What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

If your teeth are stained, discolored, worn, chipped, broken, misaligned, distorted, or have gaps between them, modern cosmetic dentistry can give you a better smile. A “smile makeover” improves the appearance of your smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures. Cosmetic dentists work with you to develop a treatment plan. Below you will find information that can help you learn more about the different types of cosmetic dental procedures available.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening can be one of the simplest and cheapest ways to improve your smile. Teeth can be whitened with office products from your dentist, or you can purchase a mold and gels from your dentist to whiten your teeth at home. There are also over-the-counter bleaches in retail stores for convenient bleaching at home: whitening toothpaste, rinses, and white stripes.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells made of porcelain or tooth-colored resin that cover the front surface of the teeth. After removing about half a millimeter of enamel from the surface of the tooth, these thin shells are bonded (cemented) to the front of the teeth, changing their color, shape, size, or length. Veneers are often called “Hollywood teeth”. Living up to that name per tooth.

Dental Bonding

In dental bonding, a tooth-colored putty-type resin, which is a durable plastic material, is applied to the tooth and hardened with ultraviolet or laser light, bonding the material to the tooth. Your dentist cuts, shapes and polishes it. Bonding can repair decayed, chipped, cracked or deformed teeth; it is also a good cosmetic alternative to amalgams or silver fillings. Bonding takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes per tooth.

Dental Crown

A dental crown, also called a cap, fits over and replaces the entire decayed or damaged tooth above the gum line, restoring its shape, size, strength and appearance. The crowns prevent a weak tooth from breaking or hold a cracked tooth together; they can be used cosmetically to cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth. Crowns can be metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin or ceramic. Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays also called indirect fillings, are made from gold, porcelain, or composite materials and fill decayed or damaged teeth. The dental fillings are molded in place during an office visit; however, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory and glued in place by your dentist. The filling is called “incrustation” when the material is glued to the center of a tooth;
it is called “onlay” when the filling includes one or more points of the tooth or covers the biting surface. Inlays and onlays preserve as many healthy teeth as possible and are an alternative to crowns.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are titanium replacement dental roots inserted into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jaw bone heals,
it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw and providing a foundation for a replacement tooth.

Other Options

A bridge is made of crowns for the teeth on each side of space with false teeth in between. A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. Braces can straighten crooked or misaligned teeth and work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move the teeth in a specific direction.