Cosmetic Dentistry focuses on both improving and enhancing the look of a person's smile. Cosmetic dentists are licenced and highly qualified dentists, who specialise in restorative dentistry, smile design and cosmetic dental materials and their work involves several different procedures and materials that are used to effectively repair various dental imperfections.
There is a wide variety of treatments that will improve both the appearance and health of your teeth as well as improving functionality (i.e. when eating or chewing). Cosmetic dentistry can include teeth whitening, dental implants, bonding, veneers, crowns, bridgework, and much more. Your cosmetic dentist will help you to decide which treatment or procedure will be best suited for you based on your dental examination, budget, and the results you wish to achieve.
Teeth whitening or bleaching is an effective and relatively inexpensive way to restore the look of stained or discoloured teeth. Stained or discoloured teeth can be caused from a number of things such as smoking or drinking tea, coffee, or wine. Poor dental care such as insufficient or infrequent brushing can also affect the colour of your teeth and there are also certain medications that can cause the teeth to stain. Teeth whitening is a simple and painless procedure that can be done either in-office or at home with a kit provided by your cosmetic dentist.
Dental implants are usually made from strong titanium metal and are used as a means to replace the root portion of a missing tooth. These implants are then fitted with a dental crown to create a natural looking tooth replacement.
Bonding is a fairly inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure that can be effective in repairing mild to moderately damaged teeth. Bonding uses a composite resin that has been tinted to match the colour of your teeth, which is then applied straight onto the damaged area of the tooth or teeth. The procedure is normally not painful and usually will take no more than an hour or so to repair even several teeth in one visit.
Veneers are designed to be a substitute for tooth enamel and are able to repair moderate to severe dental imperfections including chipped, broken, cracked, discoloured, or over spaced teeth. Veneers can come in porcelain or composite resin materials (porcelain being more expensive) and generally require at least 2 office visits as the first visit will require an impression to be made of your teeth to custom create your veneers. These veneers are then cemented to your damaged tooth or teeth in a procedure that is virtually painless and has effective and long lasting results.
When teeth are too heavily damaged to benefit from bonding or veneers the cosmetic dentist may suggest crowns, which are usually made from a strong porcelain material and are one of the more expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures. This is due in part to the cost of the materials used as well as the level of effectiveness and long lasting results they are able to provide.
Having Bridgework done is an excellent option for people who are missing one or more teeth and who want a permanent alternative to partials or dentures. Bridges work by attaching to the teeth on either side of the gap with titanium metal that is then bonded with tooth coloured porcelain to fill in the gap and create a permanent and natural looking false tooth.
Maintaining your cosmetic dentistry procedures
Cosmetic dentistry is able to dramatically improve even severely damaged smiles, however the lifespan of these beautiful results will depend entirely on whether you commit to maintaining a strict and regular oral health regime. Just like your own teeth, cosmetic dental materials can become stained and/or damaged over time when not properly taken care of. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check ups can help to improve the longevity of your cosmetic dental treatment results.