Everything You Want to Know About Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is elective, but for many, they feel it’s necessary to get the smile they need. Here’s what cosmetic dentistry is and why you’ll love it.
Keyword(s): cosmetic dentistry
A lot of people recognize their fear of dentists. It can come down to a number of reasons, but more often than not it may be to avoid painful procedures.
We know we need to get our teeth cleaned (usually every six months) and we know we need to get that painful cavity looked at, but we just don’t want to.
And while the best dentists find every way to make your procedures as comfortable as possible, we tend to avoid it. But cosmetic dentistry is a different story!
There’s a whole world of oral care that revolves around more than typical cleanings that we associate with the dentist’s chair. Let’s take a look at what some of those procedures are and why you’ll love them.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Unlike “regular” dental practices, cosmetic dentistry comes down to the thing that’s right in its name: cosmetics.
While it’s important to maintain good oral health among your teeth, gums, etc., aesthetics are a big part of our mouths, too. Most people want to be happy and have fun in their lives, but smiling with a discolored or crooked smile might take that away.
It’s fair to say that we should smile more, but sometimes, our teeth aren’t exactly smile-worthy. There are plenty of negative side effects to everyday life that hurt our teeth and our brilliant smiles, including:
- Chipping or breaking
- General wear and tear
Our teeth can become weak and chip or get out of place. Sometimes, it’s all that coffee and wine we drink that turns a dazzling smile into a drab one. Thankfully, a good cosmetic dental clinic knows what procedures can help you out.
We’ll take a look at what’s available to you, so you can make a better decision about how to change your smile.
The first of cosmetic dental procedures to review is one of the most popular and well known. We want white smiles!
Teeth that are yellowing or greyish are generally unattractive and it can really dampen our spirits and self-esteem. While there are a plethora of over-the-counter teeth whitening products, the results are mixed.
Thankfully, cosmetic dentists have plenty of tools at their disposal to give you white teeth that will last and look great.
In general, you’ll start with a record of your current shade of teeth, and from there you’ll determine with your dentist what shade you desire. This is one of the best parts about working with a good cosmetic dentist because everyone’s needs are different.
White isn’t only one color. There’s a whole spectrum of shades of white and your desires and needs may be different than others. You may not want the whitest white you can possibly get because maybe you’re afraid of your smile looking too unnatural.
On the other hand, maybe you want the brightest shade of white possible. Regardless of your goals, a cosmetic dental clinic should work with you and determine the right plan of action.
Your teeth will need to be as clean as possible, though, meaning you might undergo some basic cleaning procedures first.
Your gums, cheeks, lips, and tongue will all be protected from the bleaching agent while (sometimes) a curing light or laser activates its effects. You can repeat this procedure as many times as necessary to reach the desired shade.
Dental veneers are a very thin resin or porcelain material that are applied to your teeth to adjust their shape and size or (more often than not) fix chipping.
As you get older, teeth can become brittle, making it easier to chip them on certain foods or surfaces. And regardless of age, any sort of accident can cause a tooth to chip or break.
Veneers help fix this, and a cosmetic dentist will be able to apply them by first shaving off a small layer of your actual teeth. This is another way of whitening your teeth, too, so it’s sort of a win-win.
Sometimes, a tooth may be replaced entirely. It’s not just about whitening the tooth or fixing a small chip, because it’s possible to lose a tooth entirely.
As unfortunate as this situation is, a dental implant will use a small metal rod inserted into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. This creates a firm foundation for replacement teeth.
Inlays and Onlays (Fillings)
Inlays or onlays, which are sometimes called dental fillings, are another cosmetic dental procedure that helps decaying or misshapen teeth.
They are called “inlays” when they fill the center of the tooth and “onlays” when they cover the surface area where you bite. This procedure can restore your teeth when the damage is relatively small.
If the decay or damage to your teeth is a little more serious, you may need dental crowns. While fillings help small areas of a damaged tooth, crowns cover the entire tooth.
It’s still not a replacement, though (see “dental implants”). A crown can be made up of any combination of materials, including porcelain, resin, composites, metal, etc.
Crowns are placed over the entire tooth that appears outside of your gums and it protects the tooth from further damage.
Gaps in your teeth can also create a very distracting appearance to your smile. It can even negatively affect the function of chewing.
Dental bridges fix gaps by using dental crowns on each tooth on either side of the gap and using a replacement tooth to fill in the gap. This creates the illusion of a full set of teeth and a bright smile.
The Dentist is More than a Cleaning
We associate visiting the dentist office with cleanings so much, and no wonder since we do it once every six months! But there’s a lot more to your oral health than just getting your teeth cleaned.
Cosmetic dentistry is a great way to brighten your smile or fix unsightly gaps, chips, and breaks. Contact us right away if you’d like to hear more about the cosmetic procedures available to you!