Is Cosmetic Dentistry Right for You?

If you are not completely happy with the way your smile looks, cosmetic dentistry could be right for you. There are many options to remedy all kinds of dental issues. Whether your teeth are chipped, discolored or misshapen, cosmetic dentistry can make your smile shine again.

Although cosmetic dentistry focuses primarily on improving the appearance of teeth, some procedures can offer restorative benefits.

Popular cosmetic dentistry procedures

To decide which cosmetic dentistry treatment is right for you, if any, you will first need to find out the purpose of each procedure. If there is any tooth or teeth that are bothering you, bring these concerns to your dentist.

Veneers

These porcelain or ceramic tooth-shaped shells are placed over the front side of teeth. Meant to resolve issues such as crooked teeth, gaps and cracked teeth with otherwise healthy structure, veneers offer a variety of options for those looking to improve their smile. Dental veneers are custom created for each person based on the exact needs of the patient. Veneers are cemented to teeth with a special dental adhesive.

Bonding

Bonding is best used on teeth with decay or minor damage. Composite bonding is a process in which the dentist applies a tooth-safe, tooth-colored resin to a tooth that needs repair. The material is applied to the tooth and shaped to appear natural. Bonding can also help fill in gaps between teeth. This procedure covers a damaged tooth edge and gives it stability and the appearance of a healthy tooth.

Teeth whitening

Teeth can become discolored for many different reasons. Most discoloration cases are due to simple surface stains. Certain food and drink such as blackberries or coffee can stain teeth after prolonged exposure.

A yellowed smile is not a coveted attribute. Everyone craves that healthy, white smile. When your smile is less than bright, it can cause insecurity in social situations. Teeth whitening gives cosmetic dentistry patients a boost of confidence that can transfer into daily life and make tasks like speaking and smiling much easier.

Teeth whitening treatments can vary both in cost and efficacy. At-home whitening kits will be cheaper but cannot remove deep stains and therefore will not last very long. Professional whitening procedures, on the other hand, can last over a year or several years with proper care, but they are more expensive.

Whitening is the least invasive of all cosmetic dentistry treatments and requires no alteration of the tooth structure. A peroxide-based gel is applied to the teeth. This gel essentially bleaches the enamel and removes surface stains, so the teeth appear whiter immediately after treatment.

Dental implants

Implants are used to replace missing teeth. An effective, permanent solution to lost teeth, dental implants restore the appearance of the smile while bringing back functionality to the bite.

Implants are placed in two different appointments. At the first appointment, an impression is taken of the teeth. The impression is sent to the lab where a fabricated tooth is custom made to fill the space. An implant consists of a titanium post surgically inserted directly into the jawbone at the second appointment. After a period of four to six months, the implant fuses with the jawbone. A permanent crown is then attached to the titanium post, and you have a new tooth for life!

In addition to improving the way your smile looks, a dental implant will stop other teeth from loosening around the lost tooth. One missing tooth, when left untreated, can cause more teeth to loosen and create bite issues.

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