Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Cosmetic dentistry is a specialized area of oral care which focuses on improving the appearance of the teeth. While most cosmetic dentistry procedures are considered elective, some types of treatment are used for restoration of the teeth. The following article highlights some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures.
- Inlays and Onlays: This procedure may also be called indirect fillings and the materials are created by a dental laboratory. This solution is commonly used when a tooth has mild to moderate levels of decay. It can also be used in cases where the tooth lacks adequate tooth structure needed for a filling. When there is no damage on the tooth cusps, the inlay is placed directly over the surface of the tooth. When a significant portion of the tooth is damaged or the cusp is damaged, your dentist may place an onlay over the entire surface of the tooth. In the past, inlays and onlays were made from gold, however, they are now created in a dental laboratory using a composite of porcelain or ceramic material. The only is then attached to the teeth using an adhesive dental cement. They are used to provide additional strengthen to the teeth, restore the shape of the tooth, and prevent future decay.
- Composite Bonding: Composite bonding is often used to repair decayed, damaged, or discolored teeth. The procedure uses a material which closely resembles the natural color of the tooth. The dentist will first use a drill to remove decay and will then apply the composite to surface of the tooth. Once applied, the composite sculpt is sculpted it the desired shape prior to curing it using a special light. This process is commonly called bonding and is effective in covering visible damage. It gives the tooth a more attractive and healthy appearance. Bonding is quite affordable compared to other cosmetic dentistry procedures which are used to repair decay, chips, cracks, or restore the edges of the tooth.
- Dental Veneers: Veneers are manufactured using a medical-grade ceramic. They are custom-made caps which are placed directly on top of the natural tooth. They have an incredibly natural appearance and are used to correct various cosmetic problems such as crooked teeth, cracked or damaged enamel, and gaps between the teeth. The veneer is applied to the front of each tooth using a strong dental adhesive.
- Teeth Whitening: One of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures is teeth whitening. In many cases, it can be performed in a single visit at the dental office. The first step of the process involves a hygienist removing plaque, tartar, and other debris from the surface of the teeth. The teeth can then be effectively whitened through the use of a bleaching agent. This can often achieve a lighter shade than the original color of the tooth.
- Implants: Dental implants are an excellent solution which are commonly used to replace missing or damaged teeth which are beyond repair. A small titanium screw is surgically placed in the jaw where the missing tooth is located. This will serve as the base and provide support for the crown. Implants are nearly identical to the natural teeth in their appearance. Once the implant fuses to the bone, they are secured into place. It is important for patience to continue practicing good oral hygiene while the implant is healing and after the procedure is complete.
For patients who are considering a cosmetic dentistry procedure, it is critical to work with a cosmetic dentist who is properly trained and has relevant experience. Schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in your area to determine which procedures may work well for you individual needs.