Cosmetic dentistry has many options available to patients looking to improve the appearance of their smile or improve the functionality of their teeth thanks to treatments such as dental veneers and cosmetic dental contouring. The best option to give patients the appearance they desire is determined after a consultation appointment with a board-certified cosmetic dentist. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry options currently available to patients of all ages.
Cosmetic Dentistry Options
- Dental Bonding – Dental bonding is when a composite resin is added to the edges of the teeth to help them have a straight appearance. The teeth that are being treated by the dental bonding process need to be somewhat straight to begin with because dental bonding cannot make teeth that are too crowded look straight. The composite resin placed on the teeth can be shaped and polished to match the teeth surrounding the one that is being treated with the composite resin. Dental bonding is mainly used for cosmetic purposes such as improving the look of a tooth that is chipped or discolored. In addition, dental bonding can close the space between teeth, make a tooth have a longer appearance and also protect part of the root of a tooth that has been exposed because of gums that have receded. It takes about 30-60 minutes to complete the dental bonding process. It should be noted that dental bonding is not as strong as a natural tooth so patients should not chew on ice or bite their fingernails as this can chip the dental bonding material.
- Orthodontics – Orthodontic dentistry is performed to straighten the teeth of dental patients. In the past, braces were often considered to be something that only teenagers wear but many adults are also making the decision to wear braces. Clear braces, such as Invisalign, show that there is no age limit for wearing braces to make the teeth look better. Traditional braces were often viewed as not being aesthetically pleasing because of the metal and wires used in the process. Plus, they had to stay in the mouth 24/7 once they were put in place. Invisalign braces, which can easily be taken in and out by the patient, are clear braces that are often referred to as being “invisible”. It should be noted that, even though they can be removed by the patient at any point during the day, they still need to be worn 22 or 23 hours a day to make a difference in the appearance of the teeth. They should only be removed when a person is eating or brushing their teeth. Invisalign is used to give patients straighter teeth but it is not an ideal cosmetic dentistry option to change the shape of the teeth.
- Dental Contouring – The process of dental contouring is much like reshaping the teeth. Dental contouring can be performed to eliminate an uneven appearance to the teeth, chips in the teeth and biting surfaces that are worn down. The process is accomplished by the cosmetic dentist polishing the areas of the teeth with the issues that need to be addressed. The polishing process only touches the enamel of the teeth so there is no need for pain medication or anesthetic during the process. Dental contouring is not recommended for anyone that might have their bite damaged by the contouring experience. Laser gum contouring is an alternative for people that do not want a traditional scalpel used on their gums. Laser gum contouring is used to correct a “gummy smile” where people show too much of their gums when they smile or their gum lines are not symmetrical. Lasers correct these issues by lifting or reshaping the gum to create a more even smile thanks to the creation of a symmetrical gum line. Laser gum contouring can also remove the band of tissue that can cause a gap between the teeth or a recession of the gum on the tooth. Thanks to the use of the laser, there is little bleeding (unlike a scalpel) and the cuts made in the tissues are immediately cauterized so the gums heal at a faster rate.
- Dental Veneers – A dental veneer is a new front surface for a tooth that is made of porcelain or ceramic. A dental veneer is placed on a tooth to help fix the appearance of broken teeth as well as teeth that are chipped. Dental veneers can also eliminate discoloration of teeth and lengthen the tooth where it is placed. The cosmetic dentist performs a consultation appointment to create veneers that will be sent off to a lab to be created. The dentist then preps the teeth by trimming a certain amount of tooth enamel so the dental veneer will effectively bond to the tooth. The patient leaves the office wearing temporary veneers until the ones that are created in the dental lab are sent back to the dentist. Once the regular dental veneers arrive, they are placed on the tooth to provide a more aesthetic appearance to the mouth.
Schedule a Consultation Appointment with a Board-Certified Cosmetic Dentist
Patients interested in having cosmetic dentistry performed on their teeth and gums should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified cosmetic dentist. The cosmetic dentist will examine the teeth of the patient in order to determine the current state of the teeth and gums which makes it easier to choose the best cosmetic dentistry method to achieve the desired results. The cosmetic dentist will also set realistic expectations so the patient will have a realistic idea about the results that can be achieved using cosmetic dentistry.