Many people have the desire to have perfect teeth and, for that, they resort to different procedures such as whitening, increasing the length of the teeth and even retracting the gums.
However, in the midst of so many options, those looking for a whiter, aligned and uniform smile can find in dental contact lenses a good alternative.
They aim to correct imperfections of the teeth, making them more aesthetically pleasing.
- 1 What is a dental contact lens and what is it for?
- 2 How does the procedure work?
- 3 How long does the dental contact lens last?
- 4 Care after the procedure
- 5 Dental contact lens breaks?
- 6 Porcelain veneer or dental contact lens: which is better?
- 7 Advantages and disadvantages of using the dental lens
- 8 Value: what is the price of the dental contact lens?
What is a dental contact lens and what is it for?
The dental contact lens is a dental technique that serves to correct imperfections of teeth such as shape, color, size and alignment.
The procedure consists of applying fragments of porcelain over the region, as an adhesive.
The name is given due to the similarity of thickness to a contact lens, since each blade of porcelain is about 0.2mm. In addition, it is placed in front of the teeth, just like a contact lens.
The lens is manufactured according to the mold of the patient’s teeth and does not necessarily need to be placed throughout the dental arch. Generally, they are fixed in the region that is shown, that is, in the front teeth.
The procedure has both aesthetic and functional purposes, since in addition to correcting imperfections in the appearance of teeth, the application of porcelain can, in some cases, assist in the correction of masticatory function.
How does the procedure work?
The procedure, in general, consists of the evaluation of the patient’s clinical condition, digital treatment planning, preparation of the natural teeth to receive the lenses, approval of the result through a prototype and, finally, the application.
Specifically, the steps are usually:
Evaluation and planning
The first stage of treatment with dental contact lenses is the evaluation of the patient’s dental arch.
It is at this point that the analysis of the size and color of natural teeth, gum health and the decision as to whether the contact lens is the proper technique for the person is made.
After this assessment, smile planning begins. This occurs through photographs and radiographic examinations, in which it is possible to simulate and digitally observe the changes that will be made with contact lenses.
The tooth preparation step aims to remove possible stains and tartar from the teeth that may hinder the application of contact lenses. In some cases, tooth whitening may be indicated .
This is because the porcelain sheet is extremely thin – and so that the natural color of the teeth does not transpire and interfere with the final result, the removal of stains and previous whitening of the teeth is important.
In addition, unlike the technique of porcelain veneers, it is not necessary to wear the teeth before the procedure to place the lens.
After digitally planning the procedure, the plan is presented for the patient’s approval.
However, although detailed, the images do not accurately simulate how the lens will look on the person’s teeth.
In this way, a prototype is created so that the client can visualize the aspect of the final result and, if necessary, request changes.
This step is called a mockup , that is, when a piece of resin is made in the shape of how the teeth will look at the end of the treatment and is applied over the teeth for evaluation.
It is also at this stage that the color of the dental contact lens is defined.
After the teeth have been prepared and the patient approves the planning, the mold is sent to the laboratories, which will produce the contact lenses.
After the contact lenses are ready, the blades are cemented (fixed) and final adjustments are made.
For this, a product called cement is used. There are different types of cement, which can provide different color aspects at the end of the process.
Therefore, before cementation, in some cases the professional will use the so – called try-in pastes .
They are test pastes and simulate the final result that will be achieved when using one or another cement stain.
In this way, the professional will be able to choose the product that best adapts to each case for final fixation.
How long does the dental contact lens last?
The durability of dental contact lenses can vary according to the way the procedure was performed and the care after application on natural teeth.
In general, the lenses last between 10 and 15 years, however, if the patient takes all the necessary care, they can be preserved for an even longer period.
Care after the procedure
Care after application is very important for a good result. The patient’s caution in relation to the lens is one of the factors that can prolong or decrease the useful life of the procedure.
Some of the main precautions are related to:
If the daily hygiene of the teeth was already something important, with contact lenses care must be doubled.
Brushing your teeth three times a day or after each meal and flossing are essential steps to maintain the good result of the procedure.
It is also worth mentioning the importance of using a soft-bristled toothbrush, so that the dental arch is cleaned without the risk of scratching the lenses.
Contrary to what some people may think, the patient who uses the dental contact lens does not need to completely change their eating habits, but rather, take care of the excess of some foods.
The consumption of wine should not be done in an exacerbated manner, as it can damage the color of the lenses.
Highly pigmented foods, such as sodas and coffee, should also be eaten in moderation, as they can also affect the appearance of porcelain on teeth.
For those who consume these foods daily, a tip is to do a mouth rinse with water right after ingesting them.
The habit of biting nails or biting objects, such as a pencil and pen cover, is common among many people.
However, for those who performed a dental contact lens procedure, it is recommended to suspend these practices, as they may damage the lens.
This, because although the material is resistant, there can be risks or even the breaking of the porcelain sheet.
Habits such as the use of cigarettes can also be detrimental to the conservation of the lenses and, therefore, are not recommended.
For people who suffer from bruxism , some care must be taken.
The interocclusal plate – used to protect teeth from fractures caused by bruxism – previously used, must be redone. This is because, with the dental lens, the appearance of the dental arch is modified and it is necessary to adapt the plaque for the effective treatment of the problem.
Dental contact lens breaks?
-Yeah . Although contact lenses are resistant, there is the possibility of breakage, just like in natural teeth.
In this case, there is no way to repair them and it is necessary to change the dental contact lens.
Therefore, post-procedure care is extremely important to keep the lenses in good condition.
Porcelain veneer or dental contact lens: which is better?
Both the porcelain veneer and the dental contact lens are dental techniques used to correct teeth imperfections.
Both consist of applying porcelain fragments to the teeth, however, despite being similar procedures, they have some differences.
The main one is that the porcelain veneer is thicker than the contact lens. Thus, it is necessary to wear the teeth before making the application, so that the procedure results in a natural aspect.
In general, the facet is indicated for cases in which the dental arch has several stains or wide spacing between the teeth, requiring major changes.
The contact lens, in contrast, generally does not require this wear, as the blade is very thin and provides a natural appearance in relation to the thickness of the tooth.
The choice of technique varies according to the characteristics and objective of the patient. Thus, it is always worth consulting a professional who will indicate the ideal treatment for each person.
Advantages and disadvantages of using the dental lens
Many people are excited about the possibility of putting contact lenses on their teeth.
However, before making a decision, it is important to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure, since the technique has a long duration.
Among the main points are:
The contact lens can provide several benefits for those who use it. The main advantages of the procedure are:
- It is a quick procedure;
- It is painless;
- Improves the appearance of the smile;
- Provides whiter teeth;
- Preserves the natural structure of the tooth;
- Repairs small imperfections;
- It has a long duration.
As with almost any procedure, contact lenses can have some disadvantages that should be considered.
Some of them are:
- It is a high-cost treatment;
- After applying the lens, there is no way to change its color;
- If there are fractures, there is no way to repair, requiring the replacement of the lens.
Value: what is the price of the dental contact lens?
The price for placing dental contact lenses may vary according to the geographic region, material used, chosen professional and the patient’s condition.
In general, the value can vary between R $ 1,500 and R $ 3,000 per lens, that is, per tooth *.
* Average price consulted in April 2020. Prices may change.
Amid the search for perfect teeth, the dental contact lens can be a good option.
The technique allows to improve the dental arch in a natural way, besides having a long duration.
Want to know more about dental procedures and oral health ? The Healthy Minute has complete content for you! Read more and stay informed!