Traditional dentistry focuses on fixing your teeth. This can include filling cavities and capping worn down teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is focused on improving the appearance of your mouth, your teeth, and your smile. There are actually a number of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Here are seven common types of cosmetic dentistry and how they can help. We’ll discuss when and why they are utilized and the benefits these cosmetic dentistry procedures provide.
1. Tooth Whitening
Tooth whitening is one of the most basic and cheapest cosmetic dentistry procedures. Tooth whitening is sometimes called teeth bleaching. Whitening should be done after you’ve had plaque and tartar removed from your teeth.
It can restore the natural appearance of teeth, such as when they were stained by what you eat and drink. You could also have them bleached to make them a shade lighter than their natural color.
Whitening can be done from home or at a clinic. Over the counter whitening toothpaste is usually not as efficient, and the results aren’t very long-lasting. Not to mention it won’t do much if your teeth have been stained dramatically.
Also, note that there are procedures that can be applied to one single tooth. For instance, cosmetic tooth bonding uses a special resin that is applied directly on a tooth and is polished to have the appearance of your natural teeth. This procedure can not only help with a discolored tooth, but also to fix gaps between them, a cracked tooth, or tooth decay. One of the benefits of tooth bonding is that the procedure can be done in a day, unlike veneers that have to be customized made in a laboratory.
Fillings generally involve removing the infected area and damaged material before filling it with a solid material. However, fillings are not always an option. Onlays and inlays are used when a tooth has decay but there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling. An inlay can be put directly on the tooth surface, assuming the tooth cusp isn’t damaged. If the cusp of the tooth or a larger proportion of the tooth is damaged, then an onlay is applied. That will cover the entire surface of the tooth. They are made from a composite resin and attached to the tooth with dental cement. This gives strengthens, gives them a natural shape, and prevents further deterioration.
3. Composite Bonding
Composite bonding is a form of dental repair that looks like your natural enamel. When you have a cavity drilled out, you could have a composite filling instead of one that contrasts with your natural teeth. Composite bonding is also an option to treat cracked one, worn down tooth edges, and chipped teeth.
4. Dental Crowns
Dental crowns or caps are a custom fitting over the top of a tooth. The dental crown may be made from porcelain or acrylic fused with metal to survive biting pressure. Dental crowns may replace damaged cracked, decayed or worn-down teeth. However, they can also be purely cosmetic. They could be used to treat teeth that are poorly shaped or marred by large fillings.
5. Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are not artificial teeth and are glued to the outside of them. They can be used to resolve cosmetic issues from damaged enamel to cracked teeth. They’re sometimes used to hide crooked teeth and gaps between two of them. This is very different from cosmetic teeth shaping. That process will reshape the tooth via filing or removing some material. However, that process may be necessary before veneers are fitted.
Conventional dentists tend to do basic repairs without much concern for the way your teeth look afterward. On the other hand, clinics like Perfect Smile Spa are specialized in cosmetic dentistry. They only offer fillings and dentures that look like your natural teeth. They can also do dental makeovers, giving you the bright, straight teeth you’ve always wanted.
6. Dental Implants
Dental implants are metal devices intended to replace missing teeth. The implant itself is made from titanium. It is implanted in the jawbone. The implant acts as a root for artificial teeth. Implants can provide a secure connection for a single artificial tooth or they can give you a permanent replacement for a dental bridge or dentures.
7. Cosmetic Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontics is often used to align children’s teeth. However, cosmetic orthodontic treatment is available to adults. You can use orthodontics to fix crooked or misaligned teeth, too. So, if you feel like you could use a realignment, talk with your cosmetic dentist so you can explore the options.
Most of the time, adults will go for clear aligners or Invisalign. These are made from custom molded plastic that will be applied on the teeth and gradually shift them over time.
In addition to being virtually invisible, clear aligners aren’t as intrusive as metal braces and can be removed. While you’ll need to wear them around 22 hours per day, you can remove them when it’s time to eat, for instance. They aren’t painful either. However, they only work if you follow the instructions, so you have to make sure that you’ll have the discipline to follow through.
Know that you can also go for braces and they don’t have to be unsightly either. Some metal braces are installed behind the teeth, so they won’t be as visible. These are known as lingual braces. These are actually the least visible of all options, but they do take time to adjust and fit. Also, know that they do cost more than traditional braces and Invisalign, so be prepared for that.
Cosmetic dentistry may be done for purely aesthetic reasons. And in some cases, it can also prevent correct issues that could end up aggravating over time. So, if you feel like you could benefit from one or multiple of these procedures, make sure that you speak with a qualified cosmetic dentist today so you can run through the options.