Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of your teeth and the overall enhancement of your smile. Some treatment options are minor, such as teeth whitening, while others require more complex procedures, such as braces. While most cosmetic dental treatments aim to give you a more aesthetically-pleasing smile, they can also be effective in improving oral problems, such as an improper bite. Here’s a look at some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures available.
One of the most simple, yet most transforming, cosmetic dental treatments is teeth whitening. Also referred to as bleaching, teeth whitening is the chemical process of removing stains or other discoloration from the tooth surface. Discoloration can occur due to age, genetics, medication, or certain foods and beverages like coffee. Bleaching can be performed at home or in-office to achieve a whiter and brighter smile.
Bonding is the application of resin material to the tooth surface in attempt to fill in gaps or change the color of the teeth. In some instances, bonding can also be used to close spaces between teeth for a more confident smile. The bonding process typically requires just one visit and appears natural due to the tooth-colored resin material that is used. For durability, the bonding material is hardened with a high-intensity curing light.
Dental crowns, also known as caps, are used to completely cover a tooth to restore normal function and appearance. When cemented into place, a crown fully encases the visible part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line. While more pricy, crowns have the longest life expectancy of all types of cosmetic procedures.
Dental veneers are custom-made, ultra-thin pieces of plastic or porcelain designed to cover the front surface of the teeth to create a more beautiful smile. Veneers can be used on teeth that have been discolored, chipped, or stained. They can also be used on oddly shaped, uneven, or crooked teeth. With veneers, little to no anesthesia is needed.
Other types of cosmetic dentistry are also available, some as tooth shaping and contouring.