You’ve probably heard about cosmetic dentistry, but you may not know what this specialty entails. In fact, there are a variety of procedures from which you can choose if you want to make a change to your smile. Find out what options are available if your smile could use an upgrade.
Tooth whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry procedure, and it is used to restore teeth to a whiter shade. Medications, smoking, and drinking too much coffee can lead to stains on the teeth, and a cosmetic dentist can bleach your teeth in the office or he or she can provide you with a specialized system to use at home.
Bonding can be a great way to improve the appearance of your teeth, especially if you have large gaps or have teeth that are cracked, stained, broken, or chipped. A cosmetic dentist can use bonding materials to fill in the affected areas before reshaping the teeth to look as good as new. Bonding can last for many years, but it is more likely than other cosmetic dentistry procedures to stain, wear down, and chip.
Veneers are customized porcelain shells that your dentist can create in order to cover up the front portions of your teeth. They are helpful in changing the shape and color of the teeth, and they provide a better overall appearance than bonding and other restorations. Veneers are especially well-suited for teeth that:
Are slightly misaligned
Are poorly shaped
Have been permanently stained
Have become worn down or chipped
Have gaps or spaces in between them
Before placing the veneers onto your teeth, your dentist will take an impression of your smile, and then the impacted teeth will be buffed. The veneer is then put into place, and a beam of light is used to harden the cement so that the veneer stays securely in place. Since these veneers are made in a special lab, you will need at least two visits before your procedure is complete.
A crown is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that completely covers a tooth so that it restores the normal appearance and shape. A crown may be used for any of the following purposes:
Protect a weakened tooth
Restore a tooth that has been broken or worn down
Cover a discolored or misshapen tooth
Cover up a dental implant
Cover a tooth that has a large filling
Cover a tooth after a root canal
Crowns can be made from porcelain, metal, or ceramic materials, and they can be long-lasting as long as you practice proper dental hygiene.
Dental implants are an expensive procedure, but they provide a long-term solution for patients who have missing teeth. An alternative to bridges and removable dentures, these replacement teeth are surgically implanted into your jaw bone. You can get a single implant to replace one tooth or multiple implants to provide support for the replacement of several teeth. If you have periodontal disease that has resulted in bone loss, you may still be a candidate for a dental implant, but you might first need a bone graft procedure.