There’s just something about the holiday season that creates a warm, happy feeling, giving us many reasons to smile. Maybe it’s the bright and colorful decorations everywhere, or the Christmas music being played on the radio, or a chance to spend time with family and friends.

But is an unattractive smile putting a damper on your holiday spirit? Teeth that are discolored, broken, crooked, or even missing can have a dramatic impact on our confidence and desire to smile. If you or a loved one are unhappy with how your teeth look, you may want to consider the gift of a cosmetic dental procedure.

A smile makeover is long-lasting, life-changing, and can be the perfect holiday gift to yourself or a family member. In this article we will discuss some simple procedures that can boost a person’s confidence and give them a beautiful smile for not only the holiday season but also for years to come.

Teeth Whitening: 

The most common complaint many have about their teeth is that they are not as white as they used to be. Teeth tend to discolor with age, even if you are diligent about brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. Teeth whitening, sometimes called “teeth bleaching,” is a simple process that is a quick and affordable way to get a brighter smile.

Over time, teeth can become stained or discolored, especially after smoking, taking certain medications, or consuming foods and beverages such as red wine, coffee, and tea. Using a chemical process, your dentist can bleach your teeth with an in-office procedure, a system to use at home, or a combination of the two.

While there are over-the-counter whitening kits you can purchase, for the best results you should be treated by a dentist who will use only the best and safest procedures. If you try to whiten your teeth on your own, you may damage not only your teeth but also your health.

Keep in mind, your teeth can become stained again if you continue exposing them to the same substances that originally stained them. Because whitening products are not meant to clean teeth, it is still important to continue practicing daily oral hygiene.

Tooth Bonding: 

Bonding is a process in which tooth-colored materials are adhered (bonded) to the tooth. This is a simple procedure that can be used to repair or improve the appearance of a tooth that has been badly stained, worn down, broken, or chipped. Bonding can also help protect any exposed roots that occur when teeth start to recede.

Dental bonding is a quick procedure that can be completed in just one visit. During the appointment, your dentist will lightly roughen up the surface of the designated teeth to prepare for the bonding. Then a composite material is used to fill in and reshape the surface of the tooth. Finally, your dentist will shape the bonded tooth to blend in naturally with the rest of your teeth.

Although bonding can last for several years, it is more likely than other types of restorations to chip or become stained or just wear down.

Dental Veneers: 

If your concern is more about chipped teeth, then getting veneers will improve your smile while also helping to protect and strengthen your teeth. These chips if left untreated could lead to bigger cracks so it is not just an aesthetic problem. Veneers last longer than bonding and provide a superior appearance.

Veneers are a thin shell made out of porcelain or composite material. They are custom made and cemented to the front side of the tooth. Besides chipped teeth, a veneer can be used to treat other dental conditions such as a slightly crooked tooth, discolored teeth, or even to cover spaces in between the teeth.

Before inserting veneers, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth, then buff the tooth before cementing the veneer in place. A beam of light helps harden the cement, which secures the veneer to your tooth. All of this can be done with only mild anesthetic and very little time out of your busy schedule.

The veneers will look just like your natural teeth and they will be bonded securely to your tooth. To enjoy your new smile for years to some, it is best to limit your intake of some food and drink like red wine, coffee, and tea that may stain the veneers.

Dental Crowns: 

Crowns, also referred to as caps, are custom made to fit over your whole tooth, helping to restore your holiday smile. They are usually made out of acrylic or porcelain that has been fused to metal to withstand biting pressure. Crowns can be used to treat teeth that are poorly shaped, badly decayed, broken, chipped, have had large fillings, or to cover spaces in between teeth.

Your dentist will prepare your tooth for the crown, then make a mold of the tooth or take a digital impression. Many dentists will often provide you with a temporary crown. A second appointment is scheduled to install the permanent crown. Crowns can have a long life if you take proper care of them.

Dental Implants: 

Are missing teeth making you feel self-conscious, especially around the holidays? Then a dental implant may be the treatment that brings back your Christmas spirit!

A dental implant is basically an artificial tooth attached to a small titanium post that your dentist surgically implants in your jaw. You can get an implant to replace a single tooth, or more to provide a stable support for replacing several teeth. They are designed to match your existing teeth and are safe, comfortable, and attractive.

There are a number of benefits to dental implants over other tooth replacement procedures. First, they support your existing teeth and help keep them from getting loose. They also allow you to enjoy your favorite meals without any discomfort, functioning just like your original teeth.

Implants are more permanent than dentures and bridges and the best part is that none of the surrounding teeth have to be modified in the process. Once the implant is secure, it can act as a normal tooth root and can anchor artificial teeth such as a bridge, or denture. In order to be eligible for implants, your gums must be healthy and there must be enough bone to support the post.

The trees are bare, the air is crisp and the forecast is calling for snow. With the holiday season in full swing, the only thing missing are the beautiful smiles. So whether you or a loved one just need a simple whitening treatment or to replace missing teeth, there are many cosmetic dentistry options to choose from. Now is the perfect time to embrace the holiday spirit with a beautiful smile.

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