There is no longer any excuse for yellowed teeth or misshaped or broken teeth. That’s because cosmetic dentistry is available to correct these problems and provide you with straight white teeth and a beautiful smile. Cosmetic dentistry is usually performed by a dentist who has specialized training in this area. In addition to the medical and licensing requirements to become a dentist, someone who performs cosmetic procedures normally receives extensive specialized training in this area.
In this way the dentist can properly perform a variety of specialized procedures within cosmetic dentistry. In choosing a cosmetic dentist, it is wise to look for dentists who are specially trained and certified in this area. Many good cosmetic dentists have helpful websites which can provide you with a great deal of information on different cosmetic dentistry procedures. In addition they often have before and after pictures which clearly shows the benefits of different procedures.
Some common cosmetic dental procedures may include the following:
• Composite Bonding. This type of procedure is great for fixing chipped, broken, discolored, or decayed teeth. A type of dental material is prepared and then applied to the surface of the existing tooth. It can then be sculpted into the correct shape. Once complete a high intensity light hardens the material and bonds it to the tooth. This procedure fixes many cosmetic problems and blends well with your other teeth for a natural result.
• Teeth Whitening. This is the most common cosmetic procedure. Over time teeth can become discolored or stained from smoking, foods, drinks like coffee, tea, or wine, or poor dental hygiene. For teeth whitening, a material is applied to the teeth which bleaches the surface and helps to bring back a very clean white color.
• Inlays/Onlays: Also known as indirect fillings are made from porcelain or composite materials. Inlays/Onlays are used to repair rear teeth that have a mild to moderate amount of decay. They can also be used to restore teeth that are cracked or fractured. Are usually made from porcelain, composite resin, and sometimes even from gold.
• Bridges and crowns. Bridges are false teeth, known as a pontics, which are fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. This is a fixed bridge. Crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to protect a weak tooth, to restore an already broken tooth, to cover and support a tooth, to cover misshapen discolored teeth and finally to cover a dental implant.
• Replacement of the old fillings. Removing and replacing old metal amalgam fillings with white fillings, also known as composite fillings. Composite fillings can be matched to the color of the tooth and can change overall aesthetics of your smile. Today, dental fillings may fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry, because you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials.
• Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements made from titanium, a metal with biocompatibility properties, and are anchored into a pre-drilled socket in your jaw-bone to support a crown, bridge or secure a denture firmly in place.
• Veneers. These are composite or porcelain laminates which are bonded to the surface of existing teeth. They can be used to correct a wide variety of problems with your teeth including chips, cracks, or severe tooth discoloration. Veneers also may be recommended if you have not had success with teeth whitening.
Veneers can also be used to correct gaps in your teeth. The veneers are fitted to your teeth by taking an impression and then having a lab prepare the piece to fit perfectly to your teeth.These veneers can be prepared with the amount of whiteness desired. Some people get veneers for all their front teeth if they want a brilliant smile. The cost can be rather prohibitive but if you want to achieve spectacular results, this is an excellent option to consider.
• Lumineers are a special type of ultra-thin veneers, are custom designed and main difference is that Lumineers are made from a special porcelain that is very strong but much thinner than traditional laboratory-fabricated veneer.
If you are unhappy with your teeth I encourage you to read cosmetic procedure articles so you can learn about the various treatments available to beautify your smile.