Cosmetic dentistry is a professional dental care that focuses on improving the appearance of a person's teeth, gums, and overall smile. It involves several procedures, from teeth whitening and shaping to veneers and implants. Cosmetic dentistry is often used to improve a person's smile with gaps between the teeth, as well as chipped, misshapen, or discolored teeth. It can also be used to correct a person's bite.
Although the procedures are usually elective, the benefits of cosmetic dentistry go beyond aesthetics. For example, having damaged, decayed, or crooked teeth makes it difficult to eat and speak. In most people, dental imperfections can also affect their self-esteem.
Chipped or broken teeth can occur for several reasons, including trauma to the mouth or face, clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism), and even biting your nails. While not always visible, these chips and cracks can become quite large over time and eventually become very noticeable. Bonding is one way to repair small chips, while veneers or crowns may be necessary for larger ones.
Teeth whitening is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your smile. This process uses bleaching agents to remove stains and discoloration from your teeth, leaving them noticeably brighter. Teeth whitening is safe for most people and can be done in the dentist's office or at home using a kit provided by your dentist.
These thin pieces of porcelain are custom-made to fit over the front surface of your teeth. They're often used to cover up chips, cracks, gaps, or stains that whitening alone can't fix. Veneers are also an option if you have misshapen or slightly crooked teeth. The procedure for getting veneers usually requires two visits to the dentist – one for preparation and one for placement. Porcelain veneers can last for many years with proper care.
Tooth-colored fillings are made of composite resin materials that match the color of your teeth. They are used to repair chipped teeth, change the shape of teeth, close gaps between teeth, or make them look longer. Tooth-colored fillings require one office visit for placement.
A crown (sometimes called a cap) is an artificial tooth covering an existing tooth damaged by decay or injury. Crowns can also be used on top of implants or to support large fillings when there isn't enough remaining tooth structure left. They are usually made of porcelain, gold alloy, or most commonly, Zirconia.
An implant is an artificial replacement root placed in the jawbone to hold a replacement tooth or crown. Implants can also support an overdenture (a removable denture that snaps onto implant posts).
Orthodontic treatment straightens crooked or crowded teeth and helps to correct improper bites. This usually requires multiple office visits over a period of time for cleaning and adjustments.
This orthodontic treatment uses clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. Invisalign is an excellent alternative to traditional braces and may be used to correct the same types of dental problems.