Whitening, shaping, filling gaps, and replacing teeth are just some of the procedures that fall under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry, which is more popular than ever. In addition, dentists have a wide variety of tools and methods at their disposal to enhance the appearance of a patient’s smile.
It is important to have a thorough understanding of the benefits, risks, and what to anticipate during the course of any cosmetic procedure before deciding to go through with it. Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the following: how much it will cost, how much experience your dentist has performing the procedure, and whether or not any additional aftercare will be required.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Although the primary goal of cosmetic dentistry is to improve a patient’s smile by making their teeth look better, it also has many positive effects on the patient’s overall oral health. These four distinct types of cosmetic dental procedures, which are sometimes collectively referred to as a “smile makeover,” are performed to radically improve both the appearance of a person’s mouth and the way it feels to them.
What Sets General Dentistry Apart from Cosmetic Dentistry?
A general dentist is a primary dental care provider. They provide both preventative care, such as teeth cleanings, and restorative dentistry treatments, such as dental fillings, crowns, and bridges. Preventative care focuses on preventing dental problems from occurring in the first place.
The majority of dental treatments can restore appearance in addition to improving health and function. On the other hand, the primary focus of a cosmetic dentist is to improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. They provide services that are designed to improve the appearance of the gums and teeth in your mouth.
Can Anyone Receive Treatments for Cosmetic Dentistry?
You can pursue cosmetic dental treatments provided that both your teeth and gums are in good health. On the other hand, if you have a significant number of cavities or gum disease, your dentist will want to focus on treating those conditions first. After you have restored the health of your smile, you will be able to decide on the cosmetic procedures you would like to investigate.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Is It Safe?
Every kind of medical procedure, whether cosmetic or not, comes with its own set of potential side effects. These risks can be significantly mitigated, however, if you have a dental team that is both qualified and experienced.
Do your homework before committing to any cosmetic dentistry treatments before making any decisions. Explore all of the treatment options available to you and check that your dental team has the necessary level of expertise and experience to perform the procedure securely.
What Kinds of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Are There to Choose From?
Those looking for ways to change their smile have access to several different options to choose from. Several different cosmetic dental procedures can be helpful, whether the issue is on a larger scale or something relatively minor and straightforward.
1. Tooth Whitening
Whitening of the teeth is one of the most common procedures performed in cosmetic dentistry. This process can be carried out either at home or in a professional setting. However, to ensure that the color change is satisfactory, it is recommended that the procedure be carried out in a dental office. Using bleaching agents and, in some cases, a light, teeth can be whitened to make them look brighter and whiter through a process known as tooth whitening. Whitening treatments are only recommended for people who have healthy mouths and have not experienced gum recession.
Whitening the teeth can cause sensitivity, so people who already have sensitive teeth or who are battling gum disease should avoid having their teeth whitened. It is normal for teeth to change color over time, especially if your lifestyle habits aren’t as healthy as they should be. Smoking, drinking coffee, and eating foods high in sugar are just a few examples.
In addition to smoking cigarettes, certain beverages and foods, such as red wine, coffee, and tea, as well as foods high in sugar, can stain your teeth. Inadequate oral hygiene practiced over a period of years can result in discoloration and stains on the teeth. Fortunately, the results of teeth whitening are frequently remarkable and leave the patient pleased with the experience.
Whitening of the teeth is the cosmetic dentistry procedure that is the most frequently requested. Even though many people try to whiten their teeth at home, the methods that are guaranteed to be the most successful can only be provided by dental professionals. To return the color of the teeth to their natural whiteness, your dentist will use bleach in a chemical process. One visit to the dentist, which can last for as long as two hours, is all that is required to achieve this result. They will place the whitening solution in a mouthpiece that has been custom-fitted to the patient.
Keep in mind that different people have different types of mouths. Some people’s teeth are resistant to the bleaching process, and others have severe stains on their teeth. When this occurs, your dentist will take a different approach to find a whitening method that is both effective and safe for you to use.
When a tooth does not have an appealing appearance as a result of factors such as its length, chips, or stains, a veneer may be recommended as a solution to the issue. Veneers are essentially made out of porcelain; they are shells that look completely natural and are designed to fit directly over the natural tooth.
One disadvantage of veneers is that to place one over an existing tooth, the patient’s dentist will need to shave away a small portion of the natural tooth’s structure. When a portion of the tooth is exposed in this manner, some people can experience sensitivity. When biting into harder foods like apples, veneers have a greater risk of chipping off, which means that there is a possibility that they will require immediate replacement. Your dentist will make an impression on your teeth so that the shell can fit comfortably against them. This will ensure a good fit.
To ensure that the veneers will adhere properly once they are installed, the teeth will need to be buffed first. Following the application of a layer of dental cement to the teeth, veneers are bonded to the surfaces of the teeth. After that, a light beam is shone on the cement so that it can begin to harden. If the initial impression of your teeth was not precise enough, the process may require an additional one to three appointments to complete.
3. Dental Bonding
Bonding has the potential to improve the appearance of your teeth if they are chipped, broken, stained, or cracked and if there is an excessive amount of space between them. Bonding materials are also utilized by dentists in the process of filling small cavities and protecting the exposed root of a tooth.
This procedure can typically be completed by the dentist in a single visit to the office by applying an etching solution followed by tooth-colored materials, sometimes including composite resins, directly to the surface of the tooth in the areas where it is required. Bonding can last for several years, but it is more likely than other types of restorations to chip, become stained, or simply wear down over time. Other types of restorations are less likely to experience any of these issues.
4. Enamel Shaping
There are a lot of people in the world who have teeth that are crooked or that overlap. If you are unable to undergo orthodontic treatment such as getting braces, you should think about having your enamel reshaped.
During this procedure, the dentist will shave down any teeth that protrude excessively or cover the surface of adjacent teeth to an excessive degree. In addition, they can reshape teeth that have an abnormal shape, such as being excessively long or wide.
Similarly, the dentist can use bonding to fill in any gaps or cracks that may be present in the patient’s teeth. The processes of enamel shaping and bonding are frequently considered to be complementary treatments. This treatment produces visible results right away and typically only requires one to two sessions to complete.
5. Crowns and Bridges
If you have a tooth that is severely damaged or decayed, a crown might be an effective cosmetic treatment option for you to consider. Because they cover the tooth, crowns are also referred to as “caps” in some circles. Crowns are typically fused to metal to provide a secure attachment to the tooth. Crowns can be made from acrylic, porcelain, or resin. When you bite down or chew on them, they do not come off.
A mold will be taken by the dentist of the tooth or teeth that are going to receive the crown or crowns so that he can create a crown that fits perfectly. However, most dental practices will require you to return for a second appointment if you want them to make the crown on the same day. In the interim, we will provide you with a temporary crown to protect the tooth until your next appointment. The crown will eventually succumb to the effects of wear and tear, but if it is maintained properly, it has the potential to last for up to 15 years.
6. Dental Implants
Implants are the way to go if you want a solution to missing teeth that is more permanent than dentures or bridges, which are both options. Dental implants require a surgical procedure in which they are screwed into the jawbone. Implants can only be placed in patients who have the sufficient bone density to support the implant.
To determine whether or not you are qualified, the dentist will perform a comprehensive exam and take x-rays of your teeth. The titanium screws will be surgically implanted into the jawbone by your dentist once you have been given the go-ahead for the implants. The jawbone is where the implant will adhere to. They will create crowns for you based on the impressions that they take of your teeth and gums.
After that, the crowns will be affixed to the implants using an adhesive. This process takes place over the course of multiple appointments and may not be finished for four to six months at a time.
7. Tooth Contouring
During this procedure, very little enamel will be removed from your teeth to alter their shape. Because you have a finite amount of natural enamel, there is a cap placed on the amount of tooth structure that can be removed by your dentist. The process of tooth contouring can be completed in a single appointment with your dentist.
8. Gum Contouring
Some people are born with an abundance of gum tissue. When this occurs, it can give the appearance of a “gummy” smile or one that is unbalanced. In the process of gum contouring, your dentist will trim away any excess gum tissue and reshape your gum line so that your smile appears more symmetrical and balanced.
9. Both Inlays and Onlays
What do the terms inlays and Onlays refer to? They are specialized terms for the various kinds of fillings. They are frequently inserted into teeth that have decayed or been damaged in some other way to restore their functionality and improve their appearance. However, inlays and onlays are not the same things in every way. The difference lies in the manner in which they are inserted. When repairing a damaged tooth, inlays are inserted into the tooth’s cusps, while veneers are only placed on the tooth’s surface.
In most cases, an inlay is used to fill a cavity that is too large for a conventional filling to adequately cover. Onlays are typically used to fill holes that are too large for inlays. Inlays and Onlays can be relatively pricey additions to a project, comparable to the cost of veneers. A set of veneers is only $100 less expensive per tooth than many of these alternatives.
Teeth that are crowded, improperly spaced, or otherwise misaligned can be corrected or straightened using Invisalign. Using aligner trays made of clear plastic is a stealthy, simple, and practical way to correct misaligned teeth. This cutting-edge treatment method gradually shifts the teeth into their ideal positions over the course of 12 to 24 months, resulting in a healthier and more appealing smile.
A cosmetic dental procedure is something that a lot of people decide to get when they discover that they have unsightly stains and chips on their teeth, especially when they discover that they are missing a few teeth. There is a wide variety of treatment options available for addressing these aesthetic issues; however, it is essential to understand what each procedure entails and when it is most appropriate to use them.