Cosmetic Dentistry – What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance (though not always the function) of teeth, gums, and bites. Procedures like teeth whitening, veneers, composite bonding and crowns can improve the color, size, shape, and alignment of teeth.

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These procedures can also address functional problems such as crooked or broken teeth and gaps in your smile. They are often less invasive than restorative treatments such as dental implants and braces.

Dental Veneers

Veneers are a thin shell that can change the color, shape or length of a tooth. Cosmetic dentists use them to cover a variety of imperfections that affect a person’s smile, including chips, cracks and discoloration. Unlike crowns, which fit over the entire surface of the tooth, veneers are applied only to the front side.

Generally, a patient will take three trips to the dentist to get veneers. At the first appointment, the dentist will consult with the patient about their goals. Then they’ll take x-rays and photos of the mouth. Next, the dentist will reshape the tooth or teeth that will receive veneers. This can involve removing a little enamel, which is usually less than the thickness of your fingernail. Some types of veneers, like composite resin, require no reshaping and can be done in one visit.

Porcelain veneers are more popular, however, because they are more natural in color and resist staining better than resin. They also reflect light better, so they look more like a natural tooth.

It’s important to practice good oral hygiene while wearing veneers, to brush twice a day for two minutes and to floss daily. It’s also important to visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups, and to avoid eating hard and sticky foods that could damage veneers. People with veneers should also avoid using their teeth to open packages, as this can put unnecessary pressure on the shells and cause them to chip or break.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement solution that mimics the appearance and feel of natural teeth. They are often recommended by cosmetic dentists to address issues like missing teeth, crooked teeth, and discolored or misshapen teeth.

Implants are comprised of a metal anchor post, called an abutment, and a replacement tooth, usually made from porcelain. The implant is surgically placed in the jawbone, where it bonds with bone tissue on a molecular and cellular level. The abutment connects the crown to the post, and the tooth is then secured in place.

One of the key advantages of implants is that they allow you to experience the full function of your mouth again, allowing you to bite into and chew tough foods. This makes them more practical than other tooth replacement options, such as dentures.

Implants are also an excellent cosmetic dentistry treatment for those who have lost one or more of their teeth, helping them restore their smile and re-encourage self-confidence. While they are considered a cosmetic dental procedure, some patients may need a dental bridge or other restorations to go with their implant. This can be determined during an initial consultation with a cosmetic dentist. For a few days following the surgical procedure, it is common to experience swelling of the gums and face, as well as some bruising. This is normal, and can be minimized by following your doctor’s instructions for pain management and eating soft foods.

Composite Fillings

Composite Fillings are a more modern take on the dental filling. Sometimes called tooth colored or direct veneers they are a combination of plastic resin and ceramic or glass which, when used with a special UV light technique, harden into a strong material that resembles a tooth’s natural color. This is a great option for patients with small or medium cavities since it is more durable than traditional amalgam fillings. However, it is important to keep up with regular checkups and cleanings to ensure your teeth are in healthy shape and prevent further damage.

Composite fillings can be used for a variety of reasons, including repairing decayed teeth (in which case the dentist will remove any decay and clean the area), fixing chips or cracks in your teeth, changing the size or shape of your teeth, closing gaps or covering up discoloration on your teeth. They are also an excellent alternative for replacing older metal fillings.

Before beginning a composite filling procedure, the dentist will numb the gums and tooth with anesthetic to avoid pain during the process. A chemical solution called phosphoric acid is then applied to the surface of your tooth which creates a rough, porous surface for the resin to bond with. Once this is done, the tooth coloured putty-like resin will be placed on your tooth and sculpted into place. A special light is then used to cure the resin and set it in place. Once the filling is in place, it will be polished and buffed to make sure that it blends in with your natural tooth.

Invisalign

If your smile is misaligned, you can improve it with modern treatments like Invisalign, which can correct mild to moderate cases of crowded teeth, gaps between the teeth, and bite alignment issues. These treatments can also be used in combination with other cosmetic services such as veneers to enhance the appearance of your smile.

A beautiful smile can give you confidence and boost your self-esteem. But you’ll need to choose a procedure that works for your goals and budget. Cosmetic dentistry offers a range of solutions that you can use to whiten your teeth, fix chips and gaps, or replace missing teeth. However, it’s important to talk to a dentist or an orthodontist before proceeding with any treatment to determine which option is best for you.

Invisalign is a clear orthodontic treatment that can correct a wide range of dental problems, including tooth alignment issues, crowded teeth, and gaps between the teeth. It’s important to note that Invisalign is not a replacement for braces, and it may be necessary for patients with more severe bite problems or tooth alignment issues. Depending on your situation, you may require more advanced treatment options such as metal braces or jaw surgery.