In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence. Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless and surprisingly affordable treatments.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
Although much of cosmetic dentistry is considered purely aesthetic, it can also include restorative treatments for cracked or damaged teeth and gums. Common types of cosmetic dentistry include:
- Veneers: Veneers can repair chips and cracks, or gaps between the teeth.
- Teeth Whitening: The most common form of cosmetic dentistry, in-office teeth whitening involves a laser and a heated light that activates a gel on the surface of your teeth to remove deep stains or discoloration, creating a whiter and brighter smile.
- Composite Bonding: Another method of repairing chipped or broken teeth, composite bonding is molded to the tooth before hardening, providing a seamless and invisible transition between the filling and remainder of the tooth.
- Dental Implants: Although implants are typically considered a restorative treatment, the result is a drastically improved smile in addition to improved function. Implants are molded to the jaw in place of rotted, infected, or missing teeth, and can be made to look, feel, and act like natural teeth.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Right for Me?
You may be considering a cosmetic procedure such as teeth whitening or filling in a chipped tooth; make sure you consider a few important components before electing a procedure.
- Who should perform the procedure? Your general dentist can perform some cosmetic treatments, like whitening your teeth, but may prefer to refer you to a specialist for other procedures. If you’re considering a cosmetic procedure, do your homework to research cosmetic dentists that specialize in the treatment you want.
- What is involved in the procedure? Some cosmetic procedures, like teeth whitening, involve no pain or recovery time; however, if you’re having a dental implant or difficult procedure, you may require anesthetics or sedation. Make sure you discuss the procedure with your dentist so that you’re informed with his or her process. Most dentists recommend and initial consultation to walk you through the treatment and recovery process.