The Ultimate Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Fact Sheet
Having a healthy smile does not need to be a far off, distant dream. Very few people are born with stellar oral genetics, so if you are one of them, consider yourself quite lucky. Thanks to advancements in the field of cosmetic dentistry, today anyone can have the smile of their dreams. As we analyzed in this recent blog post, smiling has serious positive benefits. Allow our experienced team of Phoenix dentists to make your smile healthier and happier with a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures. This cosmetic dentistry fact sheet provides a helpful overview of the top dental procedures that are guaranteed to make your teeth look great and make you feel amazing!
The process of professional teeth whitening is intended to remove stains and tooth discoloration, which can both be caused by poor genetics, regular caffeine consumption, red wine drinking, and cigarette smoking, amongst others causes. A wealth of over the counter whitening products are available, but professional whitening treatments offered by one of our cosmetic dentists will create instant, dramatic results that are safer, more effective, and longer lasting than at-home whitening kits.
Virtually anyone is a candidate for teeth whitening procedures, though your dentist will ultimately determine whether it is the best option for you. For vital whitening operations (those performed on teeth with live nerves), the dentist will usually complete the whitening procedure in-office within one session. Completion times vary per procedure, though they are usually around an hour depending on the severity of the staining and/or discoloration.
If you have a tooth or teeth that need to be replaced (due to infection or the ineffectiveness of implants), a set of partial or full dentures is a sound option to restore your smile. These devices are known to be removable and custom molded to the individual contours of a patient’s mouth, which ensures a proper, comfortable fit. However, there are also fixed permanent options available. Full dentures are made to replace the entire upper or lower set of teeth, while partials can be made specifically for missing teeth sections.
Though they are more commonly given to the elderly, younger patients who have developed serious stages of periodontal disease, or have suffered severe tooth loss, are also qualified to receive dentures. Due to modern technical advances, dentures are no longer just for your grandparents. After one of our experienced dentists has completed the tooth extraction process or examined your previous tooth loss, they will make a mold of your mouth and send it to a lab for manufacturing. You will be given a temporary set of dentures, immediate dentures, until the final custom mold, known as conventional dentures, arrives.
Dental implants are often recommended over other tooth replacements options, such as dentures, due to the functional benefits they offer. Unlike their removable counterparts, implants are inserted directly into the jawbone, which mimics the feel and functionality of the original tooth permanently.
Once inserted, an implant will never shift or interfere with your ability to speak or chew, and the replacement tooth’s shape and color will blend perfectly to match the appearance of the natural teeth. However, dental implants are not only for esthetics. As our dental experts will tell you during your visit, your tooth loss is about more than just appearance. The resulting gap from a missing tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift inward, cause potential bite problems, and have negative effects on the jaw muscles and joints. Dental implants have a positive effect on the surrounding tissue and bone, and restore an all around healthy smile.
Porcelain veneers have been praised as the ultimate cosmetic dentistry tool. They are thin pieces of applied porcelain that can restore the durability of chipped teeth and modify their shape, size and color to the desired degree. Not everyone is an acceptable candidate for veneers, and sometimes an alternative cosmetic dentistry procedure will work better to meet your needs, which your dentist can determine and consult you on during your dental visit. Often, a dentist will insert a “test” porcelain veneer to see if it is truly what you want before making the commitment.
Veneers consist of multiple layers of thin ceramic in conjunction with an adhesive layer that is designed to replace worn tooth enamel. For proper fitting, a minimal amount of existing enamel must be removed before the veneer can be installed. The adhesive bond formed between the tooth and ceramic is strengthened by way of a special curing light. Veneers are a good option for highly discolored or broken teeth, and can improve gaps and possible bite problems.
Crowns and Bridges
The last two cosmetic dentistry procedures that everyone should know about are often best discussed as one, given their similarity. Both crowns and bridges are made from porcelain, and both an individual crown or a fixed bridge can give you the dental aesthetic and durability you desire.
Bridges are used to replace irreparable teeth, often the result of advanced-stage infections or blunt force trauma. Dental bridges are essentially fixed partial dentures that replace gaps in teeth by bonding a replacement tooth to the teeth on either side of the gap.
Whereas bridges are intended to be full tooth replacement options for missing teeth, dental crowns are ceramic caps that cover the existing, damaged tooth for restoration purposes. The entire visible portion of the tooth is covered, protecting it from future harmful dental caries damage.
There are additional alternative methods for fixing or replacing problematic teeth, which is a topic your dentist will raise during the initial consultation, though crowns and bridges are often the best option. Both options can be cleaned and maintained like regular teeth and they create a noticeable improvement in any smile.
For more information and additional facts on all cosmetic dentistry procedures outlined in this guide, schedule an appointment with our experienced team of cosmetic dentists for a consultation and learn more about all our Dental Services. If you are a new patient, contact us today for your first dental checkup.