Do we all need a dazzling white smile? What used to be an exclusive celebrity obsession, seems to have become a universal dream. I have witnessed a dramatic increase in interest in the so called “Hollywood Smile” over my 12 year career.
What is the Hollywood Smile?
It is certainly not a dental term and no one can confirm who invented it for sure. Historically, the term has almost always been associated with veneers, which are layers of thin material covering the outer surface of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers were mainly aimed to temporarily improve movie stars’ smiles for the roles they played. Since then, their appearance, strength and bonding have considerably improved. By the early 1980s, veneers had become key players in cosmetic dentistry.
These days, veneers come in different shapes and shades, so do the cements used to bond them to teeth. Veneers are very versatile and can be made to look as natural or eccentric as needed.
Advantages of Veneers
- Minimal removal and less pain: We have historically associated any improvement to our smile with pain, suffering and the dreaded NEEDLE! This is extremely unlikely with veneers, as minimal or sometimes no tooth removal is involved. Therefore, little or no anaesthesia is needed!
- Strength and Protection: Research shows that veneers strengthen teeth by protecting them from destructive factors such as acidity and abrasive foods.
Veneers are not for everyone
Before you rush into booking your veneer appointment, it is vital to realize that veneers are not for everyone! Veneers are a great option ONLY if teeth are:
- Mildly chipped
- Superficially decayed
- Mildly displaced, crowded or spaced out
Contraindications of Veneers:
- Straight and not worn or chipped teeth
- Large areas of tooth loss/decay
- Poorly aligned teeth
- Grinders or heavy-biters
- Untreated gum disease
Long Term Maintenance is needed.
- Regular dental visits: Six monthly check-ups are crucial for examining the veneers for problems
- Healthy dental life style: excellent oral hygiene habits, regular fluoride use and minimal sugar consumption are pivotal for long term success
- Avoiding extremely hard and/or sticky foods such as caramels and toffees
Other Hollywood Smile Options
Although veneers are closely related to the Hollywood Smile, other treatment options can also give you the same result, if veneers are not a suitable choice. These include: crowns, bridges, orthodontics, simple composite bonded fillings, or even whitening.
If embarking on the Hollywood Smile journey is on your future to-do list, the following tips will be useful:
- Do your own research: Despite the bias of some sources, the more research you carry out, the larger the amount of information you accumulate.
- Find your Dentist: This is the most essential part of your journey. Cosmetic enhancement of your smile is a continuous dialogue and a multidisciplinary approach involving your dental, medical, social and psychological well-being.
- Resist Social Pressure: Your unique, distinctive, healthy smile is a part of who YOU are, if despite that, you still want to explore the Hollywood smile option, chose the most natural look that suits your own personality and character.
- And Remember: Veneers and Cosmetic Dental Treatments are more WANTED for appearance enhancement than NEEDED for health reasons. Looking after your teeth and improving your oral health should be your main priority.
This post was originally published here