With the advances of modern dentistry and orthodontics, having a perfect smile is an achievable goal. Uneven teeth are considered unsightly, but they can sometimes lead to dental and jaw issues as well. If you want to straighten uneven teeth or improve their appearance, you have several procedures to choose from. Whether for health or cosmetic reasons, if you have savings or a good insurance plan, it's possible to fix uneven teeth and gain a dazzling new smile.
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Talk to your dentist about braces. Your dentist can assess the state of your teeth, discuss your options and projected costs, and refer you to an orthodontist if you decide to go forward with the procedure.
If you are an adult, uneven teeth may be more difficult to straighten with braces than for children or teenagers. You can get less-noticeable ceramic braces if the appearance of the braces is an issue for you.
Undergo X-rays and other screening procedures with your orthodontist. These will help your orthodontist assess the state of your mouth. Your orthodontist may also need to make an impression of your mouth. In some cases, you may need to have some teeth pulled if your mouth is overcrowded.
Make your follow-up visit to have your braces applied. The orthodontist will apply brackets to your front and premolar teeth, steel or titanium bands around your molars, and flexible archwires that connect all of your teeth and control their movement.
Return to your orthodontist every four to six weeks for adjustments to your braces. Your orthodontist will tighten your braces each time by tightening the wires to shift your teeth gradually into new positions.
You will probably need to wear the braces for one to three years, depending on how uneven your teeth are.
Wear your retainer after your teeth are straightened and your braces have been removed. Your orthodontist will tell you how long you for need to wear it. If you do not wear your retainer as directed, you risk losing the benefits of the braces and undoing years of work.
Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about aligners. Aligners, or "invisible braces," aren't right for everyone, but they are more discreet than regular braces. They are suitable for those who only need minor corrections to fix their teeth.
Have your orthodontist make an impression of your teeth. This will allow your orthodontist to make a customised pair of removable plastic aligners that fit over your teeth. You will use a series of these aligners to straighten your teeth.
Wear the aligners every day for at least 22 to 23 hours. Remove them to eat and to brush your teeth. You will wear a series of aligners that gradually change the alignment of your teeth.
Progress to the next set of aligners about every two weeks. Make periodic visits to your orthodontist for check-ups to make sure your teeth are progressing as they should be.
Talk to your dentist about veneers. Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic procedure that can enhance the appearance of your teeth, filling in unsightly gaps and evening out teeth of different lengths. Thin layers of porcelain are bonded to the surface of the tooth, creating a smile that looks flawless.
Visit your dentist a second time to prepare your teeth for bonding. Your dentist will buff the surface of your teeth, removing about half a millimetre off the outer layer, to allow for the thickness of the veneer.
If you are using ceramic veneers, your dentist will take a mould of your teeth as well. The mould will be used to create custom veneers for your mouth.
Visit your dentist a third time for the bonding procedure if you are using ceramic veneers. For composite resin veneers, the bonding is done in the same visit as tooth preparation. Your dentist will bond each veneer to the surface of the tooth with cement and special chemicals.
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