President's Rx: Teeth Whitening

Folks today are not only wanting to feel their best, but look their best. And as part of that, more are turning to cosmetic dentistry.

Procedures run the gamut and include bleaching, braces and veneers. If you're interested in doing something in cosmetic dentistry, it's important to do your homework to ensure you get what you want.

In the past, aesthetic dental interventions were limited. Anyone old enough to remember disco knows also how involved it was to get braces. Braced teeth were wrapped with metal bands that were adjusted by an orthodontist. Today, crooked teeth are realigned much more comfortably and much less noticeably.

Bleaching has been around for decades. But, as with bracing, technology has surely simplified things. What used to require visits to the dentist now can be done at home with an appropriately fitted bleaching tray or over-the counter whitening products. The process is repeated daily to lighten teeth by several shades.

For those whose teeth are worn down from grinding or chewing, misshapen, or too dark for bleaching alone, veneers are an option. These are thin coverings made of resin or porcelain that are permanantly bonded to the front of the teeth to reshape and recolor the surface.

If you're considering having cosmetic dental work, talk to your family dentist. He knows better than anyone else what might work best to achieve your goals. With the right team of dentists, orthodontists and oral surgeons, you'll be ready to get that winning smile.