Dental correction and reconstruction: what you need to know about
Everyone talks about beautiful teeth. Dental aesthetics are booming, teeth are whitened, straightened and restored. Here are the modern treatment options available for tooth correction and reconstruction.
Straight teeth: the correct position protects the teeth in the long term
A correct dental position is not only desirable for aesthetic reasons, but also facilitates care: if the teeth are in an optimal relationship to each other, they do not wear excessively during chewing and are more easy to clean. If the teeth are in the correct position, there is less damage even in old age. Subsequent veneer or ceramic restorations are more likely to be spared.
Here’s the whole story: Invisalign removable braces fill gaps, regulate crowding and other misalignments. Invisalign aligners are made of a transparent, high-tech material that moves teeth smoothly and painlessly.
Custom made with a 3D computer from impressions and X-rays, they are worn on the teeth and replaced with a new set every two weeks. Step by step, week by week, the teeth can be adjusted to the desired ideal image.
For who: For disciplined adults.
Advantage: Braces are almost invisible to the outside world. It can be removed by eating and brushing your teeth.
Disadvantage: Since the shoulder straps are not attached to the teethit’s easy to forget to put it back on.
Duration of treatment : about six to twelve months.
Sustainability: So that the teeth no longer move after the correction, a thin, invisible wire – a so-called retainer – is attached to the inner dental arch. It does not disturb and stays in place for life.
Costs: around 2,000 to 8,000 USD.
Here’s the whole story: The not-so-discreet shiny metallic wires are traditionally attached to the outer row of teeth and tightened at regular intervals. If you want to correct the position of your teeth without being noticed, you can attach the brackets to the inner row of teeth.
For who : for children, teenagers and adults.
Advantage: No work is to be expected. The specialist makes a monthly adjustment.
Disadvantage: The metal edges can be painful for the tongue. This can be solved by pressing small pieces of modeling clay onto the metal edges that are getting in the way. Also, leftovers like to stick to teeth or platelets.
Duration of treatment : one to two years.
Sustainability: After the treatment, a permanent retainer is attached to the internal arch to secure the result.
Costs: around $8,000 to $12,000.
Reconstruction: The preservation of the tooth substance is central
The main characteristic of modern dentistry is its sustainable and minimally invasive approach. This means that dentists do everything they can to preserve valuable tooth substance. Anesthesia is therefore often unnecessary. Now more than ever, the reasons for reconstructive work on the tooth are erosive damage caused, for example, by acidic eating, reflux and bulimia – and nighttime grinding. The latter leads to worn edges and exposed tooth necks that were previously thought to be the result of overbrushing alone. Grinding also results in fine cracks on and in the tooth. This damage is visible and painful. This can be remedied by a properly adjusted occlusion with canine abutments (costs: approximately $850).
What it is: The veneers are snow-white fine porcelain shells. They can be used to correct slight misalignments and severely discolored teeth. They come on one or more of the six anterior incisors and adjacent molars and are custom made.
How it works: First, the teeth are ground down to a few tenths of a millimeter, then the porcelain shells are bonded to the tooth.
Advantage: Veneers look natural because they are precisely matched to the shape and color of the tooth. They don’t irritate the gums as they taper upwards and they are also less susceptible to plaque than your own teeth. With good oral hygiene, they last for decades and always look nice and white.
Disadvantage: Anyone who grinds their teeth at night should protect the veneers with a splint.
Cost: $2000 per tooth.
Veneers without preparation
What it is: No-prep veneers are the least invasive variant of cosmetic dentistry. They nestle around the surface of the tooth like a contact lens, but require no preparation of the teeth.
How it works: Unprepared veneers are bonded to the teeth with a special adhesive. They even out irregularities, fill in small gaps and smooth out minimal darkening. The color can also be selected here.
Advantage: This technique protects the tooth enamel because the teeth do not need to be ground. Like conventional veneers, unprepared veneers last for decades.
Disadvantage: This technique is not suitable for all tooth shapes.
Cost: $2000 per tooth.
Location: Implants are increasingly used for dental spaces. “Similar to a peg firmly anchored in the jawbone, the small artificial roots provide the crowns or bridges attached to them with a secure hold – and thus the patient with a perfect bite,” writes UptoBrain. After a healing period of three to six months, the implant is usually firmly anchored. Wobbly dentures are a thing of the past. Equally advantageous: unlike a bridge, with an implant there is no need to grind down healthy teeth. Since the implants are fixed directly in the jawbone and not on the teeth (like bridges), the surrounding teeth are spared.
Prosthesis: If several missing teeth are creating large gaps, there is not much you can do with a bridge. In this case, a partial denture made of plastic teeth works well. It is removable and attaches to healthy teeth with brackets, telescopes or attachments. If all the teeth in the lower and upper jaw have fallen by the wayside over time, a complete or total prosthesis is necessary.
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