Today’s dentists do more than repair cavities or make sure your teeth are clean. Modern dental technology and our society’s focus on appearance have resulted in a rapidly growing interest in cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dental procedures are dedicated to improving the appearance of the teeth and gums. These treatments boost confidence and improve your overall health, too.
In this article, we highlight the top cosmetic dental procedures sought today and also dig a little deeper into the general area of cosmetic dentistry. So, if you’ve had questions about this area of dentistry, read on!
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry Exactly?
Few people have perfect teeth and it’s often uncomfortable to smile or laugh when you know your teeth are crooked, chipped, gapped, yellow, or misaligned. The thing to remember is that you don’t need to live with this embarrassment. There are cosmetic dental treatments that can help.
The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to correct specific issues and improve the visual appearance of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Cosmetic dental procedures include crowns, bridges, implants, veneers, whiteners, bonding, and gum contouring. With cosmetic dentistry, you can count on soon having a smile that will light up a room!
Who Can Benefit From Cosmetic Dentistry?
Nearly everyone can benefit from the services provided by a cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is often a good option for people who have:
- Chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Stained or discolored teeth
- Bite issues
- Misaligned teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Missing teeth
General dentists offer preventative care, while dentists who specialize in cosmetic dentistry focus on the appearance of your smile. Many dentists today offer BOTH general and cosmetic treatments designed to improve the health and appearance of your teeth and gums.
The Top 7 Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Here are the most popular cosmetic dental procedures used by patients who want to enhance the appearance of their smile.
1. Teeth Whitening
This is probably the procedure asked for most often by patients wanting to have a brighter, more pleasing smile. Let’s face it: When your teeth are stained and yellow, it affects your self-confidence. You begin to hide your smile and that actually calls even more attention to it.
Professional whitening treatments can remove years of discoloration caused by food and drinks. And besides being a major health problem, smoking also stains your teeth. An additional benefit to having your teeth whitened is the deep cleaning that goes along with it. This removes plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and will improve your overall dental health.
2. Dental Bonding
Teeth can sometimes be damaged by normal events, resulting in chips and cracks. Bonding is a technique used by cosmetic dentists to correct this damage. A tooth-colored resin is applied to the tooth, it is reshaped, and the resin hardens to create a natural-looking surface. The tooth looks normal again and it is strengthened by the bonding.
Your overall oral health is also improved with dental bonding. Cracks and chips in teeth allow bacteria into the tooth that can cause infection inside the teeth. This infection, if not eliminated, can travel to the rest of the body and cause serious health problems. Bonding helps seal the tooth and protects it from further damage.
3. Gum Contouring
If your gums are uneven or excessive, your teeth will look shorter than they really are. Thus making your smile appear disproportionate. With the procedure known as gum contouring, the gum line can be adjusted to show more of your teeth and less gum. This is done by removing the excess gum tissue to reshape or resculpt the gumline. These procedures are permanent because gums typically do not grow back after being shaped.
4. Dental Veneers
Another procedure that corrects chips, cracks, stains, and gaps between teeth is veneers. A dental veneer is a thin shell that is customized to fit over the affected tooth or teeth. The shell is made of porcelain or resin and is bonded to the front of the teeth. They look just like your natural teeth and you won’t notice any difference in how they feel, either. And, just like bonding, veneers protect the enamel of your teeth so there won’t be any further damage or decay.
Teeth are lost for a variety of reasons. The empty space left behind may not seem like a significant problem, but over time it can lead to bone loss, chewing and speech problems, and shifting teeth. All of these issues can result in a lack of self-confidence.
Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement solution. They are a long-term, natural-looking way to replace missing teeth and maintain the integrity of the jaw and your smile.
Dental crowns are used for a variety of reasons, including to:
- Strengthen a weak tooth.
- Protect and support a cracked tooth.
- Restore a worn-down or broken tooth.
- Hold a dental bridge in place.
- Cover a severely stained or discolored tooth.
- Cover a root canal-treated tooth.
- Cover a dental implant.
The crown is bonded to the tooth underneath it and covers the entire tooth. There are several types of crowns: metal, resin, porcelain, or a mixture of these, making them extremely durable.
7. Orthodontic Treatments
Modern orthodontic treatment uses the latest technology to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth and correct bite problems. Metal braces have been used for hundreds of years and are still used in many patients today. However, you have other choices now: clear aligners like Invisalign, ceramic braces, and lingual braces, all of which are less visible in your mouth.
These treatments help both your oral health and your overall health with the additional result of a beautiful smile. Many of the treatments we covered above are done in tandem with orthodontic treatment, especially with children, to prevent some of the problems from developing at all. This gives the added benefit of investing in the increased self-confidence of all patients, both adults and children.
Strafford Dental Associates Can Help You Achieve the Appearance You Want!
As you can see, there is a variety of cosmetic dental procedures available today that can help give you a beautiful smile that you are proud to show off.
Here at Strafford Dental Associates, we are committed to the prevention and protection of your dental health while helping you create the appearance you wish to achieve. We use the latest techniques and offer a full range of cosmetic services such as smile enhancement, restoration, and maintenance treatments.