Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Help Brighten Your Smile
Since the beginning of human civilization, people have always sought out ways to improve their appearance. And when it comes to dentistry, improvement in the appearance of one’s teeth is no exception. Cosmetic dentistry is growing in popularity and will continue to do so as medical advancements have improved throughout human history.
Though the term “cosmetic” carries an implication that these procedures are primarily for beautification, cosmetic dentistry is also commonly credited for improving oral health and restoring tooth function. In fact, various orthodontic procedures are also classified as cosmetic dentistry, such as the application of braces. It’s worth noting that not only does cosmetic dentistry improve oral health and function, it’s also attributed to improvements in mental health and self esteem. While cosmetic dentistry covers a wide range of procedures, appliances, technologies, and specialties, here we’re going to explore four popular applications of cosmetic dentistry.
- Dental Implants – In a nutshell, dental implants are simply metal posts that are implanted into the jaw bone (under the gums) via a minor surgical procedure. During the healing process, these implants fuse to the jaw bone and provide permanent anchors for dentist to build a new crown upon. The implants can be used to firmly secure dentures and bridges, but also can be used to mount individual replacement teeth (crowns).
- Porcelain Veneers – As the word veneer suggests, porcelain veneers are a cosmetic apparatus that only cover the front part of the tooth to improve the appearance of a person’s smile. Common applications of veneers will make drastic changes to a tooth’s color, reshape a tooth, and can rebuild a broken or damaged tooth. Most veneers are very thin and are bonded to the visible surface of the tooth. Typically, veneers are solely cosmetic in nature.
- Teeth Whitening – Arguably the most common cosmetic dental procedure, teeth whitening can be done at home or by a dentist or oral hygienist. Typically, one or two chemical agents are the active ingredients in common whitening solutions. These chemical agents are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. The chemical agent is applied to the teeth in the form of a gel and is held in place by a tray or plastic strips. The hydrogen peroxide in both agents oxidizes the compounds that make up the stains, essentially bleaching the teeth white. Though DIY kits can be economical, dentist supervised whitening often produces more desirable results where the teeth can be up to six color shades whiter in just under an hour.
- Crowns – Dental crowns are essentially tooth shaped caps that cover a tooth that has been shaped to a smaller size to accommodate its new cover (the crown). Dental crowns have many applications in dentistry such as covering a tooth after a root canal, restoring a fractured/broken tooth, protect a weakened tooth, to cap a dental implant, and cover discolored or poorly shaped teeth. Dental crowns are not only used as a cosmetic restoration appliance, but also as functional restoration appliance as well. The versatility of dental crowns makes them a popular option for dentists in restoring a healthy smile.
As stated above, these are just a few of the most common cosmetic dental procedures dentists utilize to improve the oral health, restore tooth function, beautify smiles, and ultimately improve a patient’s quality of life.