Is cosmetic dentistry safe?

The demand for cosmetic dentistry has been increasing in recent years, with many desiring a perfect Hollywood smile. Although pearly whites may seem like a privilege reserved for celebrities, the demand for cosmetic dentistry has doubled in the last five years and there are more options than ever for those looking to get their dream smile.

Whilst cosmetic dentistry may feel like a modern invention, there is evidence of many civilisations using a number of methods to replace teeth, with the earliest example being traced back to the ancient Egyptians who used a mixture of rock and vinegar to achieve the intended result. Even the Tudors would keep their smiles white by rubbing their teeth with powdered fish bones and then rinsing their mouths out with a mixture of vinegar a sulphuric acid.

Although there are many figures in history who desired white teeth, one English monarch was not as interested in maintaining her smile. Queen Elizabeth l had a famously sweet tooth, which led to a lifetime of dental problems and prominently decayed teeth. As a result, Elizabethans saw decayed teeth as a sign of wealth. When sugar became popular in England, it was only affordable for the wealthy, who would even brush their teeth with honey and tooth decay became a sign of prosperity. For those who couldn’t afford sugar, it was possible to buy blackening agents in order to create the look of suffering from tooth decay, just like the queen.

Queen Elizabeth I might have been the original “teeth influencer” but thankfully 21st century influencers have encouraged us to look after our teeth, leading to an explosion in cosmetic dentistry. Unfortunately, this has also led to many people looking for cheaper options and DIY alternatives rather than visiting the dentist. With so many options for cosmetic dentistry on the market, we aim to answer the question – what is cosmetic dentistry and is it safe?

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic Dentistry covers everything from implants to teeth whitening, with a focus on the appearance of the gums. Of course, maintaining a healthy mouth is the first step to a great smile, but in some instances, you may need a little more help to make your smile go further. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, there are many different types of cosmetic dentistry from which to choose.

Not only is cosmetic dentistry safe, it could also help to mitigate existing dental complaints. For instance, where an enamel coating may be missing, veneers will not only provide a cosmetic finish, but could also protect the teeth from any further damage.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a non-invasive procedure which removes stains and leaves your teeth looking whiter. This can be done at your dental surgery or with a bespoke kit provided by your dentist, so that you can follow a course of treatment at home.

At Revitalise Dental Centre, we use products by Boutique whitening. Before beginning a course of treatment, you will receive a consultation to assess your overall oral health. Following your initial consultation, you will have three short sessions of whitening treatments, including a deep clean and a session during which we will create customised moulds for treatment to continue at home.

Teeth whitening is a safe procedure when delivered and advised by your dentist. However, there are many whitening kits and ‘quick fixes’ which are not approved by dentists and could cause irreparable damage to the enamel coating on teeth, due to varying levels of hydrogen peroxide present in these unapproved whitening kits.

Always consult your dentist before undertaking any teeth whitening treatment as they will be able to advise on the best course of treatment. If you have used DIY home teeth whitening kit which was not prescribed by your dentist, you should make your dentist aware before starting a new course of treatment.

During your initial consultation, you should mention any underlying problems to your dentist, including sensitivity. Your dentist will be able to advise on the best course of action for your teeth whitening treatment.

Direct Resin Bonding

Direct Resin Bonding is the application of Dental Composite Resin (a special type of tooth coloured plastic) to the teeth. This is used to repair decayed, damaged or discoloured teeth or to improve the shape, where teeth might be too small, short or to close gaps between teeth. Direct Resin Bonding is used to add to the teeth and no drilling or injections are required. It is useful for minor to moderate corrections of cosmetic problems.
At your initial consultation, the dentist will assess your general dental health to ensure that the gums and nerves inside the teeth are healthy. For many cases, models of the teeth are taken using our digital scanner; we then carry out a computer mock-up of the anticipated final result so you can see the likely outcome prior to committing to treatment.

We then use cutting edge 3D printing to print a life-size plastic model of your teeth: a custom-made plastic mould is then made which allows us to accurately transfer the shape of the computer designed teeth to your mouth. The resin is set with a specialised ultra-violet light and precision polished so that it is indistinguishable from natural teeth. At a second appointment, the dentist will artistically bond composite resin to your teeth to emulate our agreed design.
At Revitalise Dental Centre we have special expertise in bonding: Dr Jason Smithson pioneered this technique in the UK over 20 years ago and is internationally recognised as an educator of Direct Resin Bonding for dental practitioners across the world. Direct Resin Bonding is a minimally invasive procedure and only one appointment is required.

Dental Crowns

Designed to cover a damaged tooth using a ‘cap’, dental crowns not only improve the appearance of a person’s smile but also strengthen the damaged tooth. The cap will be created from a ceramic material and shaded to match the colour of your natural teeth. Dental crowns can create a realistic look whilst restoring a badly damaged tooth.

Crowns are usually used for teeth further back in the mouth, whereas veneers will be used for the teeth which are on display more often. Unlike Direct Resin Bonding, crowns offer coverage of the whole damaged tooth, but will require three appointments in order to complete the process.
Where a tooth is discoloured past the point of responding to teeth whitening, crowns can be fitted to cover the discoloured tooth. They can also be used to improve the shape of the tooth if a patient is unhappy with the current shape.
Just like any other cosmetic procedure, having dental crowns fitted is completely safe. An entire dental crown procedure can take just a few hours whilst you wait for your dental crown to be made in our state-of-the-art lab. You will be asked to come back for your fitting on another day.

Veneers

Veneers are used to repair a broken or chipped tooth, change its shape or improve its colour. However, unlike a crown, veneers are usually applied to teeth which are visible when speaking or smiling. The procedure is straightforward and can usually be achieved in a few sessions. At Revitalise, veneers will be made in our on-site lab and crafted by highly skilled technicians. We use innovative ELab Technology, a system that helps us to perfectly match the shade of your teeth to your veneers.

For a veneer to be successful it is ‘bonded’ to the teeth. This process will involve removing some or all of the tooth’s enamel to make room for the veneer to be placed. Then using a special adhesive combined with a high-intensity light, the veneer is placed on the tooth.
If you are looking for a long-term solution to a great smile, veneers make for a great transformation. They are a favourite of celebrities looking for a mega-watt smile which stands out from the crowd. Veneer fitting is completely safe and should be a permanent fix. As with natural teeth, you will need to visit your dentist for regular appointments and maintenance.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a common cosmetic treatment for tooth loss. They are designed to fully replicate the natural teeth and are considered the most efficient way to create a natural look whilst restoring the teeth to a healthy state.
Dental implants consist of a surgical procedure as they are inserted directly into the jawbone, the whole process can take anywhere from 3 to 15 months to complete. This will depend on how many implants are needed and the overall jaw health of the patient – patients who have suffered tooth loss due to decay may need additional treatments, such as a bone graft, to support the structure of the jawbone.

At Revitalise, we use a ‘CopaSky’ implant, which has been specifically designed for those with decreased jawbone density. This revolutionary product could significantly reduce the timeframe for a dental implant procedure, by removing the need for a bone graft.
As with dental crown procedures, all prosthetics for dental implants are created at our on-site laboratory. This allows us to ensure the quality of prosthetics and guarantee a personal service for our patients.

Dental implant procedures are completely safe. During your course of treatment, you should take extra care to maintain your gum health to ensure that the mouth is in optimal condition for your dental implants.

With the correct care and maintenance, dental implants can last up to 30 years. The dental implant procedure is completely safe and Revitalise is lucky to have Dr Simon Martin, a senior implantologist with a wealth of experience.

Should I go abroad for treatment?

Every year, around 200,000 people head abroad for cosmetic dental treatment. People are often enticed by the idea of a holiday after their treatment and special offers from dental tourism outlets. However, it is important to be aware of the risks of seeking dental treatment abroad. Certain countries may not have the same standards of treatment or regulations that we have in Britain, so it is important to consider what you are paying for and whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

If you are looking for a sense of retreat whilst you have high quality dental care, you don’t have to look into getting treatment abroad. Revitalise not only offer safe dental treatment, but our base in beautiful Cornwall makes for the perfect retreat following treatment. If you’re interested in organising a getaway alongside your treatment, our staff will be more than happy to recommend places to stay and visit.

What should I pay?

Whether you are considering treatment at home or abroad, the price of treatment will play an important factor in decision making. Although it might be tempting to choose a cheaper treatment option, you should be wary of practitioners offering treatment for a price which seems too good to be true. In a similar vein to going abroad for treatment, low cost cosmetic dentistry could prove dangerous to your health and the cost for correction could outweigh the savings.

If you have any concerns with regards to cost of cosmetic treatment, you should speak to a reputable practitioner who can advise on the appropriate costs for treatment. If you find that the upfront cost of treatment makes treatment unattainable, many reputable dental practitioners, including Revitalise, offer competitive patient finance options.

Choosing A Reputable Dentist

All cosmetic treatments are safe in the hands of a reputable dentist. When choosing your dentist, ensure that they are qualified to deliver your treatment and take a look at testimonials from other customers to ensure that they have a roster of satisfied clients.

Cosmetic dentistry can cover everything from dental implants to teeth whitening. Not only is it important to understand your treatment journey, but more importantly it is important to know that your treatment is completely safe and that you will receive sufficient aftercare.

At Revitalise we are fortunate to have a team who are not only highly skilled but are leaders in the field of cosmetic dentistry and restoration. The whole team at Revitalise aims to create an atmosphere in which our patients feel safe and valued and will always answer any questions you have regarding treatment.

If you would like to find out more about cosmetic dentistry at Revitalise Dental Centre, call 01872 555 911 or email hello@revitalisedentalcentre.co.uk to book a consultation and start your journey to a more confident smile.

About the author

Author

Jason Smithson is an internationally renowned cosmetic and reconstructive dentist formerly of London’s Harley Street Medical District, he is now based in St Agnes, Cornwall where he offers dentistry, dental-education and medico-legal expert witness services. World-class crowns, veneers and direct composite resin artistry are delivered with uncompromising standards bespoke to the patient’s individual requirements. He is considered to be the ‘Dentist’s Dentist’ and regularly treats other dentists; many of whom travel from throughout the UK to see him. Dr Smithson is an ‘In Demand’ presenter and is perhaps the most prolific in the UK. He is considered by his peers to be an authority on aesthetic dentistry and has presented to audiences on every continent over the past 10 years. He is a true innovator and pioneered the use of Dental Operating Microscope in teaching Direct Resin Artistry to other dentists in the UK; he is the author of numerous articles and a book on crowns in aesthetic dentistry.

Connect with Jason Smithson on LinkedIn.

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What our Clients say

Marion visited Revitalise to reclaim her smile with a complete implant treatment. In this video, she explains how the staff at the practice put her at ease and why she recommends Revitalise to everyone she meets.


Client: Marion
Treatment: Complete mouth secured with implants

“The minute I met Martin, I just knew he was so calm and relaxing. So then we had a discussion and Martin said what he could do and it had to be what our pocket could afford as well and we went ahead with it. The experience I had at this dentist was unbelievable, it was a journey I loved every minute of.”


Client: Dee
Treatment: Dental Implants

“There’s always smiling, handshakes, hugs and plenty of tea and coffee. They looked after my husband who was there for the day. They do the sedation and Hayley looked after me. Obviously I was unaware of exactly what they were doing, but they always make you feel so comfortable. Although you’re nervous, I don’t think I could’ve gone and got the same treatment anywhere else.”


Client: Carolyn
Treatment: Dental Implants

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