What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry deals with much more than just an esthetic result. A well trained cosmetic dentist will be just as concerned with function as well as cosmetics. Without proper function, any cosmetic dentistry will ultimately fail over the long term. Below will be some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures your dentist can perform to bring new life to your smile.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
–Cosmetic Teeth Whitening. Probably the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure due to its quick results and relatively low cost. Teeth whitening can be performed at home by the patient or in the office by your cosmetic dentist. Your teeth have pores and anything we eat or drink that has color will absorb into those pores. Wine, coffee, dark berries, and smoking are the main culprits in staining our teeth. As we get older, the natural color of your teeth becomes darker and darker due to these stains. These stains will not go away without intervention by your cosmetic dentist. Not every patient will achieve the same cosmetic dentistry results, so it is very important to check with your dentist first to see what to expect.
–Cosmetic Porcelain Veneers (or even composite veneers). Porcelain veneers are a thin shell of porcelain similar to a fingernail. They are custom made in a dental laboratory and cemented in place over your teeth to transform your smile. Porcelain veneers are sometimes called “instant orthodontics” in cosmetic dentistry because they have ability to realign slightly crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers also have the ability to change the color of your smile, repair chipped teeth, or close gaps between your teeth. This is a staple of cosmetic dentistry and a well trained cosmetic dentist can dramatically change your smile quickly.
–Cosmetic Porcelain Crowns. These are custom fabricated to restore function and esthetics to your smile. Porcelain crowns are utilized in cosmetic dentistry by your cosmetic dentist to restore teeth that have been damaged to trauma, tooth decay, or to close gaps between teeth. All porcelain crowns are ideal to restore a front tooth as they are translucent and designed to look like your natural teeth.
–Cosmetic Dental Implants. A dental implant is a titanium root structure designed to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A dental implant is surgically implanted into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. Unlike a dental bridge, a dental implant is permanent, this is because the dental implant becomes one with surrounding bone (process is called osseointegration). A dental implant is designed to act as the tooth root. Once integrated it can be used as a platform to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even be support for a full denture. Dental implants are the closest you can get to a natural tooth in function. They give you the freedom to confidently eat, smile, laugh, talk, and enjoy all of your everyday activities without worrying about your smile. These can be used in cosmetic dentistry along with other procedures to restore your smile.
–Cosmetic Teeth Recontouring. Also called tooth enamel shaping. A misshapen tooth can be lightly shaped by your cosmetic dentist in a painless procedure but it can have a dramatic effect on your smile. It is common to do this if you have protruding mamelons. A mamelon is a rounded protuberances which are present on the cutting edge of an incisor (front) tooth when it first erupts into the mouth. Generally, they wear away over time as we grow up but for some they need help in removing them.
–Cosmetic Dental Bonding. Also called tooth bonding. Dental bonding is the cosmetic dentistry procedure in which tooth-colored materials are bonded to the tooth to repair tooth decay, repair a chipped tooth, or even close a gap between teeth. These tooth colored materials are bonded using chemistry and a special light which hardens the material in seconds.
–Cosmetic Orthodontic Braces. Adult orthodontics have become very popular in cosmetic dentistry especially with introduction of invisalign orthodontic system. Your cosmetic dentist can make small adjustments to one or a few teeth or a major overhaul using more traditional orthodontics treatment.
Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion
Cosmetic dentistry can transform any smile but function is the key. Make sure you see a well trained dentist who knows that function trumps cosmetics. If a dental restoration is not functional it will not last and withstand the stresses of the mouth. Cosmetic dentistry can be what is missing from your smile. Ask your dentist today to transform your smile.