The world of cosmetic dentistry offers more than just superficial changes to your smile. It's also an important part of rebuilding a functional bite pattern after an accident or gum disease causes tooth loss. Like with all medical fields, the practices of cosmetic dentistry continue to change and evolve. Find out what trends and breakthroughs occurred in 2023 to know what to expect in the future when you stop by your dentist's office.
More patients than ever are choosing veneers for long-term improvements to their smiles. It's largely because today's veneers need less prep work and leave more of the natural tooth material intact than in the past. Veneers are great for changing the shape or appearance of the tooth, including covering up stubborn stains that don't respond to the usual teeth whitening methods. Caps and temporary veneers are also growing in popularity for patients who only want a minor improvement for a big event like a wedding.
In the past, the dentist had to describe what to expect from any cosmetic work you wanted done. Today, you can see an accurate and photorealistic 3D model based on real scans of your mouth. This model is easily adjusted by the dentist to show you what might happen if you used clear aligners or had tooth whitening. Digital smile design software gives you a clear idea of your future after a smile makeover. You can get involved in the process as well by giving your dentist feedback on the design so they can adjust it until you're happy.
Speaking of digital scans, you're not limited to uncomfortable physical impressions anymore when seeking out cosmetic dentistry like veneers or implants. Your dentist can scan the inside of your mouth instead to create an accurate model that allows them to predict what you'll look like after the work is completed. Most of these digital scans also help replace impressions and other measurements so the dental work offers a greater level of accuracy and a more realistic appearance. Today's scanning tools make cosmetic work more comfortable and faster to complete than ever before.
While 3D printing isn't quite up to creating an entire dental implant or partial denture from scratch yet, dentists are increasingly turning to it as a method for creating models of dentures and other dental work. They can use these temporary models to let you try on the addition or to adjust the fit before the final prosthesis is manufactured. As new 3D printing materials continue to become available, you can expect to eventually see your dentist printing a dental implant or veneer right there in the office for a fast installation process.
The use of dental lasers is continuing to grow and it became a major trend in 2023. They're used for pinpoint tooth whitening procedures, to dry and cure materials like bonding gels used to resurface teeth, and even to shape the gum tissue for a better-looking smile. Lasers give the dentist precise control over the results while limiting the recovery time needed after the procedure. Expect your dentist to use lasers more and more in the future for every kind of cosmetic procedure.
Some of the biggest trends in cosmetic dentist offices this year weren't focused on the physical health of the patients, but rather the emotional side of care. Dentists are starting to approach the fact that patients tend to have a lot of anxiety and self-confidence connected to their smiles. By taking a caring approach and discussing the emotional impact of oral health with their patients, many are finding new ways to encourage patients to embrace regular care with less anxiety.
Dental implants have been a top trend in cosmetic dentistry for years now, but advancements in both the implants and the preparation steps for them are making more patients choose them every year. In 2023, gum and bone graft breakthroughs allowed many patients to choose implants that were once unable to qualify for the procedure. This is expected to continue developing as new materials and surgeries are found. Implants are also more realistic looking than ever before, encouraging many people to choose them that once weren't quite convinced.
Discuss your dental health goals with your cosmetic dentist in Enumclaw WA before your next appointment. Regardless of what's trendy or which year you're getting care, they can help guide you to the right procedures to help straighten, whiten, or restore missing teeth. Visit us here at Decker Dental to get started on your journey to a healthier and more beautiful smile and the self-confidence that comes along with it.