How Can Cosmetic Dentistry Enhance Your Smile?
Looking to perfect your smile? Cosmetic dentistry might be able to help give you the smile of your dreams. Cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly popular, ranging from treatments like teeth whitening, to reshaping teeth, and much more. Cosmetic dental procedures focus on improving the appearance of your teeth and/or the surrounding structures like the gums. Your dentist can help determine if you are a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry, inform you of the costs, and answer any questions you may have.
Check out some of the ways you can enhance your smile with cosmetic dentistry:
Interested in brightening your smile? Teeth whitening is a common cosmetic dental procedure used to help counteract tooth discoloration. Teeth whitening can be a safe and effective treatment. There are many reasons why our teeth stain, including certain foods and beverages like turmeric and red wine, tobacco usage, and even just due to age. There are many teeth whitening procedures available, such as over-the-counter bleaching products, whitening kits to use at home, or in-office teeth whitening provided by your dentist. These products typically contain bleaching agents, such as carbamide or hydrogen peroxides. Some whitening products like many toothpastes and mouth rinses do not contain bleaching agents and therefore only remove surface stains and debris on the teeth.
Veneers are popular and can help improve the appearance of teeth. Veneers are pre-made caps that cover your natural teeth. They are typically used to help close spaces between teeth, cover teeth that have been chipped or worn down, cover permanently stained teeth, or cover teeth with an irregular shape. Your dentist will first take an impression of your mouth, then prepare your teeth to bond the veneers.
Dental crowns, sometimes also called “tooth caps,” are often used to help cover a weakened or damaged tooth, to hold a dental bridge in place, or to cover a discolored tooth, for instance. Dental crowns may be ceramic tooth-colored, gold, porcelain fused to metal, or made of a combination of different alloys. Your dentist will prepare your tooth for a crown and may place the crown the same day or place a temporary crown while the crown is being fabricated.
Dental bridges, also known as fixed partial dentures, are another cosmetic option for replacing missing teeth. There are different types of materials that dental bridges can be made of, including gold, porcelain, or other alloys. The teeth next to your missing tooth will be prepared and capped with dental crowns. The adjacent teeth will serve as anchors to hold an artificial tooth in the place of your missing tooth. The bridge is then cemented together onto the prepared teeth. Extra care must be taken with brushing and flossing the dental bridge to help avoid food from becoming trapped and creating tooth decay.
Dental implants are a common treatment option to replace missing or damaged teeth that need to be removed. Single implants can be placed, or two or more implants may be used to provide support for an implant-supported bridge or implant-supported denture. Dental implants consist of a small titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. An abutment piece is then placed over the screw along with an artificial tooth that will resemble your natural teeth. Maintaining good oral hygiene will remain essential to ensure the health of your dental implant. Depending on the condition of your jawbone, bone grafting or additional dental procedures may be suggested by your dental surgeon prior to placing an implant. Your dentist will initially perform a comprehensive examination, including x-rays and creating models of your upper and lower jaws.
Tooth Shaping and Recontouring
Your dentist may recommend tooth reshaping to enhance their appearance. This procedure is also referred to as enameloplasty and involves reshaping the outer layer of the tooth (dental enamel). This is typically a fast and painless procedure. This procedure may be indicated to help improve chipped or irregularly shaped teeth, minor bite issues, sharp edges of teeth, and more. Since dental enamel cannot be replaced, this procedure may not be recommended in certain situations. For example, tooth shaping and recontouring may not be advised for individuals with large fractures, or if there is not enough tooth structure to allow for more removal.
For individuals with excessive spacing between their teeth, dentists may recommend building-up teeth using a tooth-colored material to fill the gaps. The filling material is bonded to the teeth. This procedure can be used to restore dental cavities, and chipped or cracked teeth.
Individuals with excessive gingiva covering the teeth may benefit from gum recontouring to improve the appearance of their teeth. The gums can be gently removed by the use of a laser, or other surgical procedures.
Most likely, you know someone who has had braces to help straighten their teeth. Braces not only help align your teeth, but they also improve the health of your smile. Straight teeth allow for better cleaning, healthier jaw positioning, better chewing efficiency, speech, and much more. Braces apply a gentle force to the teeth to help move the teeth into their correct positions. The braces can be made of metal or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. Wires are then placed through the brackets, which are periodically changed by your dentist or orthodontist. Clear removable aligners are also an alternative option for straightening teeth. At the end of treatment, retainers are used to help hold the teeth in their new positions.
Written By Heather Smith