Typically when you going to the dentist, one is thinking about getting a cleaning, going through a routine check up and taking care of issues that may lead to tooth loss. Cosmetic dentistry is often looked at as a luxury and overlooked by many people. That is unfortunate since cosmetic dentistry often also has positive effects on overall dental health. And as we know a healthy smile can also provide confidence and improve self image. Regardless of why you would seek out cosmetic dental work, you should be educated about the different types of cosmetic dental work available and their purposes. Throughout the rest of this blog, we are going to provide basic background info to give a framework for understanding cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dentists are able to close spaces, restore worn out or shortened teeth, reshape and even increase the length of teeth. Common cosmetic procedures are crowns, bleaching, veneers and reshaping as well as contouring. As said before, these not only to help the way you look, but also can have a big impact on your dental health such as a healthy bite.
The name of this procedures helps provide a visual of what it entails. These crowns also known as caps, will cover the tooth in order to restore it back to its original or a normal shape and appearance. Crowns are typically not a first round type of treatment since restoring the original tooth is prioritized. On the plus side, crowns are a very good long term solution for tooth restoration because of it’s longevity.
Bleaching also know as teeth whitening is pretty self explanatory. This procedure is used when a patient has discoloration in the enamel and may be caused for various reasons such as: coffee and tea consumption, medications, cigarettes, or also due to natural reasons like aging. There are a lot of options for treating teeth discoloration, but it is good to first consult with your dentist before choosing a solution. Also, it is safer and more effective to have your dentist consult you on this procedure.
This is a tooth colored substance that is used for various reasons such as filling gaps in teeth, changing tooth color, restoring chipped teeth, as well as assisting with slightly decayed teeth. This type of procedure can last up to several years but is also a bit more susceptible to chipping than other types of restorations. Your dentist will know when bonding is the best solution for your case. Bonding can also be used to close spaces and also cover a whole tooth surface to change the color or shape.
Another cosmetic dentistry solution is called Veneers which uses a porcelain or plastic material and places thin layers over the front of the teeth to color or shape them. Discoloration, uneven surfaces, chipped, misshapen, unevenly spaced or crooked teeth are all candidates for Veneers. For this procedure, little to no anesthesia is needed since actual grinding on the teeth is minimal. Something you also may have noticed, is that Veneers treat a lot of the same issues as Bonding.
Contouring & Reshaping
When a tooth is crooked, chipped, irregularly shaped, or overlapping, contouring and reshaping is often used to correct these issues. A dentist may shape, alter length, or even change the position of one’s tooth when contouring and reshaping. This cosmetic procedure may also help with minor corrections with bite. If a patient has normal healthy teeth, but want subtle changes to their teeth, then this is an ideal procedure. Also, one thing to remember is to inform your dentist about your dental goals and allow them to explain the best way to achieve them.
When searching out for a cosmetic dentist be sure that they are experienced doing cosmetic dentistry. One way to ensure a dentist is qualified to do cosmetic dentistry is to make sure the dentist is a certified by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. If you are in the Raleigh, NC area Dr. Valerie Preston at VPreston Dental is a certified member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and would be happy to discuss your dental needs. If you are not in the Raleigh area please research or ask if your dentist is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. This can be critical as some dentist may attempt certain cosmetic procedures without the proper training.