A Cosmetic Dentist can do many procedures which aim to improving the appearance of your teeth and gums. A beautiful smile goes a long way in enhancing your looks and cosmetic dentistry helps you achieve this through various dental enhancements. These include tooth whitening, veneers, bonding, crowns, bridges, implants, tooth straightening, and gum treatment. Cosmetic dentists make use of advanced imaging software to diagnose and plan treatment as well as show patients the results they can expect.
Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
- Tooth Whitening: Bleaching or Tooth Whitening is a treatment for brighter, whiter teeth. It is normal for teeth to become discoloured or stained over time. Coffee, tobacco, and tea are some of common reasons for stained teeth. Cosmetic dentistry procedures lighten the colour of the teeth using bleaching gels that contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. The dentist makes an impression of the teeth and makes a tray to fit the upper and lower arch of the mouth. The tray is filled with whitening gel, fitted into the mouth and allowed to remain for two hours or so. The bleaching ingredients break down into oxygen molecules that enter the enamel and lighten it. The procedure is usually started off in the dentist’s office and continued by the patient at home. The time taken to achieve the desired results depends on the extent of discolouration.
- Veneers: While bleaching can deal with moderate discolouration, veneers go further by covering the surface of the teeth to conceal stains. Veneers are thin segments of porcelain or natural coloured composite plastic that are fixed on the surface of the front teeth. They can also mask small misalignments, change the shape of a tooth, mend chips and cracks and bridge gaps between the front teeth. The veneer, a laboratory-made fixture shaped from a mould of the tooth which is bonded on to the front of the tooth. Porcelain veneers can stay in a good condition for over ten years and are easy to replace.
- Bonding: Dental bonding is done to close gaps between teeth and fix chipped, broken, discoloured, malformed or cracked teeth. The surface of the teeth is first roughened and coated with a mild solution and bonding agent. A tooth-coloured composite resin is then applied and shaped to achieve the desired results. Multiple layers of the resin may need to be applied. Finally, a laser beam is used to harden the covering. The procedure usually needs just one visit to the dentist and is comparatively less expensive than other dental restoration techniques.
- Crowns: A dental crown is a cap that is fitted over a tooth to enhance its appearance or to strengthen it. The cosmetic dentist would recommend a crown for a front tooth that is damaged, discoloured or weak. The ceramic crown resembles a normal tooth.
- Bridges: Bridges made of precious metal and porcelain or non-precious metal are recommended when one or two front teeth are missing. The gap is bridged using an artificial tooth connected between two crowns fixed on the teeth on either side of the gap.
- Dental Implants: A Dental Implant also replaces a missing tooth, though it is a more expensive option than a denture or bridge. It comprises of a titanium rod surgically inserted into the jawbone with a crown is fixed on top of the rod.
- Tooth Straightening and Gum Treatment: Cosmetic dentistry devices like braces are used to straighten and shape teeth. Clear plastic braces or ‘invisible braces’ as they are called are a great solution when the straightening process would take several months to complete. Cosmetic dentists can also correct gum disease related problems for aesthetic and medical reasons.
With an array of treatments which a cosmetic dentist can perform, the teeth and gums even with extensive damage or disease can be restored to give you an attractive smile and full functionality.