Cosmetic dentistry is a diverse field that covers a lot of different dental needs. Due to various reasons, teeth can become stained, crooked or change color. This branch of dentistry improves the appearance of teeth regardless of what caused the change.
One of the most common uses of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the color of teeth. As teeth age, their natural white color fades. Plaque can build up as enamel erodes, causing the yellowing of teeth. Drinks like coffee and soda can also stain teeth over time. However, there are several options available to improve tooth color. The most effective method depends on how damaged the teeth are.
Whitening and bleaching
The most straightforward and affordable options are whitening and bleaching. The main difference between these methods is that bleaching penetrates the teeth, while whitening only brightens the surface of the teeth. While there are home versions of both approaches, it is best to consult with a dentist before beginning the procedure. There may be underlying causes that could make either choice ineffective.
A vital step of either process is to ensure that teeth are thoroughly clean before the application takes place. If there is still an excess of plaque on the teeth, the bleach will not hold to the tooth, resulting in a quick fade back to the stained look. Bleaching and whitening are fast solutions but must be frequently repeated to maintain the desired effect.
This method is another way that cosmetic dentistry can help whiten teeth, and it can fix more aggressive stains. The process is similar to microdermabrasion for faces. Pumice removes deeper stains that show through after bleaching and whitening by removing the outer layer of enamel from teeth.
Another common reason for cosmetic dentistry procedures is to fix cracked and chipped teeth. There are several options available for this, including enamel bonding and veneers. While dental bonding and veneers can help create whiter teeth, their primary purpose is to fix cracked and chipped teeth.
Enamel bonding is an excellent solution for chipped teeth or dark stains. This process uses the same material as fillings. It is flexible enough to mold to teeth, filling in chips and coating the teeth. Inlays and Onlays are similar to bonding, but they are applied directly to teeth after fixing tooth decay.
Veneers are another common procedure in cosmetic dentistry. They are extremely flexible because of their level of customization to the individual’s mouth. They can be used to correct color, cracks, and gaps in teeth. A drawback to using veneers is that a dentist will have to file down teeth to make an impression that results in the perfect fit. This process will take multiple appointments, and patients are usually given temporary veneers while they wait for their custom ones to come back from the lab.
Cosmetic dentistry can also correct crooked teeth. There are several commonly used procedures to help straighten teeth.
Braces are one of the most traditional ways to fix crooked teeth. They use wire and brackets to push teeth into proper alignment over time. While useful and budget-friendly, these are the least cosmetically appealing option for correcting crooked teeth. Braces are visible for the duration of the process, which can take around two years to complete.
A more aesthetically pleasing solution in fixing crooked teeth is using Invisalign braces. A person concerned about appearance may choose this alternative, as the trays are much less noticeable than braces. Customized to the individual needs of each patient, patients change the trays that fit over the teeth every couple of weeks. As teeth conform to the shape of the trays, they eventually become correctly aligned.
Which cosmetic dentistry option is right for you?
Cosmetic dentistry is used to treat a variety of problems and create bright, happy smiles. No matter what the issue is, there is an option available to fix it. Dentists are well versed in the best solutions for individual needs.
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