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A whiter, brighter smile is a common desire which can be addressed with various cosmetic dentistry procedures.
However, the American Association of Orthodontists reminds patients that it is important to make sure that cosmetic dentistry is not masking an underlying problem that is best treated with orthodontics instead.
The AAO has made its recommendation in response to the popularity of makeover TV shows, which show people rapidly improving their dental health and appearance with very little apparent effort.
In reality, many of these cosmetic dentistry procedures may require significant work that may change the tooth's structure - and if the orthodontic aspect is not addressed, the patient may be setting themselves up for further dental health problems, the AAO says.
"We want the public to be aware that for adults considering cosmetic dental procedures, it's often a good idea to take a team approach to improve oral health and appearance by consulting the patient's dentist, the orthodontist and other dental specialists as needed," commented Dr B. Melvin DeSoto.
According to the AAO, braces are becoming a more common choice for adults who want to improve their appearance and their dental health.
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