What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is growing in popularity, what with the bright white smiles all over social media these days. Many people have some form of cosmetic dentistry done, but when it’s done right, you simply don’t know it. Having discoloration, worn, chipped, misaligned, or broken teeth can be a serious knock to your confidence. Cosmetic dentistry can fix one or multiple issues to leave you with the most beautiful smile you could imagine. Many people opt for a total ‘smile makeover’, having many treatments performed in just a few hours. You could go in with chipped, discolored teeth and leave with straighter, whiter teeth than you ever thought possible.
If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry and what else it entails, read on for a breakdown of your options.
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular treatments that patients opt for when looking into cosmetic dentistry. It can easily be done alongside other treatments, and sometimes this alone can dramatically improve your smile and confidence. It’s affordable, fast, and will give you long lasting results. You could have the treatment done in the chair or buy the products to take home and do it yourself – however, you should never buy whitening products from unreputable sellers, as they can damage your teeth!
Veneers are super thin and custom made to suit your teeth.
They are made from porcelain and there’s no need to have them whitened as they can completely change your tooth shade, but they are only applied after some of the enamel is removed. The shells are carefully bonded, shaped, and trimmed to achieve the perfect finish. This is a great solution for a total smile makeover where teeth are chipped, broken, discolored and misshapen.
Inlays and Onlays
Sometimes called indirect fillings, inlays and onlays can be made from gold, porcelain, or composite. This a good solution for teeth that are decayed or damaged and can be molded into place in one visit. However, the inlays must be created in a dental laboratory first. An inlay is where the material is bonded in the center of the tooth, while an onlay covers the biting surface of the tooth. This solution is good if you would like to preserve as much of your healthy tooth as possible, and make a great alternative to crowns.
A dental implant is inserted into the bone socket of the missing tooth. The tooth root is made from titanium and as your jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post. This ensures it sits securely in the jaw and gives a good foundation for your replacement tooth.
Composite bonding is a treatment perfect for decayed, damaged, or broken teeth and uses a material that resembles the color of your enamel. Any tooth decay will be drilled out, and composite will be applied to the surface before being sculpted into shape. The tooth is then cured with a high intensity light.
Braces aren’t always needed to straighten out teeth, but may be necessary for those that are severely out of place. Braces help to exert pressure on the teeth and put them back into alignment. Many people opting for cosmetic treatments choose to have invisible braces. Invisible braces are often only noticeable close up.
Many people won’t even need to consider the shape of their gums, but for those who do, it can make them very self conscious. If gums are uneven or cover too much of the tooth surface, this can be rectified with gum reshaping. This is a simple procedure and can make a very noticeable difference to your smile. Receding gums can also be an issue, but not just a cosmetic one. If they recede too far then teeth can become loose and fall out. In this case, gum tissue will need to be grafted to ensure your teeth are secure and healthy once more.
A dental bridge is a cheaper alternative to implants, and can be used for one or two adjacent missing teeth.
More About Cosmetic Dentistry
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. The end goal is always to give you a healthy looking smile that you are delighted to show off. Below, you will find things that can be corrected with cosmetic treatments:
- Tooth color
- Position of teeth
- Shape and size of teeth
- Jaw alignment
- Gum line
- Overall appearance of the smile
Choosing A Cosmetic Dentist
If you’re going to have high quality cosmetic dentistry done, you will need to choose a professional, qualified cosmetic dentist with a track record of beautiful results. Any dentist with a qualification in general dentistry can perform cosmetic dentistry, so it’s important to look for somebody who has continued their education and has experience in the treatment you require. See if you can look at before and after pictures of treatments performed by the dentist, as well as proof of further education and client testimonials. Make sure you also find out whether the dentist is a member of the AACD, as this requires rigorous study of cosmetic dentistry procedures and an examination to become a member and will give you further peace of mind.
While cosmetic dentistry can’t be performed on unhealthy teeth (you will need to have rotten teeth removed, for example) it is more of a focus on the appearance of your teeth. You will always get better results when addressing the health of your teeth first before doing anything about the appearance. You can then have total confidence that your beautiful new smile will last and that you’ll save time, pain, and hassle in the long run.
If you’ve lost confidence in your smile, get in touch with Patient Empowered Dentistry today to find out what we can do for you!