What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the term used to describe a variety of dental procedures that improve the appearance of teeth, rather than solely focusing on the health of the teeth and mouth in general. Cosmetic dentists focus on making your smile more attractive, while regular dentists focus on the health of your teeth and mouth, but may refer services to you when it comes to chipped, crooked, or missing teeth. If you have any of these dental issues, then it may be time to consider getting a cosmetic dental procedure.
Chipped, Cracked, and Damaged Teeth
If you have one or more teeth that are chipped, cracked, and/or damaged, then cosmetic dentistry can help solve those issues. These types of issues with teeth are either caused by trauma to the mouth or normal wear and tear. Here are a few cosmetic dental procedures that help fix damaged teeth.
With composite bonding, a dentist will use a resin filling the same colour as the enamel of your teeth to fix the damaged tooth. This treatment fixes the chipped, cracked, or broken tooth, and it is one of the most affordable cosmetic dental procedures. It’s also very natural-looking because the resin is created to match the colour of your teeth.
Crowns are porcelain caps that are custom-made to fit over a damaged tooth to prevent further damage. Crowns may be used instead of bonding treatments if the tooth doesn’t have enough enamel left to repair it. Crowns are also used in dental emergencies, such as a root canal where a crack has also developed in the pulp.
When a damaged tooth doesn’t have the structure to hold a filling, a dentist may recommend an onlay to cover the tooth. Onlays are porcelain covers that are applied directly to a damaged tooth. They also strengthen and restore the damaged tooth, all while protecting it from further damage.
Crooked and Discoloured Teeth
Crooked/misaligned teeth and discoloured teeth are probably the two most common reasons people opt for some form of cosmetic dentistry. Here are some of the common fixes for these issues.
Braces are the most common way people opt to correct their teeth because it’s relatively inexpensive. Braces can be the metal brackets (which aren’t as uncomfortable as they once were), or they can be the clear, removable types, depending on how misaligned the teeth are.
Veneers are similar to onlays, except that they usually cover all/the majority of teeth in the mouth. Veneers are permanently bound to one’s natural teeth, usually after the natural teeth have been shaved down and reshaped to accommodate the veneers. This procedure is expensive, time-consuming, and even painful, but fortunately there’s an alternative to veneers that allow you to snap on teeth that are made in the same way. These are referred to as temporary veneers, which are much more affordable.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that can be done without the help of a dentist. However, when having your teeth whitened by a professional, the dentist will scrape off the surface stains before applying the whitening solution.
Missing teeth can be a result of trauma or some sort of oral issue affecting the teeth and/or gums. While teeth missing in the back of the mouth don’t usually count as a cosmetic issue, teeth that are visibly missing almost always do.
Dental implants are used to replace one or a few missing teeth. The false tooth is held in place by a screw, and it is permanently held in place once the mouth is completely healed.
Dentures are a set of removable teeth and are used in place of implants when there’s a significant amount of teeth missing. Dentures can be a full set for the entire mouth, or a partial set for the upper or bottom rows.
When it comes to any cosmetic dental procedure that requires a specialist, always consult your primary dentist before deciding on a procedure.