Dental Cosmetics – All You Need To Know About It
The term itself:
There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. Your dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers and reshaping and contouring. These improvements are not always just cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite. Below are some of the common Cosmetic Dentistry procedures.
Teeth Whitening and Bleaching
Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or, under dental supervision, at home. Many patients enjoy bleaching at home because it is more convenient. Treatment begins when your dentist creates a custom mouthpiece to ensure the correct amount of whitening solution is used and that your teeth are properly exposed. Typically, whitening at home takes two to four weeks, depending on the desired shade you wish to achieve. Whitening in the office may call for one or more 45-minute to one-hour visits to your dentist’s office.
Bonding is tooth-colored material used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Requiring a single office visit, bonding lasts several years. Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restoration. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also is used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities. Additionally, it can be used to close spaces between teeth or cover the entire outside surface of a tooth to change its color and shape.
This treatment is an alternative to crowns, which are more expensive. The procedure requires your dentist to take an impression of your tooth. Before the custom-made veneer is cemented directly onto the tooth, your dentist will lightly buff the tooth to compensate for the added thickness of the veneer. Once the cement is between the veneer and your tooth, a light beam is used to harden it. Porcelain veneers require more than one visit because they are fabricated in a laboratory. Veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding.
Contouring and Reshaping
Tooth reshaping and contouring, is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped or irregularly shaped teeth or even overlapping teeth in a single session. Tooth reshaping and contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth. Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping. Your dentist will take X-rays to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there’s enough bone between the teeth to support them.
Know your Cosmetic Dentist
In order to make sure your dentist is skilled in cosmetic dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends that you ask your dentist for the following items before undergoing treatment:
Before and after photos, will allow you to examine the results of other patients being treated by the dentist to make sure his or her work fits your dental needs. References allow you to get a sense of the quality of care the dentist provides.
Proof of continuing education demonstrates that your dentist has taken continuing education courses to keep him or her up-to-date with the latest techniques in clinical cosmetic dentistry.
Your dentist can answer the questions you have about the techniques used to improve your smile.