Cosmetic Dentistry and You

Cosmetic dentistry procedures are more popular than ever. From teeth whitening and bonding to closing spaces and replacing missing teeth, esthetic dentistry has come a long way, and there are many procedures available. Ask about cosmetic dentistry at your next dentist appointment; with cosmetic dentistry, you can maintain your oral health and improve the aesthetic appeal of your smile.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

Teeth Whitening: Teeth can become discolored or stained with age. Smoking, some medications and consuming high-acid and heavily pigmented foods and drinks only make matters worse. But, with a professional bleaching process, your dentist can brighten your teeth in-office, or provide you with an at-home system.

Remember, if you expose your teeth to the same substances that stained the enamel in the first place, they will become discolored once again. Professional teeth whitening is not a permanent solution; it doesn’t bleach teeth forever. It is important to use maintenance products and practice proper oral hygiene habits every day.

Dental Veneers: These customized porcelain shells adhere to teeth to adjust the color or to correct an abnormal shape of a tooth. Dental veneers are more durable and longer lasting than bonding. This corrective cosmetic dentistry treatment is used to:

  • Fill in spaces between teeth
  • Cover chipped or worn enamel
  • Brighten stained or discolored teeth
  • Correct misalignments or poorly shaped teeth

Dental Crowns: A crown covers an impaired tooth completely, restoring function, appearance, and shape. Dental crowns are used for the following conditions:

  • Misshapen or discolored tooth
  • Weakened tooth structure
  • Weakened tooth that has undergone root canal therapy
  • Broken or well-worn tooth
  • Badly decayed tooth with a large filling

Dental crowns can also be used to anchor dental bridges in place as well as serve as an artificial tooth restoration with a dental implant.

Dental Bridges: In some cases, a fixed bridge is used to replace missing teeth with a partial denture. A dental bridge may be constructed of porcelain, gold, alloys or some combination of materials. The prosthetic is anchored to the surrounding natural teeth. A fixed bridge can only be removed by your dentist.

A successful bridge is contingent on the patient’s oral health. A strong foundation of strong, healthy supportive teeth and good dental hygiene is particularly important.

Dental Implants: Dental implants are a costlier cosmetic dentistry procedure, but for many people, the time and expense are worth it. A lasting tooth replacement solution, implants are surgically placed directly into the jaw bone.

Implants consist of three parts:

  • Titanium posts that fuse with the bone
  • An abutment that protrudes from the gums
  • The dental crown that fits over the abutment

Dental implants can be used to replace one or more teeth. If you have experienced bone loss as a symptom of a periodontal disease or missing teeth, your oral surgeon may need to perform bone grafting before implant surgery.

Ask your AACD dentist about the best cosmetic dentistry procedures for you.