People who want to improve the way their smile, teeth and mouth looks can go for cosmetic dentistry, which is professional oral care that focuses on these things. While cosmetic dentistry procedures are often an option rather than a necessity, some treatments offer restorative benefits as well. Most of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures are quite simple, while others are more complicated and need specialized care.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays, also called indirect fillings, are made by a dental lab and are used if the patient has a mild to moderate tooth decay, or lacks tooth structure to support a filling. The inlay is placed straight into the tooth surface – as long as there is no damage to the tooth cusps. However, if the cusp or a larger part of the tooth is damaged, an onlay is used to cover the whole surface of tooth.
Inlays and onlays (which are made from composite resin material) are attached to the teeth using adhesive dental cement. They give support to make teeth stronger, bring back their shape, and prevent further decay/deterioration.
This cosmetic dental procedure repairs damaged, decayed or discolored teeth by using material that looks like the color of the tooth enamel. First, the dentist drills out the tooth decay, then applies the composite to the surface of the tooth, and “sculpts” it into the correct shape; finally, cures it with high-intensity light. Cosmetic bonding or bonding as it is simply called, covers the damage to the tooth very well, making it appear as a healthy tooth. This procedure is among the least expensive procedures for patients who have tooth decay, cracked or chipped teeth, and worn-down edges.
Dental veneers are usually made from medical-grade ceramic, and are individually made for every patient to look like his/her natural teeth. They look very real, and can address several cosmetic problems – including cracked/damaged enamel, crooked teeth and visible gaps between teeth. The dentist uses a dental adhesive to apply the veneer to the front surface of the tooth.
Teeth whitening or teeth bleaching is among the most basic cosmetic dentistry procedures, and can be done right at your dentist’s office. Prior to whitening, the surface of the teeth should be cleaned from tartar, plaque and other debris in order to restore their natural look. To get a lighter shade than the original color, teeth can be bleached as well.
During the passing of years, teeth can become worn and stained from drinks, food, medication and bad habits like smoking. The whitening which coats the teeth can be performed at home or in the dental office. Also, patients can get the same results in 1 to 2 weeks when they use special toothpaste. Such products come in different formulas and are able to lighten teeth up to more than three shades in two weeks. To get optimal results, the product should be used up to four weeks.
People who lose their teeth could have them replaced with dental implants. A small titanium screw is inserted by the dentist into the jaw, where the tooth is missing. This acts as the support for a crown. These implants almost look identical to the surrounding natural teeth, and the moment the bone and supporting tissue combine with the implant, they get permanently held in place. Patients have to practice good oral hygiene habits throughout the implant placement period to keep the area clean from food remains and plaque.