The term cosmetic dentistry pertains to the enhancement of a smile through various restorative techniques typically used by local dentist office providers. Although its main focus is on aesthetics, many cosmetic procedures also improve the overall function of the mouth, such as speech patterns and mastication. In addition, a beautiful smile boosts the patient’s self confidence and poise.
Because of continuous advancements in technology, an array of cosmetic dentistry procedures can be performed to correct the teeth that have been chipped, fractured, stained or misaligned due to trauma, poor nutritional choices or genetics.
Perhaps the least invasive method of smile improvement recommended by a cosmetic dentist is tooth whitening or bleaching. The procedure is painless to the patient. Depending on the severity of the present staining, it can dramatically enhance the appearance of the teeth. Tooth bleaching requires periodic re-applications and can be maintained by proper oral care at home and changing individual eating and drinking habits.
Composite Restorations (Bonding)
By bonding durable tooth-colored material, the cosmetic dentist is able to restore the tooth structure lost because of decay or fractures. The composite compounds are also used to close small diastemas (spacing between teeth) or minor cracks. Due to the porosity of the material, the restorations may have to be occasionally replaced as they wear down.
More durable than composite and made of ceramic ingredients, the veneers are implemented when significant aesthetic discrepancies are present. They can only be applied within the anterior region of the mouth and considerably improve the patient’s smile. The shade of the ceramic restorations closely mimics the natural hue of the existing teeth.
Minimally invasive, this method is used for slightly misaligned teeth or dentition that could benefits from minute redesign. It is sometimes combined with bonding for better functional value.
Crowns and Bridges
Numerous types of materials are used in this type of restorations and depend on the location and function of the tooth in the oral area. All-ceramic crowns are often placed on anterior teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are placed on posterior teeth as they provide added strength and durability needed for chewing and speaking. Dental bridges effectively replace missing teeth and have long-term prognosis.
Local dentist office professionals always offer full explanation of each option and guide the patient through the process with their skills and knowledge. New materials and techniques are continually developed, and the patients are encouraged to schedule their initial consultation to learn more.