The risks of dental contact lenses, fashion among celebrities and soccer players – 12/08/2022

In general, laminates are indicated for specific and more serious cases – for most patients, orthodontics and less invasive aesthetic techniques are more appropriate treatments.

Success among celebrities and football players, dental contact lenses have become a hope for anyone who wants to have a white and even smile quickly — but not without cost.

In addition to having a high price, the technique is not suitable for everyone and can pose risks if performed by poorly qualified professionals.

“The lenses are indicated for corrections of defective anatomy of the teeth, such as conoid teeth (cone-shaped), very common in the upper lateral incisors; barrel-shaped teeth and micro-teeth, which give a childish and disproportionate appearance to the adult”, he explains dentist Cláudio Ximenes, specialist in dental prosthesis, implantology and aesthetics.

According to Ximenes, they are also welcome for patients with darker teeth, whose bleaching and other techniques have not achieved the desired effect.

In addition, changes in texture due to congenital structural defects, closure of diastemas (distanced teeth) and corrections after completion of orthodontic treatment are also possible indications.

On the other hand, lenses are contraindicated for very young patients, due to the wear and tear required to perform the procedure.

“That’s because the tooth, once worn out, has no return. Patients with large crowding (attached teeth), should also undergo prior orthodontic treatment and thus reduce the amount of wear on the teeth”, emphasizes dentist Viviane Valverde, specialist in dentistry and aesthetics and assistant professor in the Oral Surgery course at the Paulista Association of Dental Surgeons (APCD Central).

People with bruxism (habit of squeezing and grinding teeth during sleep), who bite nails or pen caps should also not adhere to dental lenses.

‘I don’t recommend the procedure to anyone’

However, a smile is closely linked to self-esteem, and in this regard, contact lenses have played an important social role.

That’s why, a year ago, even being contraindicated by her dentist, Julia de Oliveira Gratão, 20 years old, put her contact lenses in with another professional.

Since she was a child, in addition to having a conoid, Julia was bothered by the shape of her teeth, which, according to her, were misaligned and too small. She used braces twice and they got sorted, however, the shape was the same.

Motivated by social networks and several celebrities who were undergoing the procedure, she started looking for dentists on Instagram, made budgets, collected money and put in the lenses.

“I was scared when I saw myself for the first time, because the color really makes a lot of difference. And the resin lens that I put on I don’t recommend it, because it’s very artificial. Even so, I left feeling beautiful and took several photos,” says Julia.

“But, the other day, when I woke up and looked in the mirror, I got scared again, and I started researching a way to darken the lens to make it look more like a tooth”, he confesses.

The plan, however, did not work out and the young woman remained with extremely white teeth. She recalls that, initially, she was bullied because of her new appearance. That, however, soon became the least of her problems.

“At first I didn’t feel anything, but a few months later my gums started to bleed and I started to have really bad breath. I brushed my teeth a lot, used mouthwash, but nothing helped”, he recalls, remembering that one of the lenses of a bottom tooth fell out and she did not replace it again, for fear of the dentist who performed the procedure.

Through internet searches, she deduced that she had gingivitis, a diagnosis confirmed by her dentist shortly afterwards. Julia says she didn’t research what the possible risks were and the dentist responsible for the procedure didn’t talk about it either. “She just told me that the maintenance was every five years and asked me to change the brush for one with fine bristles”, she says.

“I went to my dentist, who was totally against putting the lenses in, to do a cleaning. But he said there was no way to do it and that first I had to treat the gingivitis. Then he gave me a toothpaste for me to use temporarily and He said that the more I bleed, the more I should use this cream and floss. And he recommended that I remove the lenses, because if I couldn’t control the gingivitis, it would turn into periodontitis”, vents the young woman.

However, thinking about the financial investment and how much her appearance had changed, she refused to follow the guidance and, as a result, her routine changed dramatically. Today, she can’t help but brush her teeth after any meal, even if she’s traveling or taking a walk.

Wherever she goes, the toothbrush and floss must accompany her so that the problem does not get worse and turn into periodontitis (which causes the destruction of periodontal tissues and alveolar bone).

“I still use this toothpaste today, I floss more than five times a day. If I skip lunch, when I go to brush at night it’s already bleeding. So it’s a cleaning that requires a lot and any mistake already gives me a headache. I do not recommend the procedure to anyone, you are held hostage”, says Julia.

Valverde explains that there are many cases in which there is a need to remove the lenses due to poor work, with excess materials, infiltrations in the seams of the lenses with teeth. And all this, according to her, can still cause cavities, in addition to leaving the patient frustrated.

“This removal can be done with ceramic wear, resins with drills or with high-power laser devices that “melt” the cement that glued them to the tooth. , warns the dentist, emphasizing that every time a lens is removed, it is necessary to put another one in its place, as the tooth will no longer be the same after the wear that is done in most cases.

“There are professionals who promise work without previous wear and tear, however, the cases in which this is possible are very rare and must be very carefully evaluated”, guides the professor at the Associação Paulista de Cirurgiões Dentistas.

What are dental contact lenses?

They are laminates that can be made with ceramics or composite resins. They have this popular name precisely because of their ultra-thin thickness, similar to a contact lens for the eyes. However, the thickness of the laminate that will be “cemented” is linked to individual factors such as, for example, the color of the tooth. “If a tooth is very darkened, it will need more wear, for a thicker laminate to mask this darkening”, explains Valverde.

The procedure itself needs to be well planned to diagnose the best individual indication. In most cases, there is a need for tooth wear, so that there is no excess restorative material, be it resin or ceramic. “If this occurs, the patient will have problems such as gingivitis, bad breath, dental calculus (tartar)”, warns the specialist.

After these preparations, the teeth are molded with precise silicone-based materials or scanned in a digital process. Ceramics are made in prosthesis laboratories using these models.

The so-called direct technique allows resin lenses to be made directly in the patient’s mouth. This can make the process cheaper, however, the result depends much more on the dentist’s skill.

In short, when well indicated and performed correctly, the risks are low and the job is good. “If it is carried out within the indications and with respect to the technical specifications of each step, such as adequate preparations, molding, perfect adaptation of the laminates to the teeth, cementation and occlusal adjustment, the risks are minimized”, says Ximenes.

Even so, the patient will have to take some precautions to avoid the appearance of problems, such as maintaining proper oral hygiene and not biting/breaking very rigid foods. Otherwise, the patient may experience sensitivity, pain and even the need for root canal treatment, gingivitis, periodontitis, bad breath due to accumulation of dirt and so on. “It is essential to make it clear that daily hygiene by the patient is as important as visits to the dentist for greater durability of ceramic laminates”, points out Ximenes.

Should visits to the dentist be recurring?

According to the specialists, if everything is fine, without stains on the seams, bleeding gums or excessive sensitivity, half-yearly visits to the dentist, that is, twice a year, are enough to evaluate polishing and check for infiltrations in the seams of the works. .

Another important point to be mentioned is that there is no predetermined time for replacing contact lenses. “Usually, ceramic laminates need less maintenance than those made of resin”, evaluates Valverde.

Prices can range from R$ 500.00 (made in resin) to R$ 3,000.00 (ceramic) per tooth. “Be suspicious when the values ​​are very low”, comments the dentist. On the other hand, she says it’s not necessary to put in all the teeth? but everything will depend on the planning of the smile with the professional.

Finally, people who have no indication should follow the guidance of their dentist. And orthodontics, despite being more time consuming, should not be overlooked, as occlusion problems can put an end to the success of any aesthetic treatment.

“I always make it clear that the treatment is not a joke and should not be done so that the patient has ultra white teeth, with the appearance of sanitary ceramics, but that they are as natural as possible in anatomy, colors and textures, mimicking the teeth natural resources”, concludes Ximenes.

– This text was published at https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-63824258

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