If there’s one thing Americans can agree on it’s that a smile can make a big difference. Whether you’re dealing with a customer service representative, ordering from a lunch counter or going on a date, a smile can go a long way. According to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), more than half of adults in the United States over age 50 agree that a smile is the physical feature that stays the most attractive as we age.
But preserving that smile comes at a cost. Only 35 percent of adults have naturally well-aligned teeth and nine out of 10 adults older than 20 suffer from some level of tooth decay and 47.2 percent in that same age group suffer from some form of periodontal disease.
With that in mind, the need for dentists doesn’t seem to be decreasing. In fact, the need for dentists is expected to increase by 18 percent between 2014 and 2024 as Americans try to improve their smiles.
The teeth whitening industry is currently valued at nearly $11 billion and Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on teeth whitening products. An additional AACD survey found that nearly all (99.7 percent) of adults believe a healthy smile is socially important and American are certain to feel more comfortable in public with a clean, sparkling looking pair of pearly whites.
Another important aspect of cosmetic dentistry is tooth reshaping. If your teeth are uneven, chipped or bulging, tooth reshaping might be the answer.
Most youths seem to have the need for braces and retainers at a young age. In fact, abnormal bites typically become visible between ages six and 12 and orthodontic treatment usually starts between ages 8 and 14.
If you’re considering tooth reshaping, a cosmetic dentist will take x-rays to examine your teeth for decay, enamel issues and other things that might affect the procedure. Tooth reshaping has many benefits as well:
- Lack of pain: tooth reshaping is relatively painless and most patients don’t require any form of anesthesia.
- It’s quick: the procedure usually only takes 30-40 minutes and doesn’t require a followup appointment.
- Improving your smile: tooth reshaping leaves your teeth even, clean and polished.
- Improved health: tooth reshaping usually eliminates spaces between teeth where tartar and plaque accumulate. This in turn reduces the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.