“Cosmetic Dentistry”. It’s a phrase that permeates the dental industry, but what does it really mean, and what are the services it encompasses?
Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental procedures that focus on the improvement of the appearance of a patient’s teeth, bite, and gums. These procedures do not necessarily improve the functionality of the teeth, such as the most popular procedure, teeth whitening. Cosmetic dentistry can include: the addition of a dental material to teeth or gums, the straightening of teeth, the removal of tooth structure or gums, or color correction.
Whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure. It is an option for patients who want to fix discoloration or stains on their enamel. Teeth whitening works solely on natural teeth enamel, so veneers, fillings, or crowns will not change color. There are multiple options for those looking to whiten their teeth, both in-office and at-home solutions are available. In-office procedures typically take 2 hours and provide instant results. Noticeable color improvements can be seen with at-home whitening systems in as little as 10 days.
Tooth-Colored, composite, fillings have become the material of choice for repairing decayed teeth and are a staple in the dental industry. Since they are bonded to natural tooth structure, they can be placed less invasively than silver fillings. The best part of this cosmetic procedure is the fillings match your teeth so it will appear as if you never had any issue at all!
A veneer is an ultra-thin, custom crafted shell of ceramic material that is bonded to the front of the tooth. A patient would choose a veneer if they are looking to close a gap, change the color of a tooth not responding to whitening, or to enhance the shape of a tooth. In most cases, tooth reduction is required first to achieve optimal results. They provide a more permanent change when compared to whitening or bonding, and they are popular with celebrities as a way of achieving the perfect smile.
Dental implants are the closest match to a natural tooth when a patient is interested in replacing missing teeth. They are not reliant on adjacent teeth to provide support and are cared for in the same way as natural teeth. Implants can be done by themselves, or in a group with the assistance of a bridge or denture.
Crowns are helpful for patients with large cavities, silver fillings which have failed, fractures, or a history of root canal therapy. Crowns are made of porcelain, or gold, and completely cover the tooth to strengthen severely damaged teeth. A consultation is highly recommended before making a decision on if a crown is right for you.
There are a lot of variables to consider around cosmetic dentistry services. If you think you may need or benefit from one of these procedures, feel free to contact us any time. We’re always happy to discuss your options!