COSMETIC DENTISTRY 101
While our regular dentist is busy with the tasks of keeping our teeth clean and treating and diagnosing oral disease, cosmetic dentists are improving the appearance of our smiles! Even though your family dentist addresses important problems that are necessary and they provide many treatments for those problems, cosmetic dentists provide many elective treatments and services. They also provide some restorative benefits as well. Let’s look at some of the basics of cosmetic dentistry, some current treatments that are available and the benefits that they can offer.How do I find a good cosmetic dentist?
Because your smile is so important, look at the credentials of the cosmetic dentists you are choosing. Take a look at their particular experience and education and see if it is in line with the services you will require. Ask your friends and neighbors as well. If many friends and neighbors have had good experiences with a particular cosmetic dentist, you can usually trust that they come highly recommended for a reason.What are some of the current cosmetic treatments that are available to me?
So many technological advancements in the area of cosmetic dentistry today have made it much more exciting for those of us who want a “smile makeover.” Natural looking, tooth-colored dental materials are much more durable and so natural appearing that it is difficult to tell you have had any dental work done at all.
Some of the options available for us now include:
- Teeth Whitening – perhaps the most commonly recommended procedure. Bleaching the teeth can remove all those stains we all have and enhance the appearance of our smiles.
- Dental Veneers – Porcelain or composite laminates that are actually bonded to the surface of our teeth to repair chips and cracks or improve a worn appearance. Veneers will also help if you have gaps or if you have not had any success with whitening.
- Dental Implants – Implants are actually artificial tooth root replacements and can be used to replace missing or severely damaged teeth. They will not shift or move and can even make us look younger since missing teeth can also cause our faces to collapse and make us look older.
- Inlays/Onlays – Inlays and Onlays are made from composite materials or porcelain and are a very long lasting and cosmetic way to provide a “filling” to a tooth with decay or structural damage. These fillings are created in a dental lab before being fitted and adhesively bonded into place by your cosmetic dentist.
- Composite Bonding – This procedure is meant to correct the appearance of a damaged, chipped, broken, or discolored tooth. The material is made with the look of enamel and dentin and is then molded and sculpted onto the surface of the tooth. It is then contoured and hardened and will blend right into the rest of your natural teeth.
- Smile Makeover – A total smile makeover can involve one or several of the above mentioned procedures and would involve a comprehensive assessment from your cosmetic dentist. To achieve the look you desire, you can work together on a treatment plan that will leave your smile changed forever!
- Full Mouth Reconstruction – Sometimes it is necessary to correct functional problems such as our muscles, bite, or tooth or bone structure before we can begin to work on our smile.
Your professional cosmetic dentist is the expert and can guide you in this process should you need to do more than work on the aesthetic appearance of your smile. Cosmetic dentistry has made a lot of technological advancements in the materials they use and the treatments and techniques they now practice. They are also more conservative now, using techniques that will preserve as much of your natural teeth as possible, depending on your own personal situation. Let the professionals get you the smile you have always wanted!