One thing that can be said of people in America today is that we care about the way our teeth look. The popularity of teeth whitening has never been higher and the price that people will pay to have a great smile is sometimes astronomical. Here in Malta, we definitely see a desire in our community to not only take care of our teeth but also to try and have the best-looking teeth we possibly can. But has cosmetic dentistry always been so popular?
Over the centuries, cosmetic dentistry has grown from a primitive guessing game of trying to determine best practices, materials, and combinations to become a well-oiled machine of ingenuitive and technological advancements. In light of the impressive abilities that dentists have today, the methods of even 100 years ago seem simply archaic. We’ve seen cosmetic dental procedures slowly change and adapt from being something that only the wealthiest among us could even attempt to being practices that are accessible to almost anyone, depending on their budget.
But when we mention cosmetic dentistry, what does that include? Are there certain methods of cosmetic dentistry that are more common than others? In today’s blog, we’re going to take a closer look at each of the most common cosmetic dental procedures. Continue reading below to learn more!
Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Perhaps one of the most common types of cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening is a procedure that you can find at almost any dental office, and our Malta dental clinic is no different. If you tuned into our last blog, you might remember some of the primitive bleaching methods that we mentioned from the early centuries B.C. Ancient Romans used pumice and urine as a kind of early toothpaste and stain remover. Surprisingly, as barbaric as it may sound, the ammonia in urine actually does contain bleaching properties, so the Romans were definitely off to a good start.
Teeth bleaching in the 1800s and 1900s was performed by using hydrogen peroxide, but In 1989, two dentists, Dr. Haywood and Dr. Heymann, discovered that using carbamide peroxide was actually much more effective. Though laser whitening was invented in the 1960s, big improvements didn’t come until the 1990s when a method of light, heat, and a bleaching agent was approved by the FDA. Today, teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures and at our Malta dental clinic, we see countless patients for just that. If you’d like to brighten up your pearly whites, stop in and see us!
Another kind of common cosmetic dental procedure is the addition of dental veneers. Veneers, usually made of porcelain, are bonded to the teeth in an effort to improve the look of teeth that are discolored, fractured, or simply have a look that’s less than desirable. Dental veneers were invented in the 1930s by Charles Pincus in an effort to give movie stars a temporary, cosmetic fix for troublesome teeth. Since these early veneers were only held in place by a dental adhesive, they would fall off after a short time and were only practical for small increments. It wasn’t until 1982 that a method of permanently bonding the dental veneer to the teeth was invented. Today, veneers are extremely popular and tend to last ten to fifteen years.
Dental Implants are extremely popular and though they’ve only been successfully performed in the last hundred years, ancient peoples had several attempts at dental implants. Ancient Egyptians would hammer seashells into people’s gums in an effort to give people back their ability to chew. As you can probably imagine, this venture wasn’t a success. Over the centuries, experimentation continued with dental implants and early dentists even tried to put human teeth into patients mouths. However, the host would always reject these foreign teeth and this route was never successful. There were also some efforts made to use metal teeth composites as dental implants but that, too, was unsuccessful.
It wasn’t until 1937, that Alvin Strock first endeavored to use a screw as a dental implant, and in 1952, a Swedish doctor discovered the process of osseointegration. This huge discovery meant that now, titanium implants could be fused to the bone, and thus, making dental implants not only widely successful but lasting and even permanent. In the 1990s, the use of dental implants became extremely popular and today, it’s still one of the most common types of cosmetic dentistry.
Malta’s Best Dentists
If you’ve been thinking about getting some cosmetic dental work, what’s stopping you? Whether you’d just like to schedule a whitening session, or you’re considering veneers, implants, or dentures, it’s never too late to get the smile that you’ve been dreaming of. Contact our Malta dentists today to talk to us about your ideal smile. And if you’re needing general dentistry, we’re good for that too! Schedule your dental appointment today!