5 Popular Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments
A combination of science and art, cosmetic dentistry can transform a person’s life by improving the appearance of their teeth and smile to boost their self-confidence.
With the help of advances in technology, cosmetic dentistry has progressed rapidly in recent years, with state-of-the-art procedures that are appealing to an ever-increasing number of people who want to feel better about how they look.
Many people suffer from stained, crooked, chipped, or missing teeth, so it’s hardly surprising that among the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments today for those who want to look and feel their best are teeth whitening, dental veneers, tooth bonding, implants, and bridges.
A professional whitening procedure is the best way to get your teeth sparkling and healthy. Products used by dentists contain stronger bleaching agents than store-bought whiteners, and so produce better results.
Experienced cosmetic dentists can lighten discoloration of both enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) and dentin (the material underneath the enamel). They will also take measures to protect your gums from irritation during treatment and monitor every stage of the process to allow for adjustments to the levels of the whitening agent.
Dental whitening generally takes less than an hour and produces the same results as weeks of repeat applications of messy, over-the-counter teeth whitening products. The results of professional teeth whitening can be dramatic, with teeth many shades whiter.
Professional teeth whitening also brings oral health benefits. With the removal of stains, your teeth become healthier and stronger. Followed up with a regular routine of oral healthcare at home, the results of professional teeth whitening can be long-lasting. Latest technologies in teeth whitening including laser treatment and deep bleaching. Popular professional whitening systems include BriteSmile, Opalescence, LumiBrite, and Zoom.
Customized whitening trays from a dentist for use at home provide a highly-effective alternative to over-the-counter trays, which can be uncomfortable because of a poor fit, causing the whitening gel to leak and irritate the gums. Dentist-prescribed whitening trays use a gel with a lower concentration of peroxide than in-office treatment, posing little risk of gum sensitivity.
State-of-the-art dental implants have many benefits over more conventional methods of replacing missing teeth, in terms of both appearance and functionality. They can be used instead of bridges or dentures, or as a base for a dental plate, and they feel and look like your own teeth.
An implant is a small titanium post that is inserted into the bone socket of missing teeth. The jaw bone grows back around the implant, fixing it securely in the jaw. When the implant has bonded to the bone, an abutment is fitted that will hold the new tooth securely. A crown is then attached to the abutment. Implants are the next best thing to natural teeth: implant-supported artificial teeth feel completely normal once the implant has fused to the bone.
When used with dentures, implants provide a bite power as strong as that of natural teeth. Conventional dentures have a much weaker bite function, which can lead to loss of bone through breakdown and absorption of old bone. Implant-retained dentures are also more convenient: you don’t have to keep taking them out and putting them back in. Because implants become part of your jaw, they provide a permanent solution to tooth loss.
Porcelain veneers – often the cosmetic dentistry treatment of choice for celebrities – are tooth-colored shells that are cemented onto the front of teeth to hide cracks or stains, or close gaps between teeth.
Veneers are customized for each patient, and, with proper care, can last many years. New materials have made veneers thinner, so the surface of the tooth doesn’t need to be trimmed back. Veneers make chipped or discolored teeth look natural and healthy again, and patients with an uneven gum line can particularly benefit from veneers, which will create a neater look, more in proportion with the teeth. Veneers can also be used to correct teeth overcrowding, increase the dimension of teeth, and make them squarer or longer.
Because they’re so thin and held in place by a strong adhesive, little preparation of the tooth is needed. Veneers typically last many years but, like natural teeth, can break or chip. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
According to the DocShop platform, which helps patients find healthcare professionals, veneers look extremely realistic because they’re individually made for each patient to match the color and shape of surrounding teeth. Being translucent, veneers also interact with light just like natural dental enamel.
An alternative to veneers is tooth bonding, which produces instant results as a tooth-colored composite plastic resin is bonded to the surface of the tooth with a laser or ultra-violet light. The procedure disguises discolored teeth, gaps between teeth, and cracks in the tooth enamel. Bonding can also be used to repair decayed teeth when the resin is applied to a cavity.
While veneers are custom-made in a laboratory, bonding for a single tooth can be done in a single visit to the dentist. Bonding is one of the simplest and least costly cosmetic dental treatments but will need replacing more frequently than veneers.
Dental bridges consist of artificial teeth fused to a frame, and they are used to replace several missing teeth while helping to retain the shape of the face and ease the stress on the bite function. The bridge is supported by implants or teeth adjacent to the gap, while the middle section replaces the lost tooth.
Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either ceramics or porcelain fused to metal. They create a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (dummy tooth) in between.
Bridges not only restore your smile but enable proper speaking and chewing, maintain the shape of the face, stop remaining teeth from shifting out of position, and distribute the pressure of the bite function correctly.