“You have a beautiful smile.” — These are words that can now be said to you thanks to cosmetic dentistry. Our smiles are one of the very first things people notice about us, so it makes sense that we spend a huge chunk of time thinking about the imperfections in our teeth and how to fix them.
Cosmetic dentistry is a term used to describe a number of dental treatments used to improve the looks of our teeth. The specific cosmetic treatment a dentist uses to fix a smile depends on how pronounced a flaw is. In severe cases, a person may need more than one cosmetic procedure to fix their smile.
WHAT COSMETIC DENTISTRY CAN DO
If you are wondering how people get their smiles upgraded, read on and find out how the dentists do it.
REMOVE STAINS AND DISCOLORATION
Many people go to cosmetic dentists to get their teeth to look whiter. The dentist checks the teeth to see how deep the discoloration is and comes up with a course of action depending on how severe the staining is. The dentist may choose to whiten the teeth by:
- Bleaching the teeth if the stains are only on the surface
- Applying dental bonding if the stains cannot be removed by dental bleaching
- Fitting dental veneers if the patient wants something more permanent than dental bonding
- Placing dental veneers if a person has discolored teeth that are also slightly chipped or crooked
Stain removal treatments are popular cosmetic procedures because they are non-invasive. Unfortunately, they are not meant to remove stains caused by tooth decay; restorative treatments are needed for that.
FIX FRACTURED AND BROKEN TEETH
People with chipped and broken teeth no longer have to “just live with it.” They can have their teeth corrected in a number of ways. Slightly chipped or cracked teeth can be repaired with dental bonding, broken teeth can be repaired with dental veneers and severely damaged teeth are repaired with dental caps, which reinforce and strengthen the tooth.
If the breakage or fracture leaves the inner tooth exposed, the dentist first cleans the tooth to remove any dead tissue and infection. Bonding and dental caps are both cosmetic and restorative treatments.
FIX CROOKED AND MISALIGNED TEETH
Slightly crooked or crowded teeth can be made to look good with dental veneers, but if the teeth are severely misaligned or misshapen, orthodontic treatments will be used. The dentist may recommend braces or other orthodontic appliances to align the teeth.
After the orthodontic appliances have done their job, the dentist may put in veneers to cover any remaining imperfections.
FIX MISSING TEETH
Missing teeth can cause a person to be self-conscious about their smile. They can also make it difficult to eat or talk. There are three popular methods that most cosmetic dentists will use to replace teeth:
- Dental bridges are used when the gap in the teeth is flanked by healthy teeth
- Implant-supported bridges and dentures are used to replace several missing teeth
- Implant-supported crowns are used to replace missing teeth in patients who want to feel as if they have their natural teeth back
A patient’s smile may need several things corrected, such as a smile with crooked teeth, one or two stained teeth and some missing teeth. In such situations, a dentist will use two or more cosmetic or restorative treatments to give a patient a beautiful smile.
A smile makeover is used to correct several problems in a person’s teeth. It requires multiple procedures and may take several months to complete.
Whatever the problem with your teeth is, cosmetic dentistry can fix it. When you consult a cosmetic dentist, they will take a look at your teeth and recommend a course of treatment that will remove all the faults in your teeth.
The result? That brilliant smile you have been dreaming of.