing teeth with strong, secure dental implants. Best of all, cosmetic dentistry from the right dentist works to restore teeth and body to symmetry and unity.

What are the most popular procedures offered by cosmetic dentists?

There are hundreds of ways a good cosmetic dentist can improve and enhance your smile, from simple and effective whitening to a full mouth rejuvenation or makeover.

To keep smiles white and bodies healthy a cosmetic dentist should never use silver-mercury amalgam fillings to repair teeth. Cosmetic dentists can replace older, failing amalgam restorations with porcelain inlays and composite resins to create fillings that not only look natural but are also longer lasting than materials of the past.

Strong and beautiful porcelain veneers can be used to dramatically rebuild and perfect front teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of ceramic that bond directly to the front surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are highly resistant to coffee, tea or other staining agents. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options.

Porcelain crowns offer another effective and popular restoration. If your teeth have been badly damaged and need structural integrity and support, dental crowns may be your ideal choice. Make sure the cosmetic dentist uses metal-free crowns which are beautiful, biocompatible and look more like natural teeth to restore strength and eliminate discomfort. These all porcelain materials can also be used for dental bridges for the most natural beauty and comfort.

My smile is really uneven. Are there any simple ways to fix that?

Sometimes an uneven smile needs the perfecting qualities of porcelain veneers to achieve true harmony. Other times, simple procedures such as recontouring or bonding can solve the problem. If your teeth are uneven, a cosmetic dentist can use tooth recontouring to quickly and painlessly create a more harmonious smile by reshaping chipped or misaligned edges. Sometimes a cosmetic dentist will combine tooth recontouring with the art of bonding.

Bonding is a method of restoring decayed teeth or making cosmetic improvements to change the color of teeth or reshape teeth with a composite resin filling. First, the surface of the teeth is prepared for the bonding material. Next, bonding material is applied and sculpted, colored and shaped to provide an attractive, natural-looking result. A high-intensity light hardens the resin. Finally, the surface is polished to a luminous sheen.

Occasionally a patient’s smile appears uneven, not because of the teeth, but because of an uneven or low gum line. When that is the case gum contouring may be recommended. Gum contouring is basically a simple gum lift, but it can lengthen, reshape and even the look of teeth. The use of a laser and a topical anesthetic quickly reshapes the gum line, creating an even, more beautiful smile.

If your teeth are crooked rather than uneven then your cosmetic dentist may recommend straightening your teeth with Invisalign the invisible way to correct your bite and straighten your smile. Unlike traditional braces, these aligners can be removed for eating and oral care and are made of comfortable, clear materials that won’t chafe, pinch or poke.

How can a cosmetic dentist replace my missing teeth?

Many options are available, including bridges and implants. There is no reason to live with missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth can boost self-confidence and allows remaining teeth to last longer by reducing the stress placed on them.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your bone to hold a replacement tooth, bridge or denture. Dental implants are an ideal option for anyone in good general health who has lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury or decay.

A dental bridge is a sequence of custom-made false teeth that is placed permanently between two healthy teeth, filling in the area left by a missing tooth or teeth. The bridge is held in place by porcelain crowns on the healthy teeth on each side of space to be filled. A bridge created by a good cosmetic dentist should be completely metal-free. As a result, such a bridge absorbs light, creating a natural-looking smile with no dark lines. Cosmetic dental bridges reduce the risk of gum disease, help correct some bite problems and help improve speech.

Beauty at Any Cost – Helping Young Women Avoid This Dangerous Trap

It’s no secret that our society and the media have established and continue to promote an idyllic, almost impossible, standard of beauty that women consistently judge themselves against and are always aspiring to achieve.

With the advent of readily available cosmetic surgery and treatments, this quest has reached a new fever pitch. By one estimate, American women spend almost $7 billion dollars a year on products used in the pursuit of beauty.

And we’ve all seen or heard stories of women addicted to Botox or plastic surgery -some have had so many nips and tucks that their faces resemble cartoon characters and still they want more! These extreme cases are the casualties of a popular culture that is saturated with images of airbrushed, over sexualized, and perfectly coiffed celebrities and models that can make even the most confident of us feel a little insecure or inadequate at times.

The extent of this problem was documented in a 2008 report released by the YWCA called “Beauty At Any Cost”. The report underscores the substantial health implications for women on the endless treadmill of “unrealistic beauty attainment.” Through chronic and unhealthy dieting, using smoking as a weight-loss aide, taking unnecessary risks during cosmetic surgical procedures, and absorbing unsafe chemicals through cosmetics, women are placing themselves in precarious health situations to maintain some semblance of their idealized physical selves. Women and girls are at risk for lifelong health problems – and the problems start at an early age.

Add to the mix a $50 billion a year unregulated cosmetics industry that puts unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing or monitoring of health effects, ready to profit from these narrow beauty standards to convert women and girls into life-long customers. Many of these companies go to great lengths to market to teens and “tweens” (8 to 12 year olds) as part of this goal. Their emphasis is on creating cheap products that appeal to this demographic with little or no regard for the potential health or environmental impact of the chemicals used to produce them.

Clearly, young girls and teens are more vulnerable and susceptible to harm than ever before. However, with a little guidance they can learn to make safer, healthier choices for themselves and set an example for their peers.

What can you do to help the young girls and teens you know avoid falling into this trap? Here are some guidelines that you can use:

1. The Buck Starts and Stops with You
Most children are influenced by the behaviors and attitudes of their parents and caretakers. So it’s up to you to set the bar for what’s acceptable. If you want your daughters, nieces, or younger sisters to adopt healthy habits then make sure you are doing the same. Take a look at your inventory of cosmetics and personal care products and eliminate those that contain ingredients that are known to be harmful. If you’re not sure where to start, check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database available online.

Their comprehensive database contains over 25,000 cosmetics and skin care products from both major companies and smaller ones you may not even know. The products have all been researched, catalogued, and ranked for safety concerns based on currently available data on toxicity of their ingredients. The database also provides lists of the Top 10 Worst and Best Products and Companies based on their ratings.

Show them how to use the database and make it clear that you will not fund the purchase of products that have been ranked with high safety concerns.

2. Turn Them Into Smart Shoppers
Share your concerns with them about the safety of many beauty products on the market and how even small amounts of repeated exposure to certain ingredients can cause harm. Teach them how to read product labels and look for problem ingredients to avoid.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires ingredients to be listed in descending order of concentration. So ingredients listed at the top are the most prevalent and the ones to pay more attention to.

Teens Turning Green (formerly Teens for Safe Cosmetics) has compiled a list of chemicals in personal care products to avoid called the Dirty Thirty. You can download it at their site. Review the list together, then use it as a guide for reading labels and ruling out the products that contain them.

3. Encourage Them to Take Action
There’s nothing more powerful than kids and teens united and engaged in action to promote a worthy cause, and what could be a worthier cause than their health and safety? Encourage them to learn more about this issue and how they can get involved to make a difference.

Whether it’s action to pressure the government to regulate cosmetics, or participating in consumer boycotts that force companies to change in response to trends in the marketplace, or joining groups that teach and promote self-esteem and healthy body images — all of these activities serve to enlighten them and reinforce the positive messages that will ultimately lead them to make better choices and influence their friends to do the same.

4. Turn Them On To Greener Alternatives and Make it Fun
Throw a spa party at your home for your daughters and their friends and introduce them to the ever-growing variety of safe and healthy skin care products, natural scents, and cosmetics available, and make it “cool” for them to explore and indulge their senses. Make it a recurring event so that they have a chance to be constantly exposed to a lot of new and different products.

Or take them to the local health food store for a shopping spree where you can review and compare the products together and make it a contest to see who picks the best ones first. Remember, just because a product is sold in a health food or natural product store, it doesn’t mean that product is safe or natural. It can be an excellent teaching moment to help them (and you) become a truly discerning shopper.

5. Reward Them for Making Good Choices
Focus your efforts on helping them make the best possible choices and then reward them for it. Make sure that the rewards you give them are in line with what you are trying to teach them. In other words, don’t reward good choices in one arena with bad choices in another (i.e. taking them out for junk food or offering them candy).

If you succeed in convincing them that personal care products made with organic ingredients are better, there’s a good chance you can convince them that organic foods and foods made without chemicals and additives are also better for them!

Copyright 2009 Dropwise Essentials