We offer cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth. Very few people are born with teeth that are worthy of a toothpaste advertisement. However, some people’s teeth can be misaligned, irregularly shaped, or crooked to such a degree that they go through life feeling self-conscious every time they smile.
Not having straight teeth can have consequences far beyond cosmetic considerations. For example, it is easier for food to get trapped in between crooked teeth and harder to clean between them. As a result, plaque builds up even more quickly, leading to dental decay and the possibility of periodontal or gum disease. The good news is that regardless of whether your teeth have gaps between them or are misaligned or irregularly shaped, there are several ways they can be straightened, giving you an attractive and healthy smile. A few of the more common options include:
Minor problems including crooked or uneven teeth, or gaps between them, can be corrected with porcelain veneers, which are wafer-thin, custom-made “shells” placed over and bonded to the front surface of the tooth. These veneers are made of “tooth-colored” porcelain or composite resin and have certain distinct advantages. For example, it is very difficult to tell the difference between veneers and your natural teeth. They have quite a robust resistance to tea, coffee, and red wine stains, and because of their strength and resilience, they are comparable to natural tooth enamel. With reasonable precautions, they can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years. Finally and most importantly, unlike crowns, your natural teeth are only minimally altered before the veneer is attached.
While offering cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth, we sometimes suggest dental bonding, though this procedure is less effective than veneers. In this procedure, a tooth-colored composite material is applied to the tooth, sculpted into shape, and then hardened with a curing light. Unlike veneers, which have to be sent to a laboratory to be made from the impression taken by the dentist, dental bonding takes no more than between 30 and 60 minutes to complete. On the positive side, dental bonding is one of the simplest and most cost-effective of all possible procedures that correct small cosmetic problems, and no enamel is removed from the surface of the tooth. However, because the material used is not as durable as that used in crowns and veneers, one has to be careful not to put too much stress on the teeth. For example, chewing on ice can cause the resin to crack. Touch-ups may be required on a regular basis.
Although both procedures serve a similar purpose, dental crowns differ from veneers in that veneers only cover the front of the teeth. Crowns, on the other hand, are tooth-shaped “caps” that cover the visible part of the entire tooth. Although crowns can be made of metal, porcelain or ceramic ones can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Under normal circumstances, crowns last anywhere from five to 15 years, though like dental veneers, care has to be taken to avoid grinding your teeth, biting your fingernails, etc.
Braces correct crooked or misaligned teeth by applying gentle, but steady pressure, which over a period of time gradually and painlessly moves your teeth into alignment. Braces have evolved considerably over the last couple of decades and are now much lighter, smaller, and far more cosmetically friendly than they used to be. The bands that held the brackets in place have, in many cases, been replaced by brackets that are directly “bonded” to your teeth. Additionally, there are several kinds of braces. For example, tooth-colored ceramic braces are far less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Invisible braces are custom-molded clear plastic aligners designed to fit snugly over your teeth, which can be removed when you eat or when they need to be cleaned. Lingual braces are attached to the back of your teeth, which makes them impossible to see when you smile.
If you are unhappy or displeased with your smile because of crooked or misaligned teeth, it is not too late to do something about it. In fact, there are options open to you other than the most common ones mentioned above. After examining and thoroughly assessing your mouth, we will discuss all possible options with you, which includes the details and pros and cons of each procedure. By providing cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth, we can present you with multiple options for improving your smile.
To schedule a consultation, contact our front office staff at our Costa Mesa office at (714) 545.7157 or use our online booking form. We have new patient specials, as well as other offers to share, and we are always available for any dental emergencies.
We look forward to speaking with you!