Cosmetic dentistry is one of the major growth industries of recent years, with many ordinary people feeling that there is no reason that they should not have a perfect smile like the Hollywood stars. Now it is possible to get dental treatment abroad, and pay a fraction of the price.
Being confident in your smile increases your attractiveness to others, and the increase in self-confidence you are certain to get gives you even more appeal to partners, employers and everyone else you might like to impress!
Many overseas locations are popular for cheap cosmetic dentistry. For US residents, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are all massively popular dental tourism destinations.
In Europe, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary are becoming increasingly popular with medical tourists, while further afield, Thailand, India and South Korea are all excellent choices for saving money.
In fact, for many procedures, you can find yourself being charged just 20% of the cost, depending on where you choose to travel to.
Private clinics offer many different types of cosmetic dentistry, so whatever you would like to change about your teeth, there is a strong chance it is achievable!
Here’s some of your options:
This is the most affordable and popular form of cosmetic dentistry. Everybody wants whiter teeth! There are two main forms of teeth whitening: The professional, in-clinic variety and the various home teeth whitening systems.
In both instances, it is a process of bleaching the teeth to remove the build-up of stains that can result from smoking, and drinking red wine, tea or coffee. Bleaching in a professional cosmetic dental clinic is the longer, more effective and rather costlier option. A bleaching agent is applied to the teeth, and then the stains on your teeth are exposed to irradiation. The stains are removed by the oxidisation caused by this process, resulting in whiter teeth. The whole process can be expected to last two hours.
Home teeth whitening kits are available in many forms, but the more effective of these involve applying a bleaching agent, much as happens at the dentist. As you will not be getting the benefit of the irradiation part of the treatment, the process is slower, and it will take around a week to see the full benefits. The are also whitening pens available.
The main risk involved with both the in-clinic and home whitening methods is the accidental swallowing of the bleaching agent, and also a possible irritation of the gums.
The teeth whitening toothpastes that you can often see available do not contain a bleaching agent, so cannot really be expected to have an impact on any stains on your teeth. They are better thought of as being teeth-polishers than actual stain removing products.
Veneers in cosmetic dentistry are a thin layer of ceramic or synthetic compound that is bonded to the teeth to cover fractures and discolouration, to cover less aesthetic dentistry that was done previously, and to close gaps between teeth. Generally, ceramic is best suited for cosmetic work, as it more closely matches the material of actual teeth.
Often, veneers are used when teeth whitening has not been as successful as would have been liked, and they also frequently used as an alternative to crowns. Unlike crowns, they do not cover the whole tooth, but just the affected part of the tooth.
A very thin layer of the tooth is removed to allow the veneer to adhere properly. Then an impression is taken of the remaining tooth, to get a perfect match between veneer and tooth, and then veneer is bonded to the tooth.
When done by a skilled cosmetic dentist, a veneer can easily last for upwards of 15 years.
Composite inlays are an advanced, more aesthetic alternative to traditional tooth filling materials. Formed from tiny particles of ceramic, bound together with a synthetic substance to enable modelling, the inlays are virtually invisible. Once in place, the still pliable material begins a hardening process, which is started with exposure to ultraviolet light.
Layers of the composite are added one by one, which is a highly skilled task.
It should be noted that the close resemblance of the materials used to the actual teeth makes it very difficult for your cosmetic dentist to differentiate between where the tooth ends and the composite begins; therefore it is advisable to only get this treatment performed by an expert with sufficient experience.
Porcelain crowns are recommended by dentists to fill cavities and tooth spaces, as they are durable, indistinguishable from your own teeth, and do not cause allergic reactions.
The dentist will recommend a crown when the tooth is too damaged, through decay or accidental damage, for an inlay or filling to be successful.
Crowns are expensive, as the work is highly skilled, using state-of-the-art technologies. However, once done, and with proper dental hygiene, porcelain dental crowns can easily last for upwards of 30 years. Another bonus is that the materials used can transmit the sensations of heat to the nerves in the same way that your natural teeth do, so you really will not notice the difference!
Many patients choose to travel abroad to get this kind of work done, as it can be very much cheaper in other countries.
When the tooth and roots have decayed beyond a certain stage, Dental Implants can be the answer to restoring the appearance of your smile.
Dental implants typically consist of titanium or ceramic compounds, and as well as replacing teeth can also form bridges and anchor points for other implants to fasten to.
It is important that the entire jaw is extensively checked, as, particularly in older patients, the jaw bone can lack strength and be unsuitable for this treatment. In this case, the jaw bone can be strengthened artificially, but you can expect the procedure to be much lengthier and costlier.
Dental implants are very much not the cheapest way to replace decaying teeth, and people considering them would be wise to compare the cost between the procedure in different countries. Dental implant prices are, without a doubt, substantially cheaper abroad…
When deciding whether to go for dental implants, it should be taken into consideration that sometimes the operation is unsuccessful, but the patient will still be required to pay for the implantation, unless it can be proved that the dentist made a large error. For this reason, you should make sure that the operation is being done by a fully-trained and experienced specialist in this area.
As we all know, plaque and scale are extremely damaging to the teeth. The best prevention for this damage is to visit the dentist two times a year for a full tooth cleaning and polishing.
The scale is particularly efficient at picking up stains from tea, coffee, red wine and tar from cigarettes. Before you start to consider other teeth whitening measures, you are recommended to get your teeth professionally cleaned and polished.
A combination of ultrasonic cleaning equipment, high-pressured water jets and abrasors and scrapers take care of the cleaning. The polishing is done with a specially designed polishing paste, and then a fluoride gel is applied to the teeth to strengthen the enamel.
At the end of the procedure, your teeth should have a much whiter, smoother look and feeling. As everyone’s teeth are different shades of white, if they are not white enough after this process, you may like to consider teeth whitening.
Dental braces are a method used in dentistry to correct poorly aligned teeth, and closing gaps between the teeth. Long popular among children, or at least their parents, dentists are now fitting braces to the teeth of British adults quite frequently as well. The treatment can often take five or so years for the results to reach completion, but for the people who undergo wearing the braces, it is definitely worth it!
Nowadays, braces can be a lot more discreet than they used to be, and at the opposite end of the spectrum are also available in a range of funky colours. Certainly not how it was when I was a kid!
The new big thing, though, is invisible braces. Developed and produced by Invisalign, they feature transparent rails, and achieve results in a gentler as well as less obtrusive way. They are removable, and because there are not the normal metal clasps, wires and sharp edges, damage and inflammation in the mouth is unlikely. Another benefit is that the process is quicker, generally taking from about one to one-and-a-half years compared to the five years expected with the traditional type of braces.
Whatever it is that is bothering you about your smile, it is a certainty that you will be able to save on the costs by getting dental treatment abroad!