Cosmetic dentistry isn’t just about giving your teeth an artificial spring clean and making them look nicer, it is also about improving the general health of your teeth for the long term. With a range of different cosmetic dentistry options open to those looking at ‘fixing’ their teeth, it can be difficult to decide what might be best for your own set of pearly whites.
One thing is certain, however; you should have a good, long discussion with your dentist before booking any procedures. As your local dental healthcare expert, they will be able to provide professional advice on the best type of procedure to suit your teeth. They could also suggest an alternative form of treatment, so try to keep an open mind. At the end of the day, your dentist has years of experience handling teeth, so listening to professional advice is always recommended.
So what sort of cosmetic dentistry procedures are actually done? And what do they do to improve both the health and the overall appearance of your teeth? We’ll take a look at five examples today.
- Tooth Reshaping
A procedure designed to correct crooked, chipped or irregularly shaped teeth as well as overlapping teeth, in some cases. It is normally done within a single session and is most commonly done for candidates who have normal or otherwise healthy teeth, but who want to make small changes to improve their smile. X-rays will be taken of your teeth to make sure that there is enough bone between each tooth to support the procedure.
Pieces of either porcelain or plastic are placed over the front teeth in order to change the colour or the shape of the teeth. Veneers are used on chipped, discolored, oddly shaped or crooked teeth as well as teeth with uneven surfaces. These are custom-made and cemented directly onto the tooth. Before the veneer is applied, the tooth is buffed slightly in order to compensate for the thickness of the veneer. The cement is then hardened to the tooth using a light beam. Veneers may be used as an alternative as bonding in order to treat similar issues. Crowns are another alternative to veneers, although crowns are a considerably more expensive option.
Bleaching your teeth is what most people will think about when looking at the various cosmetic dentistry procedures. It is used to whiten teeth that have been discoloured or stained by tobacco, dietary choices, medication and caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Bleaching can be done in the practice or at home. Bleaching normally takes a few sessions to take effect, or two to four weeks of home treatments before you start seeing a noticeable difference in shades.
A procedure where a tooth-coloured material is used to fill in gaps or alter the colour of your teeth. It is often a procedure done in conjunction with tooth reshaping, and can be used to cover the entire outside surface of a tooth if needs are, to change its colour and shape. Bonding is a good choice of procedure for teeth that are chipped or slightly decayed, as the material used to cover the tooth normally lasts several years.
Crowns are designed to cover a tooth in order to restore it to its original or natural shape and appearance. They are also known as caps and are used in cases where other, similar procedures would not be as effective. They are one of the most time-consuming and expensive of cosmetic treatments but also have the longest life expectancy of all restorations.
Whether you want a small, subtle change or something a little more drastic and permanent, your dentist can help you to find your perfect smile. If you’re not quite sure as to which treatment would suit you best, you can always schedule a consultation with your dentist and ask them. They will be able to give you advice on how you can improve your oral health through cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry is more than just the ‘nip and tuck’ of the dental world; it can really help to permanently improve your oral hygiene.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the health sector. For the information in this article, Somerset-based practice Black Swan Dental Spa was consulted.