What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic Dentistry is a form of dentistry whose main purpose is to improve the appearance of someone’s teeth (not improve their function). Some procedures may include the addition or removal of dental material or straightening of teeth. Previous materials used in cosmetic dentistry included gold and other metals, but now porcelain and other materials that mimic the look and feeling of real tooth enamel are utilized.
Some Examples Of Cosmetic Dentistry
The most common form of cosmetic dentistry is tooth bleaching, also known aswhitening. Many over the counter whitening options are available to the average consumer, but the best treatment you can receive for discolored teeth is from a cosmetic dentist. He or she can create a custom whitening tray for your teeth for you to use at home, if you prefer that method, which can take two to four weeks or longer than an in office visit, which only takes one or more 1-2 hour appointments. If you continue in practices that can cause discoloration such as smoking or drinking coffee or tea, your teeth may become discolored again after the whitening treatment.
Bonding can fix misshapen teeth. An substance similar to enamel is added to a tooth’s surface in order to create the desired shape. The substance then hardens and is polished, which turns it the correct color. Dentists can also use bonding to fill in cavities or to protect a weak tooth area such as an exposed root. Bonding can last for many years, but it is the most common type of cosmetic dentistry to wear down over time.
For teeth with gaps or discoloring that whitening does not fix, very thin porcelain laminates called veneers are a viable option. In some cases, tooth reduction may be required before a veneer procedure.
Teeth are not the only things that cosmetic dentistry can fix. A gum lift involves reshaping the gum tissue and/or bones in order to make the teeth below appear more straight and even.
Dental Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. Fixed bridges are held together by two porcelain crowns, and cannot be easily removed, while cantilever bridges are used when there is only a tooth on one side of the missing space.
Enameloplasty, also known as odontoplasty or recontouring, is a tooth reshaping technique that removes certain parts of a tooth’s enamel to better its overall appearance. This is a quick procedure and in some cases can replace orthodontia.