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What is cosmetic dentistry?

September 6, 2017

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Whether you’re looking for a minor change or a larger repair of some sort, your dentist will have the skills to update your smile so that they’re no longer discoloured, chipped or misshapen. There are a number of procedures which fall under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry, but all of these are common and relatively simple to perform. Some of these procedures might also be advised to solve oral problems such as an overbite.

 

Bleaching

Bleaching is a common process that’s used to whiten teeth and can help with the removal of stains that are a direct result of smoking or excess caffeine drinking. Usually, this process is performed by your dentist in their office and will involve them creating a custom mouthpiece to ensure that the correct amount of whitening solution is used. To achieve the desired results, you may have to have more than one bleaching appointment with your dentist and these can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

 

Bonding

Bonding is perhaps the easiest and most affordable cosmetic dental procedure. It involves using a tooth-coloured composite resin (plastic) to repair decayed, chipped and fractured teeth, to make a tooth appear longer or to fill spaces between teeth. Bonding can sometimes be used as a cosmetic alternative to fillings which can often be unsightly.

 

Crowns

Crowns, or caps, are used to cover a tooth and restore it to its original shape and appearance. These are often used in cases where other procedures won’t be effective such as to protect a weak tooth from breaking, to restore a broken tooth, to cover a dental implant, to cover misshapen or discoloured teeth or to ensure that a dental bridge stays put. Permanent crowns are costly and can be made out of metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin or ceramic. Your dentist will advise you on which one suits you best.

 

Veneers

Veneers are pieces of plastic or porcelain that are placed over the teeth to change their shape or colour. Usually, they are used on teeth that are uneven, chipped or discoloured meaning that they treat some of the same problems as bonding. Your dentist will take an impression of your tooth, or teeth, and a custom-made veneer will be cemented directly onto it. To combat the added thickness of the veneer, your dentist will lightly buff the tooth. Porcelain veneers will require more than one dental visit, but they have a longer life expectancy and will retain their colour better than bonding.

 

Contouring and reshaping

As expected, contouring and reshaping is primarily used to change the shape, length or position of your teeth and might even help to solve problems with bite. Bonding is commonly combined with tooth reshaping but only if your teeth are healthy enough to benefit from subtle changes. To ensure that they are, your dentist will take X-rays to identify if there is enough bone between the teeth to support them.

 

Remember, a professional dentist will be able to answer any questions that you might have regarding which cosmetic procedure might be the best for you.

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