Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry is a growing field that gives patients a beautiful, healthy smile through a number of treatment options. If you are looking to improve the aesthetics of your smile, your Dentist can discuss the options that will be available for you to make sure you love your smile. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Teeth Whitening
Whitening, both at-home whitening kits and professional whitening by your dental office, is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to improve your smile! Home whitening products like whitening toothpastes and whitening strips are very effective for patients that only need a little brightening. They do take longer to achieve optimal results, up to two weeks of consistent use. For those who need more intense whitening, most dental offices offer an in-office whitening treatment that takes about two hours.

For patients with sensitive teeth, at-home whitening may be a better choice since the concentration of the whitening agent is lower and the whitening process is more gradual. You can purchase a whitening kit at most drugstores or possibly even at your dental office. Regardless of what type of whitening you do, there will be some dietary restrictions for you to follow while you whiten in order to achieve optimal results. For in-office, you will be instructed to avoid foods and beverages that could stain for 48-72 hours, anything that could stain a white shirt can stain your teeth.

Not everyone is a candidate for teeth whitening so it is important to discuss treatment with your Dentist before you begin, even an at-home treatment. Patients with grey colored stains, like tetracycline staining, will not benefit from standard whitening options but there are other whitening treatments available for those patients.

Composite Bonding
Composite is most often used to restore areas of decay in teeth. Once the decay is removed, a composite filling is used to fill the hole. Bonding is also a great way to quickly repair chips and small gaps between teeth and can even be used to fabricate same day veneers. Composite is a very strong material but it is not as durable as porcelain and is susceptible to chipping and staining just like natural teeth, so while it is a great way to make improvements to your smile, it is not always a long-term fix for cosmetic purposes.

Porcelain Crowns and Veneers
Crowns and veneers are considered a permanent restoration, as opposed to bonding, and are much more durable and resistant to chipping and staining. Porcelain can easily last up to 20 years before it may need to be replaced, unless decay develops under the porcelain restoration.

Veneers are made of very thin porcelain and do not require much tooth structure to be removed. Veneers cover the front of the tooth and are only used on anterior teeth. Crowns cover the entire tooth and can be used anywhere in the mouth. Dental crowns are much thicker than veneers and are often used for large decay, when a composite filling is not sufficient. Crowns are often placed on teeth that have received root canal therapy and teeth that may be fractured.

Dental Implants
Dental implants are one of the best ways to replace one or more missing teeth. For this treatment, your Dentist will work in conjunction with an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist. The specialist places a titanium implant directly into your jawbone and then your Dentist restores the implant with an implant crown or other implant prosthesis.