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Cosmetic Dentistry

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Jul 9 • 7 minute read

Your smile is one of the most important aspects of your appearance, and having a perfect set of teeth can aid in boosting your confidence level. However, if your teeth are discoloured, crooked or otherwise disfigured, you can use cosmetic dentistry to help create your perfect smile.

The primary aim of this type of dentistry is to help restore the natural beauty of your teeth. If you have disfigured teeth, this particular type of dentistry can help in enhancing the beauty of your smile, and also aid in boosting your confidence level.

You may have had cosmetic dentistry procedures if you have had tooth-coloured filling put in your mouth, or if you have ever crowned a tooth. There are several dental issues that can be addressed using this particular type of dentistry; therefore, if you had issues with your smile, then you will be able to correct these issues with the best dental care.

Costs varies, but you’ll find approximate costs based on what you desire. One of the primary reasons’ people look into dentistry is to whiten their teeth. There are some people whose teeth get stained over a period of time, from the food or drinks that they consume; others will be born with teeth that are discoloured. However, these problems can be corrected by using various teeth whitening procedures. Additionally, cosmetics dentistry can be used to correct your teeth if they are too thin, too small, mismatched or crooked.

Insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic procedures. But some dental plans may cover part of the cost of certain procedures like functional and restorative dentistry. Other problems that can be corrected include: replacing teeth that are missing, filling the gaps between teeth, making less gum appear if you have a gummy smile, and using the natural white filling to replace the old metal fillings that you may have. This type of dentistry can even be used to correct the way in which you chew and bite food.

Different Types Of Cosmetic Dentistry

Bite Reclamation

This treatment is done to change the vertical dimension of people whose teeth have been subjected to years of wear because of too much grinding and acid reflux.

Dental Bonding

Bonding helps improve how the teeth look if they are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have excess space between them. The procedure involves the application of enamel-like composite resins to the tooth’s surface, moulded into shape, hardened with an ultraviolet or laser light, and then polished. The result blends naturally with the surrounding tooth structure and the rest of the teeth, improving the person’s smile.

This cosmetic dental procedure is the easiest of all and can be done with a single office visit. Dental bonding can also be used to fill small cavities or protect the exposed root of the tooth. Modern dentists also use bonding as an alternative to silver or amalgam fillings.

Dental Braces

Nowadays, both children and adults are benefiting from dental braces. Braces not only correct crooked or misshapen teeth, but can also help improve irregular bite, jaw joint disorders, or the proper positioning of the jaw.

Dental braces work by applying steady pressure to the teeth to reposition them gradually into alignment. The dentist or orthodontist uses metal, ceramic, or porcelain brackets and bonds them to your teeth. Arch wires are threaded through the brackets to guide the teeth correctly into position. Orthodontic braces are usually worn for about 1-3 years after which retainers replace the braces to hold the teeth in their new position.

Dental Bridges

Bridges are also sometimes called fixed partial dentures and are used to replace missing teeth or to close a gap between the teeth. Material used for the artificial teeth are usually made of gold, porcelain, alloys, or a combination of these materials. The procedure takes 2 visits at around one hour each appointment. Bridges can last from 3-15 years if proper oral hygiene is followed.

Dental Crowns

Also known as caps, crowns are placed over a damaged tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns or caps can be made from ceramic, metal, resin, or porcelain-fused-to-metal materials and are cosmetically used to improve broken or severely stained teeth. A costly procedure, crowns are recommended only by dentists when other procedures will not produce effective results. Crowns can last from 5-15 years.

Dentures

Dentures are removable artificial teeth that replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues of the teeth. There are two types of dentures, complete and partial. Partial dentures are used when there are some natural teeth remaining, while complete dentures are applied when all the teeth are gone on either the top or bottom row.

Enamel Contouring and Shaping

Also known as stripping, sculpting, re-contouring, or contouring, this cosmetic dental procedure is applicable if you have healthy, normal teeth. It involves removing or contouring the dental enamel to change the length, position, or shape of the teeth to improve the appearance. It is used to correct minor imperfections of the teeth and the results can be seen immediately. This procedure is usually combined with bonding, teeth whitening, or veneers.

Inlays/Onlays

Also known as indirect fillings, these are often made from porcelain or composite materials that are used to fill tooth decay or other structural damage in the teeth. Unlike dental fillings which are moulded into place immediately during your office visit, inlays and onlays have to be created in a dental laboratory first before your dentist can fit and bond them into place.

When the filling material is bonded in the centre of a tooth, it is called an “inlay”; when the filling is done in one or more points in the tooth or includes the biting surface, it is called an “onlay”. This cosmetic procedure can be an alternative to crowns and can preserve healthy teeth for a long time.

Gum Grafts

Sensitivity to hot and cold might be caused by gum recession and exposure of the root of the tooth. This condition makes the teeth appear long and may subject the tooth root to decay or even bone loss. Gum grafts are a treatment that involves soft tissue grafts that can transfer healthy gum tissue to another part of the mouth to prevent or stop recession of the gums and bone loss in addition to improving the aesthetic look of the gum line.

Implants

Implants are a long-term solution to replace missing teeth and are among one of the most expensive cosmetic dentistry treatments. They are titanium artificial tooth root replacements that is inserted into the bone sockets of the missing tooth. These are a good alternative to bridges and removable dentures.

They are surgically implanted into the jawbone by an oral or maxillofacial surgeon. If bone loss occurred due to periodontal disease, the surgeon will probably have to graft a bone first to secure the implant.

There are three parts of a dental implants: titanium metal that is fused to the jawbone, an abutment that fits over the part of the implant that juts out from the gums, and a crown to provide a natural-looking appearance to the implanted tooth/teeth.

Dental Veneers

Veneers are wafer-thin tooth-coloured pieces of porcelain or resin that are bonded to the surface of the teeth. This treatment is done to change the colour or shape of the teeth, or to repair and correct broken, chipped, cracked, or gaps between the teeth. Veneers are also used to treat the same problems that bonding procedure addresses, and can be a least expensive alternative to crowns. This cosmetic dentistry procedure takes about 2 separate appointments. Veneers can last 15-20 years if proper care is followed.

Repairing crooked teeth

People who are possible candidate for teeth straightening are those with crooked, crowded, or tilted teeth which can trap bits of food that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Unlike orthodontic dentistry which uses braces to solve the problem, cosmetic teeth straightening involves giving local anaesthetic to the patient, and then the dentist uses a surgical device that utilizes heat to remove fragments of the gum. This will help shape the gum and adjust to the shape of the new veneers. The teeth are then drilled to be ready to receive the veneers, and the veneers are bonded to the tooth’s front. The surgery often takes an hour and often last between 2-5 years.

Teeth Whitening

Also called bleaching, tooth whitening has become a popular chemical procedure that many individuals undergo to remove stains, or just simply to whiten their teeth. This cosmetic dentistry treatment is one of the least expensive and simplest ways to enhance your smile and appearance.

Over time discoloration of the tooth enamel occurs due to smoking, taking certain medications, aging, or constantly drinking beverages such as tea and coffee. Although various teeth whitening options are available these days like over-the-counter products and home kits, dentist-supervised treatment is still highly recommended for the safest and most effective whitening of stained teeth. However, teeth whitening treatment is not for everyone. It is only suitable for individuals with healthy and unrestored teeth and gums.

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