Cosmetic dentistry is the practice of trying to improve the appearance of a smile. These dental treatments include teeth whitening, dental bonding, and veneers. Cosmetic dentistry changes how the teeth and gums look. Regular dentistry provides maintenance for the teeth, such as crowns, fillings, and bridges.
Different types of cosmetic dentistry
This procedure helps people with cracked teeth, small gaps, tooth discolouration, and misshapen, and misaligned teeth.
1. Teeth whitening
Dark-coloured food and drinks can change the colour of your teeth. Taking black coffee, tea, cola soda, berries or smoking can darken teeth. Lightening the teeth can also brighten your smile. This can be done with whitening strips, gels, trays, surgery, or bleaching. This procedure is for people who have healthy teeth and unrestored gums. Whitening works better for people with brown or yellow-toned teeth as opposed to grey teeth.
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2. Dental bonding
This is the application of tooth-coloured composite resin. The resin is applied to fill up broken teeth. Dentists also use this to cover up cracks, hairline cracks, and discolouration. This helps make the teeth longer, wider, or more uniform. Bonding doesn’t require the removal of enamel but needs to be replaced every 5-7 years. It’s also reversible. The resin is exposed to specialised light to harden it.
3. Porcelain veneers
These are made with medical-grade ceramic. They are thin and match the front surface of the teeth. They work like dental bonding, making sure they conceal chips, cracks, and discolouration. Veneers require the removal of enamel. However, porcelain veneers need replacing every ten years. Other veneers are made with resin.
This includes tooth and gum contouring. It is known as enamel shaping. Tooth contouring involves removing small amounts of enamel. However, it’s important to remember that there is a limit to how much enamel a dentist can remove. Gum contouring is when a dentist removes excessive gum tissue. It is surgically altered to reshape the gum line for a more symmetrical look. This is also done to reduce the gums to increase the size of the teeth and make smiles look bigger.
This is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a tooth to improve its shape, size, strength, or look. Crowns can be made of metal, porcelain, resin, or ceramic. They last 5-15 years. The problem tooth is filed down to make space for the crown, which is cemented over it and fully encases it. There are also partial crowns known as onlays and three-quarter crowns cover the tooth less.
These are metallic implants that apply steady pressure to align the teeth. The tooth socket changes shape as pressure grows. This helps improve your smile. Braces fix crooked teeth and help correct smiles. The brackets can be clear, tooth, or multi-coloured. In some instances, the braces can be fixed to the back of the teeth. 6 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Braces
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Fillings are materials put in teeth to fill up cracks or cavities. They include silver and composite fillings. Many people are switching from metallic fillings to tooth-coloured composites because of concerns about metallic poisoning. However, composite fillings wear out faster than silver fillings.
8. Restorative dental procedures
These are procedures that help restore teeth for functionality more than cosmetics. This includes dentures, implants, or gum grafts. Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth and other oral tissue such as the palate or gums. Complete dentures are used when teeth are missing and bridges (fixed partial dentures) involve placing crowns in the gaps and attaching artificial teeth to them. It’s Wise To Avoid These 7 Foods If You Have Dentures
Gum grafts are moving healthy gum tissue to treat gum recession, which increases the risk of cavities. Cavities can also lead to tooth rot and loss. They also improve the look of the gum line.
9. Teeth Cleaning
This is the most popular dental procedure. It involves professionally done detailing where dentists use special equipment to clean up plaque, stains, bacteria, and other dirt. Teeth cleanings are done every six months. Brushing and flossing are good enough for daily cleaning but a dentist’s teeth cleaning keeps teeth healthy, shiny, and strong.
This is the medical removal of teeth. They can be removed to get rid of cavities, rot, broken teeth, and excessive teeth. Extraction helps reduce pain and can also improve confidence. In addition, if a tooth is too damaged, it may be better to remove it and replace it with artificial teeth.
11. Root canals
This is a procedure to remove an infected or inflamed pulp. This is the part of the tooth that contains nerve endings and blood vessels. Root canal treatment eliminates bacteria, prevents re-infection, and saves the rest of the natural tooth. People believe root canals are painful. However, the procedure itself isn’t painful. Dentists apply a numbing agent which prevents any pain. Root canals are similar to fillings but they require the removal of the pulp, and refilling with composite or a crown. Your dentist will recommend the best option. Root canals also improve chewing, and biting, and protect the neighbouring teeth from any extra strain. They also improve the appearance of your teeth.
When should you sign up for cosmetic dentistry?
The most popular procedure is teeth whitening. This can help brighten your teeth and your smile. However, it’s best to get a dental checkup before signing up for a procedure, especially if you haven’t been to your dentist in six months. Clean your teeth thoroughly before seeing the dentist. But an oral hygiene routine is important for your health. Eat shortly before your appointment, at least 30 minutes before. If you’re getting surgery, you shouldn’t eat for six hours before your procedure.
Many procedures can leave your teeth sensitive. Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. If the sensitivity doesn’t wear off after a few weeks, you should consult your dentist.
You should also get cosmetic dentistry if you want to brighten your smile, seal in cracks, fix chips, align crooked teeth, make your teeth even, improve the colour of your teeth, make your smile symmetrical, and boost your confidence. It’s important to consult your dentist before getting the procedure because some are irreversible such as crowns and veneers and require a commitment to having them replaced every few years.
Some procedures require more recovery time. Gum contouring needs a few days before you can go back to eating normal food. Dental bonding doesn’t require recovery time for one tooth. The number of teeth getting treated also affects the length of recovery time. The most important thing you can do for your teeth is practice extensive oral hygiene. This also helps with discolouration and strengthens teeth to reduce the risk of chips, cavities, and cracks.
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