Cosmetic dentistry is a very popular dental procedure today. Whereas a few years ago it was thought to be a procedure undertaken mostly by celebrities and the very wealthy, that view has changed today, as more and more people are getting their smiles cosmetically enhanced. The following are some of the common types of cosmetic dentistry procedures:
Certain habits such as smoking and consuming foods and drinks such as tea, curries and coffee can cause your tooth enamel to stain over time. Your dentist can get rid of this staining by performing an in-office bleaching process or by prescribing an at-home teeth-whitening kit.
If using the at-home kit, your dentist will custom-make a mouthpiece through which you will apply the whitening solution to your teeth. Though this process is convenient, it will take you longer to see results (usually up to four weeks). The in-office procedure has immediate results, usually in 1 to 2 hours.
Chipped teeth, stains, cracks or teeth that have spaces between them could be make you self-conscious about your smile. Such smile imperfections can be repaired through a cosmetic procedure called bonding.
The procedure is done in a single visit whereby your dentist will apply an etching solution on the tooth surface, followed by the bonding material which is made of composite resin. Bonding can last for quite a number of years depending on how well you take care of your teeth.
These are porcelain (other material like plastic could also be use) shells that are custom-made to fit your teeth. They are meant to cover the front surface of your teeth in order to change their shape and color.
Veneers last longer than bonding and have a superior-looking finish. They are typically used to correct the following flaws in your smile:
- Gaps between your teeth.
- Chipped or worn down teeth
- Permanent staining
- Misshapen or crooked teeth
Porcelain veneers are inserted in two visits. The first is for custom-making them and the second is for fitting and fixing them. If done well by an experienced dental professional, veneers can last years.
Crowns are caps used to completely cover a tooth that’s discolored, misshapen, broken, has a large filling, or to hold a dental implant in place. Crowns are made of different materials including ceramic, resin and metals. As they have to be custom made, you’ll need more than one visit to the dentist to get a crown fitting.
Enamel Shaping and Contouring
This is a procedure that involves shaping or removing dental enamel where a tooth has an irregular shape, if you have bite problems or if your teeth are crooked.
If you have a tooth missing, it can be replaced using dental bridges. A bridge has two main parts, the first is the dental crowns, which anchor into the surrounding teeth. The other is the false tooth, which will sit on the gap.
Though the procedure for fixing implants is involved and costly, it provides a long-term solution if you are missing any teeth. This is because dental implants are surgically inserted into your jawbone.
A dental implant has 3 parts:
- The titanium, which is inserted into the jawbone
- The abutment, which sticks out of the gum
- The crown, which is tooth-like in appearance and serves as the tooth
In case you suffer from bone loss, your dentist will first do a bone graft before fixing the implant.