Cosmetic Dentists Make Sure a Little Goes a Long Way
When attempting to achieve a new look — an improved you — cosmetic dentistry can be quite a handy tool. It might seem surprising, but even with the slightest of changes, a smile enhancement can drastically improve one's entire appearance.
There are different factors to consider when thinking about smile enhancement. The teeth themselves are certainly of great importance, but the gums and overall bite play a big role in your smile as well. There are several cosmetic procedures that can correct an overbite or underbite, as well as ones that can improved a "gummy" smile. As for the teeth, there are several options for improving the many problems from which we often suffer. Teeth that are stained, chipped, broken, decayed, or missing, and those with gaps between them, or even ones that are too short, can be fixed through cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry patients find that they can receive simple or involved improvements to their mouth that in turn provide a subtle physical change and drastically improved self-confidence.
One of the most common complaints of patients pursuing cosmetic dentistry is discolored teeth. The easiest and most effective method of treating this is in-office teeth whitening, or bleaching. When performed by a qualified dentist in his or her office, the treatment usually takes just over one hour. Patients get to sit back and relax while a hydrogen based gel is applied to the surface of their teeth. Some sensitivity is often reported, so a barrier is placed at the gums to help prevent discomfort. An intense light is then directed at the teeth, stimulating the bleaching solution and removing the stains. Some patients ask how much whiter their teeth will be after treatment. This can be hard to answer without any true measure of teeth shade even existing in the field of cosmetic dentistry. But most patients are excited to hear (and thrilled when they experience it themselves) that they'll walk out of their dentist's office with a noticeably whiter smile... and a renewed self-image.
Other common complaints that cosmetic dentists are approached with include teeth that are chipped, broken, or missing, as well as smiles that have too many gaps between teeth or that reveal an unsightly about of gum tissue. All of these problems can be corrected with one, or a combination of, cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Porcelain veneers are one of the more popular cosmetic dentistry procedures, because of the natural result they produce and their durability. Porcelain, a normally delicate material, is very sturdy once bonded to the surface of natural teeth. Each veneer is a thin sheet of porcelain that provides superficial coverage of stained, chipped, or broken teeth. Porcelain is glass-like, so it can mimic the translucent nature of natural teeth. It's also resistant to stains from dark drinks or smoking, and it can be matched to the shade of existing teeth. These factors help to make porcelain a much-liked material for cosmetic dentists.
Crowns made of porcelain provide another great route for smile enhancement and rejuvenation. Unlike veneers, crowns fully encase the existing, unsighly teeth. In fact, crowns are often referred to as "caps" because of the way they're fit directly over and around each tooth. Some dentists offer crowns that are made with metal or a combination of metal and porcelain, but these are commonly considered to be inferior. Of course, all metal crowns do not resemble teeth at all, so patients do not get the natural appearance of porcelain. The crowns that combine the two materials are a little better, but the metal can show through along the gumline and also blocks light from passing through the porcelain, thus removing its translucency. Crowns can be used for all types of teeth imperfections.
Porcelain Onlays and Inlays are also top considerations for certain cosmetic dentistry needs, especially for the rear of teeth. They are made of a composite resin which is the shade of teeth. The resin is bonded to the teeth in need and works to reinforce the structure of the teeth. Onlays adn inlays are great for ensuring a longer life of oral health.
A final major cosmetic dentistry procedure is one that can improve a smile marred by gaps between teeth. Dental implants, made of sturdy titanium, are surgically implanted within the jawbone in the location of the missing tooth. As the bone heals from this surgery, it grows back around the implant, fusing to it. This solid piece of metal then acts as the root, providing needed structure reinforcement for the jaw and an anchor for the prosthetic tooth. A custom, usually ceramic or porcelain prosthetic tooth is then screwed onto the implant, filling the void of the missing tooth.