Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a wide variety of cosmetic dental procedures & treatment options for people who are not satisfied with the appearance of their smile. The cosmetic dentist will recommend you the cosmetic treatment or combination of treatments that will give you a better smile. This article describes the different types of cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Cosmetic Treatment Options for Smile Makeover
The treatment requirements for a smile makeover differ significantly from person to person. In some cases a simple teeth whitening may be enough for a perfect smile. Other cases are more challenging, requiring a combination of various treatments including orthodontics, tooth restorations and gum treatments. The available cometic dentistry treatments are the following:
Tooth Whitening – Bleaching
Teeth whitening is without doubt the most requested cosmetic dentistry treatment because it can significantly improve the appearance of our teeth at a much smaller cost than other smile improvement procedures. Stained or discolored teeth are a common aesthetic problem. Regular tooth brushing can only remove some of the extrinsic stains from the outer surface of the tooth enamel. Only ‘teeth bleaching’ can actually whiten teeth removing deep intrinsic stains and lightening their color. The treatment can be done in the dental office or at home.
Dental bonding can provide cosmetic dental treatment for a variety of dental aesthetic problems such as chipped, gapped, discolored or oddly shaped teeth. Teeth bonding consists in the application of a tooth-colored dental composite resin (plastic) material to the surface of the tooth where it is sculpted into size, shape, contour. The color of the material can be adjusted to match to the natural color of our teeth. Sometimes, tooth bonding is used to make teeth look longer, reshape them, or cover a part of the tooth's root that has been exposed due to gums recession.
Dental veneers offer the most revolutionary (but also the most expensive) advancement in aesthetic dentistry. Porcelain veneers are made of a thin layer of porcelain, only around half a millimetre thick, which is permanently attached to the front of the tooth to restore its natural appearance. They are custom made by a dental lab using the same material used to make tooth-colored crowns or caps which looks like natural tooth structure. Porcelain veneers have become a popular cosmetic dental treatment because they can be used to easily improve a wide variety of cosmetic dental problems. They can repair chips and cracks, whiten stained or discolored teeth, close gaps between teeth, and they can even correct slightly crooked or misaligned teeth without the need for braces. Porcelain veneers offer excellent aesthetic results, but they can be used only if there is adequate remaining tooth structure for their support.
Previous generations of dental fillings that dentists used to treat tooth decay were composed by gold, amalgam and other materials that were very obvious when you smiled. Today, you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that match the natural color of your teeth. One of the most common and simple cosmetic dental procedures is to replace the old gold or dark amalgam fillings with new tooth-colored ones, to restore the natural appearance of the teeth and smile.
Teeth shaping is a technique that can be effective in correcting minor flaws, such as slightly uneven, crowded, overlapping or crooked teeth. It can also be used to round off pointed teeth or shorten long teeth, so that they follow the contour of the lower lip restoring the symmetry of the mouth. However, tooth shaping and recontouring has some limitations because it requires the removal of enamel from the tooth surface, so it can't be used for extensive corrections or when the enamel layer is too thin.
Orthodontics are not just for kids any more. Many adults are now visiting orthodontists for treatment to improve their smile, especially after the introduction of various types of clear braces which are almost invisible. Orthodontists can address problems such as overcrowded, overlapping, crooked or severely gapped teeth that affect the patient’s appearance. An orthodontic treatment may last from 6 months to several years, therefore it is recommended as a cosmetic dental treatment for adults only in cases of severe misalignment problems or gaps that can not be corrected with other cosmetic treatments such as bonding or veneers.
Gingivoplasty is also known as crown lengthening, gum contouring or gum lift. It is a surgical cosmetic periodontal procedure that modifies the shape of the gums by cutting away excessive gum tissue. Gingivoplasty is recommended when the gums cover a large part of the tooth crown resulting in teeth that look shorter or smaller (gummy smile).
Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements used for replacing missing teeth. A small titanium screw is surgically fixed into the jawbone and then a crown, bridge or denture can be fitted on it. In time, the screw becomes fused with the bone of the jaw. Dental implants are permanent restorations providing a much more convenient and naturally looking replacement of missing teeth compared to bridges or dentures.
Crowns, also referred as caps, are dental restorations more suitable for natural teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure, or for dental implants used to replace missing teeth. They have a metal body custom made to fit over the whole tooth that can withstand the biting pressure, covered by a thin layer of tooth-coloured porcelain to match the look of existing teeth. For better aesthetic results, if it is possible, an all porcealain crown can be used. With a minor loss of cosmetic result porcelain crowns can offer greater strength and durability than veneers.
It is used for minor enamel stains discolorations, by gently grinding away the outer enamel layer using an abrasive, acid-based paste.
Each individual has different cosmetic problems that can be treated with various combinations of different cosmetic dental treatments. If you want to improve your smile’s appearance you should first visit an experienced cosmetic dentist for consultation. Cosmetic dentists have the expertise to analyze your cosmetic needs, and propose a complete plan of cosmetic dental treatments that will best fit to both your expectations and finances.