For teenage dental patients, there are different sets of priorities and concerns that Thomas G. Zarger, Jr, DDS, is prepared to handle. Dr. Zarger is practiced in the most popular dental treatments for teens, many of which improve the aesthetics of the smile and prepare the teeth and gums for long-term health.
Teenage dental patients have already grown their full set of permanent teeth, and usually come visit the dentist for routine cleaning and exams, or because of these concerns:
- Crooked teeth
- Stained or discolored teeth
- Wisdom teeth
- Chips or cracks in teeth
What Procedures Work for Teens?
While teen patients may be most concerned with the aesthetics of their teeth, Knoxville cosmetic dentist Thomas Zarger believes the health and protection of teens’ natural teeth is the first and foremost priority. Prior to undergoing cosmetic treatments, any signs of cavities or gum disease should be treated.
The following are some of the most popular teen dental procedures:
- Teeth whitening is a popular procedure for teens whose teeth are stained or not uniformly white. Whitening, which uses peroxide, can be done in one 30-minute visit to Dr. Zarger’s Knoxville office, and can noticeably lighten teeth several shades.
- Porcelain veneers are affixed to the front of teens’ natural teeth and can cover up stains and crooked teeth. Veneers create a uniformly brilliant, natural-looking smile that gives teens confidence. The beauty of porcelain veneers is that they can be affixed in just one or two visits and last five to 10 years. Veneers are a permanent solution, and should be used for teens only if they are fully prepared for the lifelong commitment the procedure demands.
- Both Invisalign Teen and traditional braces correct the crooked teeth or bite in a teenager’s smile. They may take several months or years to move the teeth into a straight, uniform position. Invisalign Teen utilizes clear aligners, much like adult Invisalign, but comes with special dental teen-centric bonuses like replacement aligners. Traditional braces utilize metal or resin brackets and wires, which gradually move teeth into their desired alignment. Both methods of teeth straightening require regular visits to an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist to receive adjustments or new aligners and to ensure the process is moving teeth in the desired manner.
- Tooth-colored fillings fulfill both the aesthetic look teens desire and the necessary procedure needed to clean and seal a cavity. These fillings are molded to fit within a cavity after it has been cleaned and decay is removed. They seal the cavity and prevent it from growing or further decaying, and blend in almost unnoticeably with a teenager’s tooth.
- Inlays and Onlays fill the chasm a cavity leaves, much like a tooth-colored filling, but they often fit more snugly into a cavity or chip, as they are made out-of-office to mold specifically within (or on top of, in the case of an onlay) a teen’s tooth.
- Wisdom teeth extraction is a procedure many teens and their families opt to have during the teen years. This process necessitates some recovery time and may require an oral surgeon. However, it is beneficial because the wisdom teeth may reposition the existing teeth.