Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

Do You Need a Cosmetic Dentist or an Orthodontist?

When your teeth are not aligned, it's good to have this addressed; not only will you look better and feel more confident, but misaligned teeth can mean a lack of support for the jaw muscles. In turn, you may feel soreness and aches along the jaw and see teeth become eroded more easily as they rub up against each other. You may assume you need to see an orthodontist for teeth straightening, but very often a cosmetic dentist can be a good option and he or she may be able to straighten your teeth more quickly and easily than an orthodontist. Note a few considerations to keep in mind so you can determine if a cosmetic dentist can help you.

For appearance sake

If your teeth are just slightly crooked and they aren't causing problems with muscle support along the jaw line, a cosmetic dentist can usually be the right choice. Adding a veneer over the front of crooked teeth to reshape them can make them look straighter even though they haven't actually been moved into a new position. This is especially true if it's just your front teeth that are making you feel self-conscious; you may not need to nudge them into a new position but just have them covered or bonded and your appearance is immediately improved.

Smaller teeth

Smaller teeth may look misaligned simply because their fronts sit back from the rest of your teeth, but in truth, they may be perfectly aligned with the rest of your teeth. A cosmetic dentist can build up a small tooth with bonding or put a cap over it to make it appear larger. Again, the tooth is not nudged into any new position but it will simply look aligned with your other teeth.

Minor misalignment issues

Your teeth may be misaligned and your jaw is not getting support as it should, but, depending on the severity of your misalignment issues, you might simply choose to visit a cosmetic dentist to have your teeth capped or have veneers put over them anyway. Your dentist might suggest you wear a mouth guard or bite guard at night to better support your teeth, or you might be willing to have new caps or veneers put over your teeth every few years if they rub up against each other and cause damage to your cosmetic work. Only you can determine if this is the right choice for your overall oral health, as long as you know of any long-term consequences to avoiding orthodontic work in favor of cosmetic work.