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5 Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

5 Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Beautify your smile with cosmetic dentistry.

You won’t be surprised to hear that your smile can be one of the most influential and attractive features of your face. With one flash of those pearly whites, you can elevate your mood, create trust, express confidence, and even make those around you feel like smiling too.

Though we know our smiles are an asset to our emotional, social, and professional health, many people who are unhappy with their smile don’t know the many ways in which cosmetic dentistry can transform their smile’s appearance and restore its youthful luminosity.    

Achieving a smile you love is often much more attainable than you realize. Here are 5 types of cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be customized to correct your cosmetic concerns and create a smile that is bright, beautiful, and healthy.  

1. Professional Teeth Whitening

Even with good oral hygiene habits, our teeth can become dull and discolored from drinking dark-colored beverages (like red wine and coffee), smoking, and as a natural part of aging. Though these stains aren’t necessarily indicative of oral health issues, walk down any drugstore toothpaste aisle and you’ll quickly see from the number of whitening products there that a whiter, brighter smile is a feature many of us desire. Though some of these products may help to stave off surface stains, they may equally create undesirable side effects, such as darker teeth, enamel damage, uneven bleaching, or tooth and gum sensitivity.

Professional teeth whitening offers something an over-the-counter product simply can’t replicate: individualized care from your dentist. In addition to the reliability and safety of a customized in-office or at-home treatment, prescription whitening gels have a higher concentration of bleaching ingredients, creating more noticeable and long-lasting results in a shorter amount of time.

The Takeaway: If you are happy with the alignment and spacing of your teeth but would like to lighten their shade, a professional tooth-whitening treatment can allow you to safely, effectively, and conveniently produce a brighter, whiter, and more youthful smile in just a few weeks. As an added bonus, whitening your teeth before other cosmetic improvements—such as porcelain veneers, crowns, bonding, or tooth-colored fillings—will allow your dentist to match your future restorations to whiter teeth.

2. Porcelain Veneers

With their ability to efficiently correct teeth that are chipped, spaced, crooked, misshapen, or discolored, porcelain veneers are one of cosmetic dentistry’s most versatile and sought-after treatments.

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of tooth-colored porcelain that are custom-made to cover the front surface of targeted teeth. Your dentist will first bond each veneer in place with special dental cement, then shape each veneer to produce a natural-looking appearance. Requiring minimal tooth preparation, a porcelain veneer treatment can often be completed in as few as two clinical visits.  

The Takeaway: As they can be used to broaden, lengthen, whiten, and straighten your teeth, veneers are a versatile cosmetic treatment that can dramatically transform your smile’s entire appearance.

3. Porcelain Crowns and Bridges

While beautifying our smile helps to elevate our self-esteem, restoring lost function elevates our oral health and overall well-being. As they equally improve a smile’s health and aesthetic, porcelain crowns and bridges are considered both cosmetic and restorative dental treatments.

Made of tooth-colored ceramic, a porcelain crown is a custom-made tooth-shaped “cap” that encases the visible portion of a weak, damaged, cracked, broken, or discolored tooth. A strong, durable, and natural-looking tooth restoration, porcelain crowns are also used to complete single-tooth dental implant restorations.

Like porcelain crowns, porcelain bridges are custom-designed and precision-milled of durable dental ceramic. Used to “bridge the gap” created by a missing tooth, a porcelain bridge is anchored to either side of existing teeth, crowns, or dental implants. In addition to making your smile look and feel complete, a porcelain bridge restores lost oral function, keeps your bite healthy, and prevents your natural teeth from shifting.

The Takeaway: Porcelain crowns and bridges work double-duty. Both restorative and cosmetic dental treatments, porcelain crowns and bridges address oral issues while preserving your smile’s overall aesthetic.

4. Bonding

Dental bonding is the strategic application of tooth-colored composite resin to correct cracks, chips, discoloration, and minor gaps. During treatment, your dentist will precisely color-match and sculpt composite resin to the targeted tooth or teeth and set the resin with ultraviolet light. As the resin dries, it will bond to the enamel of your teeth and create a strong, long-lasting cosmetic restoration.

The Takeaway: A conservative yet effective cosmetic treatment, bonding is a versatile cosmetic dental treatment that can enhance your smile’s appearance and radiance. Requiring little to no tooth preparation, bonding preserves your natural tooth structure and can often be completed in a single visit.

5. Tooth-Colored Fillings

The final step of cavity treatment, tooth-colored fillings are customized dental restorations that restore your oral health and preserve your smile’s aesthetic. In the past, cavity treatment was finalized with an obvious amalgam (silver) filling. Though effective at treating cavities, amalgam fillings require more of your healthy tooth structure to be removed to accommodate the filling. And in addition to already being an obvious restoration, amalgam fillings can also cause irreversible tooth discoloration, further detracting from your smile’s natural-looking appearance.   

Made of composite resin, tooth-colored fillings are a customized dental restoration that can be used to treat current cavities or to replace old amalgam fillings. As the composite resin actually bonds to your teeth, tooth-colored fillings require less of your healthy tooth structure to be removed while restoring your tooth’s beauty and strength.

The Takeaway: Cavity treatment does not have to alter your smile’s appearance. With tooth-colored fillings, your treated teeth will regain their health and look completely and totally cavity-free.

A healthy, beautiful smile is within your reach. Contact our office today to learn how cosmetic dentistry can help you create the smile you’ve always wanted.

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