Dental anxiety is a common problem, and something that dentists deal with every day. You’re not alone if you’re scared to go to the dentist. But if you break out in a cold sweat at the thought of getting your teeth cleaned, you might wonder why on earth you’d even consider going to the dentist if you didn’t have to.
Cosmetic dentistry refers to a range of non-essential dental treatments that can correct dental imperfections and improve your confidence in your smile. These procedures can give you a beautiful and natural-looking smile by rebuilding, re-shaping, whitening or covering unsightly teeth. There are a range of cosmetic treatments available, including:
- Teeth whitening
- Gum lifts
Cosmetic dentistry is for people who want a smile they’ll be happy to show off – and there’s a treatment to fix any dental problem that’s bothering you. But if you find regular dental visits a bit of a challenge, you might decide that cosmetic dentistry is not for you.
However, you really shouldn’t let fear hold you back from the great benefits that cosmetic dentistry can bring. A great smile makes you appear more confident, attractive and approachable, and is one of the first things people notice about you. Being afraid to smile because you’re embarrassed about your dental problems leads others to perceive you as lacking confidence and assurance. This can negatively affect your quality of life.
As well as affecting your confidence, damaged teeth can affect your general health. If left untreated, they will usually worsen with time and become far more difficult and expensive to fix in the future. Cosmetic dental procedures can reduce the effects of grinding and clenching and make cleaning your teeth easier.
There are a whole host of benefits to cosmetic dentistry, and if dental imperfections are affecting your life, it’s definitely worth considering. Plus, there’s a good chance your fears are unfounded. Here are six good reasons why you shouldn’t be scared of cosmetic dentistry.
It won’t hurt as much as you think
Dental procedures have the reputation of being painful; but contrary to this belief, most cosmetic dental procedures are relatively straightforward and painless. The treatments will usually take place under local anaesthesia to numb the area, meaning you shouldn’t feel any discomfort.
You probably will barely be able to feel the actual procedure taking place. As well, any pain or discomfort following the procedure should be minimal, and easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medications if necessary. Dental procedures have come a long way in recent years, and are much more efficient than in the past.
You won’t be in a lot of pain afterwards
As well, any pain or discomfort following the procedure should be minimal, and easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medications if necessary. While you may have some
discomfort or swelling for a few days following the treatment, your gums will usually heal quickly. The majority of people can return to their normal activities the next day. You may have to be careful about what you eat for a little while, however.
It won’t take a lot of time
The length of your cosmetic dental treatment will depend on which procedure you’re undergoing – but none of them should take a huge amount of time. You won’t be spending a long time lying in the dental chair, as most cosmetic treatments can be completed relatively quickly.
Many treatments, including veneers, crowns, bridges and teeth whitening, will take at least two appointments. Procedures that were time-consuming and involved in the past are now quick and easy, and won’t involve a huge investment of time.
It’s more affordable than you might think
Cosmetic dental treatments have long been thought of as something only the rich or famous could afford. While this might have been true in the past, these days cosmetic dentistry is within reach of the ordinary person, with great strides being made in cosmetic dental technology and material sciences.
Not only are cosmetic treatments much more affordable than in the past, there are also many more ways to pay for them nowadays. Many dentists now offer finance or payment plans, so that more patients can access the treatment they want.
Keep in mind that the actual cost will vary from person to person and will depend on each patient’s circumstances and treatment plan. You can choose to have as much or as little treatment as you want – and there is usually a cosmetic dentistry solution for every budget.
And when you consider the treatment as an investment in yourself and your future, it actually becomes quite a cost-effective and long-lasting solution.
Cosmetic dentistry won’t involve a lot of special care
You may be worried that if you undergo a cosmetic dental treatment, you’ll have to spend a lot of time and effort looking after it. This is not the case, however.
Cosmetic restorations are designed to look and function just like your natural teeth – which means they don’t need any more special care than your real teeth do. You’ll just have to follow a good oral hygiene routine (which you should be doing anyway), including:
- Daily brushing with a fluoridised toothpaste
- Daily flossing
- Regular dental check-ups
- Having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year
And that’s about all you’ll have to do to keep your cosmetic treatment looking good and staying healthy. With proper care, some cosmetic procedures can last up to twenty years without a problem. Keep in mind though that they won’t last forever, even with great care, and will usually need replacing at some point.
No-one will know you’ve had a cosmetic treatment – unless you tell them
You might also be worried that your cosmetic procedure will look “fake”, and people will be able to tell that you’ve had it done. Actually, they won’t – because cosmetic restorations are
specially designed to look completely natural. They are constructed to fit perfectly in your mouth, and matched to the colour of your natural teeth. You’ll soon forget that they aren’t your natural teeth. A good cosmetic dentist will take special care to blend your restoration in with your smile.
Of course, people will notice if you suddenly have a tooth to replace one missing from an obvious spot – but they’ll notice because it looks different, not because it looks fake. A stranger meeting you would never be able to tell that you’ve had a cosmetic dental procedure.
So, there’s really no need to be limited by a smile you’re unhappy with – or your dental fears. With cosmetic dentistry, you can invest in a straighter, whiter and more attractive smile – and a more confident future.