Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dental care that aims to enhance the appearance of the teeth, mouth and smile. While certain treatments under cosmetic dentistry are more superficial, undergoing cosmetic procedures can improve the functionality of the oral cavity. This article focuses on options available under cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dentistry options
Treatments under cosmetic dentistry can be simple or complex. When patients go in for their initial consultation, the dentist will typically mention options such as:
This is one of the simplest cosmetic dentistry treatments and can be completed in the dentist’s office. Before proceeding with the teeth whitening, the dentist will remove plaque, tartar and other dirt from the teeth’s surface. It is also possible to bleach the teeth to a shade lighter than their original color.
Years of drinking, eating, taking medications and engaging in lifestyle habits such as smoking can stain the teeth. The doctor may offer in-office or at-home whitening kits to help make the teeth several shades whiter.
Inlays and onlays
Also called indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are fabricated by the dental laboratory and used when the tooth suffers mild to moderate decay and has lost substantial tooth structure. If the tooth cannot support a filling and there is no damage to the tooth cusps, the dentist will place an inlay on the tooth’s surface. However, if the cusp or a significant part of the tooth is affected, the dentist will use an onlay to cover the tooth’s surface completely.
Inlays and onlays are created from a composite resin material and bonded to the teeth using adhesive dental cement. They help strengthen the teeth, improve their shape and halt the progression of decay or damage.
Composite bonding involves repairing damaged, decayed or discolored teeth with tooth-colored material. The dentist will get rid of any decay, apply the composite material and carve it into the proper shape before hardening it with a high-intensity light. Dentists use bonding to cover structural damages to a tooth (cavities, worn edges, cracks or chips) and improve its appearance.
Veneers are often fabricated from medical-grade ceramic and designed to look like the natural teeth. Dentists place veneers on the front of the tooth to solve many cosmetic defects, including cracked teeth, crooked teeth or damaged enamel. It is preferred because it has a highly realistic appearance.
Dental implants are the replacement for lost teeth. The dentist will place a small titanium post inside the jaw to replace the root of the missing tooth, which will support a crown. Once osseointegration (the process where the bone fuses with the implant) is complete, the dental restoration will look like natural teeth. Dental implants also last longer than other methods of tooth restoration.
If you are considering cosmetic dentistry, it is important that you consult a professional cosmetic dentist who offers the treatment you need. During your consultation, the dentist will evaluate your oral cavity and make expert suggestions on how you can transform the appearance of your smile.
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