Cosmetic dentistry treatments improve the appearance of an individual’s teeth while restoring function that helps improve their oral health. But there is even more good news because dental procedures have improved dramatically over the last 10 to 15 years. If you’ve considered improving your smile, this guide can help you learn about the latest techniques in dentistry and cosmetic dental procedures.
1. Composite fillings
It’s important to repair a hole or cavity caused by tooth decay. Often we think of metal fillings that are made of metallic amalgam that is anchored in a tooth. Unfortunately, metal fillings darken teeth and are very noticeable when you smile. Today we have choices such as composite resin fillings that are tooth colored and are adhesively bonded to the walls of the teeth. The good news here is your dentist removes less tooth structure than with metal fillings. The other benefit is today’s composite fillings come in natural white shades that blend with the color of your teeth and are not noticeable when you talk, smile or laugh.
2. Teeth whitening
Whitening your teeth is becoming a relatively inexpensive way to add some sparkle to your smile. There are many products and methods you can choose from but if you are concerned about over the counter products then your dentist can help. Often it takes more than 1 visit but at least you can rest assured that your teeth are in good hands.
These hard, thin shells of tooth-colored material are designed to go over the teeth to substitute tooth enamel. The purpose of veneers is to mask a variety of noticeable dental imperfections.
When the teeth become heavily damaged due to cracks or grinding, a natural-looking porcelain crown can be put on the teeth. These crowns help stabilize the tooth structure more than veneers.
5. Dental bonding
Cracked or chipped teeth can be helped with a tooth-colored composite resin that is attached to the teeth. This procedure can improve the appearance and strengthen the teeth and requires very little preparation of the tooth.
6. Clear orthodontics
Many adults, as well as some teenagers, have a choice over metal braces with clear orthodontic aligners to help straighten their teeth. As an added bonus, they can be removed instead of being fastened to the teeth like traditional braces.
7. Dental implants
These implants are used to replace a missing tooth to help avoid shifting of the teeth due to a gap in the mouth. They are usually made of titanium and are fitted with a crown to create a natural-looking replacement for the entire tooth.
8. Dental bridges
Another way to fill in a tooth space is with porcelain bridgework that is attached to the natural teeth on either side of the space. The purpose is to keep the teeth aligned to avoid movement. Like dental implants, this also helps the mouth function properly and helps the patient with eating.
9. Tooth contouring
Cosmetic dentists can use a drill or laser to smooth out or reshape teeth. Often certain teeth can have misshapen areas or can be excessively long or sharp. The teeth are smoothed and polished to even out rough spots, sharp teeth or chips that can interfere with alignment and eating.
10. Gum surgery
Minor surgery can reshape gum tissue to give it a more leveled appearance and to help with tartar build up. There are 3 types of surgery: gingival flap surgery which helps to bring up the gum to alleviate tartar build up if the gums have receded, gingivectomy helps to lower the gum line if it is covering too much of the teeth, and if a patient has a lot of tooth recession where the gum is pushed away from the tooth, a gingivoplasty can be done.