Welcome to the world of cosmetic dentistry with West Coast Dental Care. Our advanced dentistry Perth clinic routinely performs cosmetic procedures that transform patients’ smiles and confidence with results that last well into the future. We all want a healthy, attractive smile, but you might wonder: precisely how long can the benefits of various cosmetic dentistry procedures last?
In this comprehensive guide, we explore a range of treatments, including smile makeovers, teeth whitening, orthodontics, dental implants, porcelain veneers, crowns, and bridge work. We’ll provide an overview of each procedure and discuss its average lifespan, along with strategies for extending their longevity. Let’s get started on this journey towards long-lasting, dazzling smiles. If you require a dentist, Perth based West Coast Dental Care is here to help—get in touch today.
A smile makeover is a comprehensive approach to improving your smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures, which could include teeth whitening, veneers, crowns, and more. The durability of a smile makeover depends on the procedures involved and how well you maintain your oral health. With good oral hygiene, the results of a smile makeover can last for several years or more. Read further to discover the average longevity of specific procedures that may be included in a smile makeover.
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments due to its amazing and potentially dramatic results (depending on what the individual may want). Some people prefer a slight “fresher or crisper look”. Others want their teeth to “light up the street”. The whiteness typically fades with time as part of the aging process of any tooth. Natural teeth discolour or become yellower/greyer as the teeth age. The technique we use is very stable, but may need to be touched up after a couple of years.
Orthodontics, a specialised branch of dentistry, is dedicated to the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of mal-positioned teeth and jaws. This field includes treatments like braces and aligners, which help adjust and align the teeth into a more aesthetically pleasing and functional position. While the changes achieved through orthodontics are usually permanent, they require a commitment to maintenance for lasting success.
Braces are one of the most common orthodontic devices used to correct misaligned teeth and bite problems. They consist of brackets attached to the teeth and connected by wires that are periodically tightened, gradually moving the teeth into the desired position. The treatment duration varies based on the severity of misalignment and the individual’s biological response to treatment. It generally ranges from 18 months to three years.
Once the braces are removed, teeth have been moved into their new, correct positions, but the tissues around them—including gums, jaw bone, and the periodontal membrane—need time to adjust to the new positioning. Without proper braces aftercare, the teeth may drift back towards their original positions.
Aligners, like Invisalign, offer a less visible alternative to traditional braces. These clear, custom-made trays are worn over the teeth and incrementally move them into better alignment. Aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours a day and are usually changed every 1–2 weeks, depending on the orthodontist’s instructions. While aligners can be more comfortable and aesthetic than braces, they require discipline as their success relies on the commitment of the wearer to keep them on for the requisite amount of time.
Regardless of whether braces or aligners are used, retainers are a crucial part of orthodontic treatment. After the active phase of orthodontics is complete, the teeth need to be held in their new positions while the surrounding tissues stabilise. This is the retention phase.
Retainers can be fixed (bonded to the teeth) or removable, and they help maintain the teeth in their new positions. The duration retainers need to be worn varies. Some orthodontists recommend 24/7 retainer use initially, tapering off to night-time use as the risk of tooth movement decreases. In many cases, indefinite night-time retainer use is recommended to ensure the longevity of the orthodontic results.
Dental implants, composed of a titanium implant post and a crown, are a trusted solution for tooth loss. Here, we explore the longevity of these components in detail.
The implant post, surgically inserted into the jawbone, serves as an artificial root. Thanks to the biocompatible nature of titanium, it integrates well with human bone, providing a stable base for the crown. With meticulous care and maintenance, the implant post can last a lifetime. The longevity of the implant post also depends on factors such as surgical technique, quality of the jawbone, patient’s overall health, and oral hygiene.
The crown, or prosthetic tooth, is the visible part of the implant. On average, crowns last around 10 to 15 years. This duration can be influenced by the material of the crown, oral hygiene habits, diet, and regular dental check-ups.
Porcelain veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry choice, delivering a dramatic smile transformation by addressing various aesthetic issues like discolouration, chips, gaps, or misalignment. They are custom-made, thin shells of medical-grade ceramic material bonded to the front surfaces of teeth. Despite their thinness, their strength, longevity, and appearance are highly impressive.
Porcelain veneers typically last 10–15 years, but their lifespan can extend up to 20 years with proper care. Unlike natural tooth enamel, porcelain is not permeable, so it resists staining from coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco, maintaining its bright and vibrant colour for many years.
Porcelain crowns are a popular option in restorative dentistry, offering both functional and aesthetic benefits. They play a crucial role in restoring teeth that are severely damaged, decayed, or aesthetically unsatisfactory. They cover or ‘cap’ the entirety of a tooth, from the chewing surface down to the gumline. It’s custom-crafted in a dental laboratory using high-quality dental porcelain, a type of ceramic material known for its strength, durability, and resemblance to natural tooth enamel.
On average, porcelain crowns last between 10–15 years, but with excellent oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, they can last 20 years or more. Despite their aesthetic appeal, porcelain crowns are not just about looks; they are known for their durability, offering a long-term solution for restored tooth functionality.
Dental bridges, utilised for replacing missing teeth, include false teeth held by two dental crowns or implants. They come in four primary types: traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported bridges. Each variant offers different advantages and potential lifespan.
The longevity of dental bridges typically ranges from 5 to 15 years, extending with excellent oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Several factors affect this duration, for example, traditional bridges usually last longer than Maryland bridges.
How can I extend the longevity of cosmetic dentistry?
Extending the longevity of cosmetic dentistry procedures is largely dependent on your oral hygiene habits, lifestyle choices, and regular dental care. Here are some strategies to help prolong the lifespan of your cosmetic dental work:
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene: Regular brushing (at least twice a day) and flossing (at least once a day) are essential to maintaining not only your natural teeth but also any restorations or cosmetic procedures. For dental implants, bridges, or crowns, consider using interdental brushes or water flossers to clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Regular dental check-ups and cleanings: Visit your dentist regularly, typically every six months, for a check-up and professional cleaning. Regular dental visits can detect potential issues early, which can prevent damage to your cosmetic dental work.
- Balanced diet: A healthy diet plays a vital role in oral health. Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay, which can damage your natural teeth and potentially affect your cosmetic dentistry work. Conversely, foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruits and vegetables can enhance your oral health.
- Avoid harmful habits: Habits like teeth grinding, clenching, and using your teeth to open packages or cut threads can damage your cosmetic dentistry work. If you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about a night guard to protect your teeth and any restorations.
- No smoking: Smoking can stain your teeth and restorations, cause gum disease, and lead to other health problems. Quitting smoking will improve your oral health and help prolong the lifespan of your cosmetic dentistry.
- Wear protective gear: If you play contact sports, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and any cosmetic dentistry from damage.
- Care for dental appliances: If you have removable dental appliances, like retainers or dentures, follow your dentist’s instructions for cleaning and caring for them. Store them properly when not in use to avoid damage.
Remember, the longevity of cosmetic dentistry procedures is not just about the quality of the work, but also about how well you take care of your oral health. With good habits and regular care, you can extend the lifespan of your cosmetic dentistry work and keep your smile looking its best for years to come.
Cosmetic dentistry has transformed the world of dental care, offering effective solutions for a wide variety of oral health and aesthetic concerns. At West Coast Dental Care, we are committed to helping you achieve a smile that not only looks good but also lasts. The lifespans of these procedures can vary, but with diligent care and a few lifestyle adjustments, their longevity can be significantly extended.
If you’re interested in learning more about these procedures or want to schedule a consultation, we’d be delighted to assist you. We offer a full range of cosmetic and general dentistry services, and our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing you with personalised, quality care. Whether it’s time for your regular check-up, or you’re considering a complete smile makeover dental treatment, Perth-based West Coast Dental Care can’t wait to serve you. Remember, a beautiful smile is an investment in your confidence, health, and overall well-being. Trust us with your smile today! Get in touch or book online today.