We smile when we feel good. However, some people don’t feel so good about their smiles. Undergoing cosmetic dental procedures can help them achieve their brightest smile.
What exactly is cosmetic dentistry and in what ways can these procedures improve the teeth?
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the professional oral care that improves the appearance of your teeth, gums, bite, smile and mouth. Cosmetic dental procedures focus on the mouth’s aesthetics and are usually optional, rather than essential. Although some treatments can also have restorative benefits.
The state of cosmetic dentistry as an actual specialty area is still disputed, and the American Dental Association is yet to recognize it as a specialty area of dentistry.
Brighten your teeth with whitening
Teeth naturally become stained or discolored over time. Smoking, taking certain medications, and regularly consuming foods and drinks (such as coffee, tea, and cola) contribute heavily to teeth staining.
Teeth whitening or bleaching is one of the most basic cosmetic dental procedures available. This is a simple and inexpensive procedure that takes 1 to 3 hours in any dental office. You may bleach your teeth at home at lower costs, although it will take several weeks. You only need to buy gels and mold from your dentist, or whitening toothpastes, whitestrips, and rinses over the counter.
While most whitening procedures merely coat the teeth, some lift stains. According to naturalsmilesky.com, Zoom and Kör whitening systems apply whitening agents that lift stains from your teeth.
Strengthen your teeth with inlays and onlays
These are indirect fillings made in a dental laboratory using composite resin, and are placed on the teeth with adhesive dental cement. They strengthen and restore the shape of teeth, and help prevent further deterioration.
Inlays and onlays are used for teeth with mild to moderate decay or those without enough structure to support an actual filling. If the tooth cusps are not damaged, an inlay is placed directly onto the surface. If a tooth is damaged, an onlay is used to cover the entire surface.
Restore teeth shape through bonding
Bonding improves the appearance of teeth that are broken, chipped, cracked, stained, or widely spaced. The dentist will drill out the decay or damage, and then sculpts the enamel-colored bonding materials onto the tooth to restore its shape. Afterwards, a high-intensity light will be used to cure and set the composite onto the tooth.
According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, this procedure takes place in one session, and is one of the least expensive cosmetic dental procedures.
Undo tooth damage with veneers
Veneers are shells made of medical-grade ceramic or plastic that are customized to resemble the natural teeth of each patient. Like bonding, they also improve teeth that are broken, chipped, cracked, stained, or have spaces in between.
The dentist will take an impression of your tooth, then polishes or “buffs” it, before inserting the veneers and cementing them in place. High-intensity light will also be used to secure the veneer onto your tooth.
Since the veneers are especially made per patient, the procedure takes two sessions. But it lasts longer than bonding and creates a more natural appearance.
Most of these procedures are temporary and are only meant to aesthetically improve your teeth. When choosing to undergo a cosmetic dental procedure, consult with a good cosmetic dentist first, for advice on what is best for your teeth. As Robert Harling said, a smile increases your face value, so you should invest in it wisely.