The appearance of a smile can say a lot about how a person feels about the look of their mouth. A person who is comfortable smiling is not afraid to show off their bright, white teeth as well as a mouth full of healthy teeth. On the other hand, people with teeth that are missing, crooked, or stained in appearance often find it difficult to work up the courage to smile in a photo. Cosmetic dentistry can change the appearance of the teeth through various actions such as replacing missing teeth, straightening crooked teeth, and eliminating stains or a yellow look to the teeth. In this article, some of the improvements cosmetic dentistry can make to the appearance of the smile are covered so patients will know more about their cosmetic dentistry options. Our examination of the topic begins with this informative video from Cosmetic Town TV:
In general, cosmetic dentistry is intended to give the smile a look that is more aesthetically pleasing thanks to a symmetrical, healthy, and balanced appearance. While this is not a comprehensive list, some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments that improve the smile include veneers, teeth whitening, gum contouring, and dental bonding.
Besides the aesthetic changes that can be made to the smile, cosmetic dentistry can also improve the self-image and the amount of confidence felt by a patient. The appearance of straight teeth makes a big difference in how a person feels about their appearance as well as how they are viewed by others.
Veneers cover the front of the teeth in order to change the shape, color, and size of the teeth. They are custom-created materials that are the same color as the teeth. Veneers are usually made of porcelain, and they can be created directly or indirectly. The direct method occurs when a dentist directly applies the material to the tooth and then sculpts the veneer to the front surface of the tooth. On the other hand, the indirect method involves the dentist making an impression so it can be sent off to be manufactured. A temporary veneer is placed on the tooth until the manufactured veneer arrives to be bonded to the tooth. The dentist will also need to remove some of the structure of the tooth so the veneer can more easily be placed on the tooth. Veneers can last anywhere from seven to twenty years, and they are smoothed and polished, so they look like natural teeth.
Teeth whitening is a treatment that uses bleaching gel to give the teeth a whiter look. If the treatment is performed in the office of a dentist, bleaching gel is placed on the teeth and then a laser or light is aimed at the teeth in order to activate the bleaching process. Once the bleaching process begins, oxygen gets into the enamel so the color of the teeth will be lightened. If the dentist decides the patient should perform at-home whitening, a mouth guard will be created for the teeth of the patient. The whitening gel will be applied to the mouth guard and the patient will wear it at home for about a half hour each day for two to four weeks. The results of in-office teeth whitening can last four to six months, and the treatment gives the teeth a brighter and refreshed look.
Gum contouring is a treatment that is also known as a gum lift. It is an ideal procedure for patients who are not happy with the size of their gums or the proportion of their gums. The dentist uses a laser to target and remove excess gum tissue that is located around the teeth along with giving the gums a symmetrical look and reshaping uneven gums. Once the necessary tartar and plaque is removed from the teeth, the dentist creates an incision in the gums to access the underlying tooth structure more easily. Then, bacteria and infected gum tissue are removed so soft tissue grafting can be performed to address gum tissue that is receded. Tissue from the palate, or other areas of the mouth, is used to restore the gums and improve their appearance. As long as the patient practices proper oral hygiene, the results of gum contouring can last a lifetime.
Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry treatment that mainly focuses on the teeth that are located in the front of the mouth. The teeth that are treated normally have a variety of issues including being chipped, broken, or having gaps that need to be filled-in between other teeth in the mouth. The dentist will create a restoration in a lab that is known as an indirect filling. If a cavity is immediately addressed and replaced by a composite that is colored like a tooth, this is known as a direct filling. The dentist will apply a conditioning liquid that helps the bonding material adhere to the tooth that is being treated. Then, a resin that is colored like a tooth will be applied to the tooth and shaped by the dentist. Finally, a curing light is used to properly bond the material to the tooth so the dentist can check the alignment of the bite after trimming and reshaping the tooth. In addition, the tooth is polished to the point that it matches the appearance of the natural teeth. Dental bonding improves the appearance of damaged teeth and can last around ten years (or more).
Anyone who is interested in having cosmetic dentistry to address aesthetic and functional issues with their teeth are encouraged to schedule a consultation appointment with a cosmetic dentist to have their teeth and gums examined for potential issues that can be treated with cosmetic dentistry.