Cosmetic dental procedures, includes bridges, crowns, whitening, veneers, implants, braces, or gum reshaping, are ways to improve the look of your smile. Cosmetic dentistry techniques are often used in combination for a complete smile makeover. In this case, veneers and crowns have been used to correct multiple problems including chipped teeth, an uneven gum line, and tooth discoloration. Cosmetic dentistry can go a long way toward improving not only an individual’s appearance, but also their oral health in general.
This involves the application of a resin to a tooth and then bonding, or hardening, the resin using a special type of light source. Bonding is a relatively easy and inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure and is used to repair chipped or cracked teeth, change the shape of teeth, or be used in place of amalgam fillings.
Veneers are thin shells that are applied to cover the front surfaces of teeth. They are custom made for the individual and bonded to the teeth to change their appearance. Veneers can be used to change the size, shape, color, or length of the teeth. Veneers are not as drastic a change as crowns, but the process is permanent and can’t be undone.
A crown is a type of cap placed over a damaged tooth. Crowns may be used to improve a tooth’s strength or to change its size or appearance. Crowns can be made of metal, porcelain bonded to metal, ceramic, or resin. Before a crown is placed, the tooth to be covered is filed down. The crown is then attached to the filed down tooth with dental cement. Crowns typically completely cover a tooth, but onlays and three-quarter crowns cover less of the original tooth.
Enamel shaping is a procedure done to correct small irregularities like uneven teeth or slightly crowded teeth. It is fast and painless, and results are immediate. Enamel shaping can be combined with other procedures including veneers, bonding, or tooth whitening.
Applying orthodontics (braces) can correct improperly aligned teeth. Braces can be used for adults or children and work by applying pressure over time to adjust the alignment of the teeth. The pressure also results in an altered shape of the bony sockets in which the teeth are situated.
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedures carried out because it can greatly improves facial appearance. Also it lightens teeth and removes stains and discoloration.
A variety of professional treatments as well as over-the-counter products are available for tooth whitening. Whitening agents include gels, strips, and trays as well as procedures performed in a dentist’s office. It works best on teeth with a yellow discoloration, but it is not appropriate for everyone. Whitening is best for people with healthy, unrestored teeth.
- Drinking dark-colored liquids such as coffee, cola, tea and red wine
- Not taking good care of your teeth
- Aging also makes teeth less bright as the enamel gets thinner and the dentin becomes darker.
Your dentist can determine whether whitening is a good option for you and which type.
Natural, tooth-colored composite fillings are less obvious than older silver amalgam fillings. Sometimes fillings need to be replaced, and many people choose to replace their fillings with composites when it is necessary to replace older fillings. Composite fillings wear well in small cavities but tend to wear out sooner than silver fillings in large cavities.
Bridges (fixed partial dentures)
A fixed dental bridge is a permanent structure that replaces one or more teeth. It is constructed by placing crowns on the teeth alongside a gap and attaching artificial teeth to them (the “bridge”). It is fixed in place with dental cement. A cantilever bridge is a type of bridge that is used when there are teeth on only one side of the gap.
Gum reshaping can be done to improve a smile if the gum line is irregular or if the teeth appear too short. In this procedure, a small portion of the gum tissue is removed. Excess bone tissue can also be removed. The procedure can be done on one or on multiple teeth.
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that are made of titanium. They provide a foundation for attaching permanent or removable artificial teeth in areas where a tooth loss has occurred. Tooth loss can happen as a result of gum disease, tooth decay, or injury.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the tissues connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic and sometimes porcelain and metal materials (Chrome Cobalt). A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth. Also known as ‘false teeth’ it can be complete where all teeth have been lost or partial in which case some teeth are missing.
An alternative to traditional dentures is Valplast, a flexible, nylon thermoplastic that is thinner and more translucent. It requires minimal preparation, it’s easy to insert and has long term strength. Patients love Valplast for its metal-free comfort and natural appearance. It is also more durable than acrylic and will not stain or absorb odour.