Is There “Reality” in Reality TV’s Cosmetic Dentistry?

Is There “Reality” in Reality TV’s Cosmetic Dentistry?

With the advent of extreme makeovers on so-called “Reality TV” there is a misconception that all smiles can be fixed with a dozen DaVinci veneers. The way veneers are routinely the solution on television one would think all unaesthetic smiles are due to an insufficiency of porcelain in the mouth. The truth is that there are other methods of correcting the look of the front teeth that might be more appropriate and significantly less expensive.

While a television show creates more drama when the smile is corrected instantly, more times than not the altering of the appearance of healthy teeth by putting a drill to them isn’t the best solution. Tooth movement (orthodontics) does not fit within the time frame of a half-hour television show so television makeovers inadvertently misinform the public about all their dental options including the latest technology for adult orthodontics.

Porcelain veneers are well suited to widening teeth to eliminate gaps, lengthening teeth that are too short, and cosmetically covering teeth that are badly chipped or excessively worn from tooth grinding.

Orthodontics (braces), however, is a far better solution for teeth that are crowded or rotated or when there are uneven tooth levels. Trying to make teeth look regular and even by filling in deficient areas with porcelain or cutting back prominent areas will too often provide a less than satisfactory result. Correctly positioned teeth through orthodontics will yield a more natural result. Properly aligned teeth not only need less maintenance, they will function better (like well fitting gears) and be more comfortable.

Minor tooth movement reduces the amount of correcting porcelain required and the number of teeth that may need to be veneered. The result is a more comfortable and natural smile. Consult your dentist or orthodontist to determine what all your options are. You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that adult orthodontics often takes less time than you might think, it can sometimes be done right in your dentist’s office, and clear braces are virtually undetectable. You will get a more comfortable, natural result and save money by not veneering all your front teeth. You can’t beat that combination.

In my experience adult patients are extremely pleased with clear braces (both the process and results), and often they comment that they wish they had considered doing it sooner.