If you thought that cosmetic dentistry was a perk of wealth belonging only to celebrities, then think again. Cosmetic surgery spans across a range of procedures, some more invasive than others, and has actually gone mainstream now and is becoming more well-known by the general public. If you’re interested in repairing chipped, crooked, discolored, or missing teeth, then continue reading, as this article will give you all the information you might be looking for.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is different from general dentistry because while it improves the appearance of your teeth, it doesn’t actually affect the health of your teeth outside of reducing teeth grinding or making them easier to clean.
Cosmetic dentistry can give confidence to patients by whitening stained teeth or giving new life to them by covering chips or putting implants in the place of missing teeth. There’s even a more affordable option with clip-on veneers, which you can learn all about in this detailed review. There are many ways a cosmetic dentist can help you create a smile that you’re pleased with. This article will describe the most common choices you’ll have if you decide that cosmetic dentistry is for you.
Most people you see who have that pearly white glow to their smiles were not born with it—some kind of whitening treatment is usually behind it. There are bleaching and laser treatments that can remove 16 shades of stain from your teeth, giving you that spotlight smile you’ve always wanted. It’s no wonder that it’s the most popular type of cosmetic dentistry—now anyone can have that platinum smile like the celebrities have.
If you have minor chips, cracks, or spaces in your teeth, then bonding might be a simple solution. These imperfections can be easily camouflaged by attaching tooth-like materials over them. The procedure isn’t as serious or as expensive as getting veneers and serves as a great option for people who have just a few blemishes they’d like to cover up.
Veneers are porcelain, custom-fit shells that are placed over your teeth to give you that gleaming, flawless smile you’ve always wanted. While popular among celebrities, they are not an accessory for the faint of heart. They are irreversible, and any effects they come with, for example, tooth sensitivity, might be permanent as well. Maintenance, such as yearly cleaning, is just as important, if not more when you have veneers.
The procedure known as crown lengthening can elongate your teeth where there is more gum than tooth. The removal of gum tissue to expose more of the tooth is a slightly more invasive procedure than the prior mentioned.
Tooth reshaping, or “tooth contouring”, is often combined with a bonding procedure to improve the appearance of individual teeth. Enamel is shaved from the tooth to reshape it, and bonding is used to add new material that has a more appealing color and shine.
Missing teeth, no matter what the cause, has always had a negative connotation with a lack of proper care or nutrition. Regardless of how true or false this may be, such a thing can have a demeaning effect on someone and their confidence. Implants have proven wonders for those who have missing teeth or tooth decay. With the advancement of dental technology, false teeth can replace missing teeth with implants that match the rest of your smile.
How to Select Your Cosmetic Dentist
Since any general dentist can perform cosmetic dental surgery, it’s important that you look into the credentials of any potential candidate before deciding on who will repair your smile. Even though general dentists can perform all the procedures of cosmetic dentistry, most dentists will take specialist courses—and those are the dentists you want.
A few ways to get an idea of the level of expertise you’re working with is by asking for before and after photos of prior patients. Any specialist who advertises these specialized services will have those, along with a list of patient references and specialized degrees or certifications in cosmetic dentistry.
It’s strongly advised to pick a doctor who has proof of continued education in the area of dentistry in which you’re interested. You wouldn’t go to a general medicine doctor for chemotherapy or heart surgery—the same should be the case for your cosmetic dentist. While whitening requires less expertise, the other options listed here will require a higher degree of knowledge. Remember that upkeep is still a very important practice after the fact, and to see your dentist once or twice a year for checkups.