Never underestimate the importance of a good smile: it is one of the few things that’s understood wherever you are in the world.

Cosmetic dentists are enhancing smiles through procedures including veneers, which are thin pieces of material (for example, porcelain) placed over each tooth. Whitening can be done by a dentist or with a home whitening pack.

Although veneers have been around for decades, improvements in technology and the availability of better ceramics have dramatically improved the quality of the end result.

If you’re planning on getting a set of veneers made, Advanced Dentist Artistry’s Adrian Kat says a consultation session with your dentist is important.

“We’ll talk the patient through the design process, ” Dr Kat says. “That’s very important.”

Dentists say at the consultation stage it is important to remember other things that need to be done before you can turn to veneers or decide whether veneers are right for you.

Chris Oh at AT Dental says it is necessary to examine a patient’s whole mouth before beginning cosmetic dentistry in case reshaping, gum contouring or other procedures need to be completed first.

Peter Wroth at Accent Dental recommends Invisalign, a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to braces, as a pre-veneer treatment for some patients. Although Invisalign will add time and money to the procedure (costing between $7000 and $8000 average), having teeth in a better position means better bonding between veneers and teeth and needing a thinner veneer than you may otherwise.

Once you’ve decided veneers are right for you, you can expect to wear a set of “trial teeth” before the final veneers are made.

Dental 359’s Hooman Golestani says this is an essential step.

“We never let our patients go without having a provisional set of teeth so that they have the opportunity to make small changes, ” he says.

Veneers range between $1100 and $2500 a tooth, for each tooth to be individualised for each patient.

Dentists say teeth whitening is common among people of all ages to combat effects of tea, coffee, red wine and coloured foods.

Home whitening kits have improved greatly. Dentists say they work faster and now have a more effective combination of chemicals. Dr Kat says combining dentist-administered whitening complemented with a home whitening kit will result in fantastically white teeth.

Dr Golestani recommends making sure your kit has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration before jumping into a purchase and using a home whitening kit after a good thorough clean, which he deems essential, for a positive result.

The dentists say the difference in patient’s confidence after cosmetic dentistry is worth the hefty price tag.

“We get emails on a weekly basis from people that have had their treatment done about how it’s changed their life, ” Dr Kat says. 


© The West Australian

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