Cosmetic Dentistry 101

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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry can ensure you always have a bright, white smile. Proper oral hygiene is important at any age, but as you get older, tooth decay and other issues can require professional treatment. This is where cosmetic dentistry becomes useful.

If you want a better understanding of cosmetic dentistry and the different types of dental procedures that are commonly performed, then it is time for cosmetic dentistry 101.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry? Cosmetic dentistry simply refers to any form of dentistry that is designed to improve the appearance of your teeth and your smile. This can include simple procedures, such as teeth whitening, or corrective treatments, including braces and retainers. Here is an overview of some of these procedures:

Cosmetic Dentistry

Bonding

Bonding is used for dealing with cracked, broken, or chipped teeth. It can also be used for filling in any excess space between your teeth, such as a gap. A bonding material is used to correct your teeth and the process should only require a single visit. This is the most economical option for cracked or chipped teeth, as the restorations will slowly wear down.

Enamel Shaping

Enamel shaping, and also contouring, is a cosmetic dentistry procedure used for correcting minor bite problems or irregular teeth. The dentist will reshape, remove, and contour the enamel of your teeth – with or without bonding. This is typically only used for people with healthy teeth that have an issue with the length, shape, or position of a tooth.

Veneers

Veneers are used for the same purposes as bonding, along with fixing poorly shaped or crooked teeth. They can also be used for covering permanently stained teeth. This is a longer-lasting cosmetic dentistry procedure than bonding. Veneers last longer and they are less noticeable. An impression of your teeth will need to be made. Using this impression, a porcelain veneer will be made – which means you will need to schedule at least two visits to your dentist.

Crowns

Crowns are the next step up in restoring teeth. Unlike veneers or bonding, crowns cover the entire tooth. They can be used for covering a misshapen tooth or a large filling. They can also be useful for holding dental bridges in place, covering dental implants, and protecting weak teeth. Crowns are often made of metal, resin, or porcelain fused to metal.

Getting crowns for your teeth is more expensive than veneers or bonding. For this reason, crowns are often used as a last resort for more serious dental issues.

Bridges

When a tooth needs to be removed and you would like a partial denture to replace the missing tooth, a bridge is needed. They are used to anchor a false tooth to a crown. A fixed bridge cannot be removed by hand. This is a permanent denture for replacing a missing tooth.

Teeth Implants

Teeth implants, or removable dentures, are a more expensive alternative to bridges. This is a long-term solution for replacing your missing teeth. Titanium metal is fused to your jawbone. A small piece, called an abutment, sticks out from the gums. A crown is created to replace the missing tooth, or teeth, and then anchored into position on the abutment.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a fairly basic procedure that is used to whiten the teeth. Smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee or tea, and consuming certain foods can stain or discolor your teeth. If you were to quit these habits and continued practicing good oral hygiene, these stains could slowly go away. When you want faster results, teeth whitening is an easy solution.

When you visit your dentist for teeth whitening, a bleaching process will be used to whiten your teeth. Depending on how stained your teeth are, you may need to come back for multiple sessions. You should continue to brush your teeth twice per day, floss, and use a mouthwash.

Braces

The number of adults that choose to get braces has increased over the past several decades. With advancements in design and technique, braces have become less intrusive. There are also more discreet braces, such as invisible braces.

Braces are used to improve the appearance of your smile by fixing crooked or crowded teeth. They can also be used to correct jaw positioning and irregular bites, such as an over or underbite.

In order to attach the braces, your dentist will need to bond brackets directly to your teeth. These brackets are often made from ceramic, plastic, or metal. A wire is then guided through the brackets and help to slowly move the teeth to their correct position.

You should always have a good understanding of the advantages and risks before undergoing a cosmetic procedure. This can also save you money by helping you avoid unnecessary procedures.

Your teeth need proper care in order to maintain your bright smile. Cosmetic dentistry could be the solution for some issues, but good oral hygiene may be able to help you avoid cosmetic procedures in the first place.

Author Bio – John Swift, the author of this guest article writes on behalf of Thantakit, a premier yet affordable dental center for cosmetic dentistry in Bangkok, Thailand.