What is a Cosmetic Dentistry?
While a cosmetic dentist can do anything that a general dentist does, this dental specialist is dedicated to providing you with the most beautiful and natural smile possible, as well as ensuring your dental health and the healthy function of your teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry refers to the procedures that make your teeth look brighter and your smile more vibrant.
These cosmetic dentistry procedures can range from the placement of dental implants, recognized as the gold standard for replacing one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch; tooth whitening; bonding; and the placement of porcelain veneers. With advances in technique and materials, virtually anyone can enjoy an improved smile and better dental health. It’s just a matter of selecting the cosmetic dentistry treatments that match your goals and your budget.
Here are some of the options in cosmetic dentistry that you can consider:
Whitening or Bleaching:
One of the least involved and most affordable ways to improve your smile is simply to whiten your teeth. Teeth darken by about one shade every ten years, and they darken even more if you’re a smoker, or if you’ve taken certain medications. Coffee, wine, and other beverages also stain the surface of your teeth. So by whitening your teeth, you’re also taking years off your appearance! Whitening is one of the most commonly requested improvements among dental patients.
Whitening can be accomplished in several ways, and not all procedures are ideal for everyone. Talk to your cosmetic dentist about the various options and ask for advice about the one that is best for you.
Bonding is a very common approach for restoring chipped, broken, damaged, misshapen, or decayed teeth, and it, too, can improve the brightness of your smile.
Bonding places a soft acrylic material over damaged teeth to hide imperfections. After placement the material hardens. It’s not quite as durable as natural enamel, but it’s close. Prior to placing the acrylic on your teeth, your cosmetic dentist will first roughen the surface of the natural teeth to be treated. This makes it easier for the acrylic material to bond with your teeth. The brighter and undamaged acrylic is put in place and designed to correct your teeth’s imperfections, then polished to give you a more attractive smile.
Inlays and Onlays:
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These materials are used to fill the cavities left by decay (inlays) or to achieve a more extensive reconstruction across several teeth (onlays).
Gold was the traditional material of choice for inlays and onlays for many years, but as people grew more concerned about the natural appearance of their smiles, durable porcelain and tooth-colored composites have become more popular.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are placed over the front surfaces of the visible teeth. You can select the shade of your veneers, and not have to worry about future discoloration: porcelain resists staining better than composite resins, and will not darken over time like natural tooth enamel! These porcelain shells can correct imperfections in shade, shape, and size of your teeth. They can alter the appearance of cracked or poorly positioned natural teeth. And porcelain reflects light in the same way that natural tooth enamel does, so your veneers will look very natural.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, usually made of bio-compatible titanium. Implants have become popular as the best way to replace missing teeth. There are a number of approaches to the placement of dental implants. The traditional approach involves a surgical procedure to open the gum and place the implant into the jawbone. The incision is secured while the jawbone heals and bonds with the implant, then after several months the incision is reopened so a post and restoration can be placed.
Other techniques that reduce the time between implant placement and restoration are also available. Talk to your cosmetic dentist about the approach that is right for you.
Dental implants are an improvement over partial or full dentures because they restore virtually all the bite function of natural teeth. With dental implants, you never have to wonder if your restorations are up to the task of whatever foods you enjoy!
Your bright, welcoming smile is one of the first things people notice about you. When teeth are dark or damaged, it’s not unusual for people to offer a tight, close-lipped smile, or to hide their smiles behind their hands. Unattractive smiles may keep people from laughing, and may have an impact on success at work, especially if that work involves meeting the public.
Your cosmetic dentist can help you improve your smile, and help you face the world with confidence.