It’s fairly common for people to come into our office saying that they just need one thing fixed and they’ll be happy with their smile. However, the truth is that it’s rarely as simple as that. Often, there are more problems than you are aware of and really getting the smile you desire requires more than just one simple fix.

Teeth Whitening Is Not Enough

dreamstime_s_35581433Teeth whitening is a very common cosmetic dentistry procedure. Everyone wants whiter teeth, because they look younger, healthier, and more attractive. The only problem is that whitening can’t always get the results you want from your smile.

Teeth whitening is great at removing some surface stains that are due to food, drink, or cigarettes, but they can’t address many of the reasons why people have discolored teeth. Teeth can be discolored because the enamel on the tooth has been worn down, revealing the yellowish enamel inside the tooth. The tooth may also be discolored because of damage to the enamel or the tooth nerve. Teeth whitening can’t fix this.

To fix these types of discoloration, we recommend porcelain veneers.

Teeth whitening also can’t change the color of your restorations. Often metal amalgam fillings can make your entire tooth look grey. Teeth whitening can just make that worse.

It’s Not Just One Tooth

Other times, people will come to our office saying that they have just one problem tooth. The problem tooth, they believe, is the reason why their smile isn’t attractive, and if it is fixed, their smile will be attractive.

This isn’t usually the case. The aesthetics of the smile are complex, and the problem may go beyond the one tooth, or, in some cases, the problem tooth may be a relatively small problem while many others need to be addressed.

Don’t Forget Function

Another thing people ask is that we fix teeth teeth that have been worn down by a bad bite, but not the bad bite itself. A bad bite that wore down your natural teeth will also wear down restorations, and may lead to TMJ.

Before we decide to place restorations, it’s often best to find out why your natural teeth were damaged and make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to your restorations.

The Choice Is Yours

When you come to our office, we will use our training and judgment as cosmetic dentists to determine what’s wrong with your smile and recommend the best way to achieve the results you desire.

But in the end, you have the power to decide what is done with your smile. We’re not going to pressure you into getting a procedure you don’t want. We just tell you what your options are, and the consequences of your decisions.

If you would like to get a professional opinion about how best to improve your smile, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia cosmetic dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.