When someone wants to improve the appearance of a smile, cosmetic dentistry is a popular choice. Unlike general dentistry, cosmetic changes are not required for good oral health. Patients typically choose this method for aesthetic reasons only.
Types of cosmetic dentistry treatments
Depending on the condition of the teeth and gums, there are a variety of options for improving their appearance.
One of the easiest and least-invasive ways to improve someone’s smile is to whiten and brighten the teeth. This procedure can be done at home, but a dental professional has stronger bleaching materials for a longer-lasting effect. This procedure helps cover up dark stains or discoloration of the teeth.
Dental veneers are made out of a very thin porcelain shell, and the dentist fits them onto the natural teeth. Patients can decide on the color, size and shape of the veneers to ensure a natural look. These can cover dental issues such as discolored, crooked or chipped teeth, and veneers do not stain. The type of porcelain that is used is very strong and can last for years with the proper care.
With teeth shaping, the dentist reshapes the tooth by adjusting the form of the enamel. This may be done by filing off parts of the enamel to fix pointy or uneven edges. The dentist may also add tooth-colored material to the enamel to fill in small spaces between the teeth. This type of cosmetic dentistry is quick, painless and less costly than some other methods.
Patients who have crooked teeth may choose to align them via orthodontics. Braces have come a long way, and adults do not have to worry about wearing uncomfortable and unsightly metal braces. Alignment can often be achieved by the use of clear therapies such as Invisalign, which are clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth. This is a less-noticeable way to straighten teeth, adjust an overbite or close big gaps.
Tooth bonding may be a good option for those with badly chipped or broken teeth. The dentist takes a material that matches the other teeth and then adheres it to the affected area. This procedure usually does not require anesthesia and can be done in one visit.
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. This is a more invasive and time-consuming procedure, but it can make a big difference in those who want to improve the look of their smiles. The dentist places a device into the jaw and then affixes a natural-looking tooth to it. This is a permanent solution that can last a lifetime when taken care of properly.
Like veneers, crowns are made out of ultra-strong porcelain. Rather than just covering the front of the tooth, though, a crown is placed over the entire tooth. A dentist may suggest crowns for teeth that are badly broken, are decayed, have had big fillings or are shaped poorly. A crown also can cover larger spaces in between teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry can make a big difference for those who are not happy with their teeth or smile. Depending on the situation, there are many different types that are beneficial. Speak with your dentist about the best option.
Keeping your smile healthy well into the future starts with creating healthy at-home habits followed by regular visits to our Kansas City Dentist twice a year. To learn more about your treatment options, call Drake Family Dentistry to schedule your next cleaning and examination.