Get The Smile You've Always Wanted

Who doesn't want a bright, white smile? If you don't have naturally perfect teeth, and most of us don't, you can still have a great smile. Advances in cosmetic dentistry have increased the treatment options available and also the price ranges. Simple fixes like whitening to more complex procedures such as dental implants can turn an average smile into an amazing one, so do a little research and get ready to shine.

Probably the least expensive and most simple way to improve you smile is through  whitening. You can get over-the-counter kits and see results, but they are often messy and take several days or even a couple of weeks to complete. If you have teeth whitening done at a cosmetic dentist's office it's possible to lighten your teeth by as much as eight shades in one session.

There is also zoom whitening, which involves coating your teeth with a gel made from hydrogen peroxide and then using a light to remove stains and brighten your teeth. It takes about three treatments or 45 minutes to complete zoom whitening.

If you have some alignment problems with your teeth but aren't thrilled with the prospect of wearing bulky metal braces, then Invisalign braces may be right for you. Invisalign braces are removable thin plastic braces that work the same way traditional braces do. They gradually realign your teeth and are for people who have mild overbites, gaps of no more than 5mm or other simple alignment issues.

If you have some minimal damage to your teeth and want an affordable, attractive fix, then dental bonding could be the solution. Chips, small cracks, small gaps, stains or uneven teeth can benefit cosmetically from dental bonding. The process removes little or no enamel. The cosmetic dentist will just match a shade of resin to your other teeth, sand the surface of the teeth to be bonded and layer on the resin. The resin has to be shaped, then a laser light will harden it and a final shaping and polishing is done. It only takes about an hour or less per tooth and the cost is much less than that of veneers.

Porcelain veneers are a better choice if you have teeth that are severely stained, chipped badly or completely broken.

There are two kinds of veneers; no-prep and traditional. No-prep involves having a mold of your teeth made, sending the mold off to have the veneer made and then bonding the veneer to your tooth. It takes a couple of visits to the office but normally no enamel has to be removed and no anesthesia is used. Traditional veneers involve actually removing part of your damaged tooth before bonding the veneer, so a local anesthetic is used. Because the enamel is removed, your tooth will have to always be covered with the veneer, which should last about 15 years if taken care of properly.

Lumineers are a type of porcelain veneer that are extremely thin. Minimal enamel has to be removed before bonding Lumineers to your tooth and the product is said by the manufacturer to last as long as 20 years. Again, it will take two trips to the office; one to make a mold and one to actually install the product. You need to find a cosmetic dentist who is experienced with Lumineers though because poor installation can cause you to appear to have teeth that are too big or too long.

Dental implants may be the best solution if you have teeth that are beyond other repair methods or cosmetic treatments. It's a much longer process because new 'roots' or artificial anchors for the implants will have to be installed in your gums over a series of visits, but they are a long-term solution for badly damaged teeth.

All of these treatment options should make you smile, so start your search for a cosmetic dentist in your area and make that smile even brighter.