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Cosmetic Dentistry 101

What is one of the first things you notice about someone you meet? For many people, they notice someone’s smile. After all, who doesn’t want a nice bright smile? Straight teeth make you feel more confident. But that’s not all. Having a beautiful smile is about more than just looking good. Fixing dental imperfections that affect your appearance can also improve your bite, dental health, and well-being.

What is cosmetic dentistry? 

When you think of cosmetic procedures, you might be thinking of a nip here or a tuck there. But when it comes to your teeth, what is cosmetic dentistry? Cosmetic dentistry is the term typically used to refer to dental procedures that improve the appearance of your teeth or bite.

Keep in mind; most dental procedures should be beneficial cosmetically. For example, a procedure, such as a bridge or an implant not only improves the function of your teeth but also has a cosmetic benefit.

What are the Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry?

Who doesn’t want to look their best? An obvious benefit of cosmetic dentistry is it improves your appearance. But there is an old saying that beauty is more than skin deep.”

Improving your smile does more than enhance the way you look. Fixing dental imperfections can also boost your self-image and confidence. Even a subtle change in your teeth and smile can make a difference in how you feel.

When you think about changing your life, a visit to your dentist is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. But feeling better about your smile and how you look is often a game changer. If you feel confident, it can change your outlook on things, which affects all areas of your life.

How Can Cosmetic Dentistry Improve My Smile?

So, you’re sold on the idea of a healthy mouth and improving your smile. But what are your options? We’re glad you asked. Procedures that may improve the appearance of your teeth and in many cases the functioning include the following:

Veneers

A veneer is a thin piece of material placed on top of a natural tooth to correct or repair chipped, strained, or misaligned teeth. Veneers are usually made of resin material or porcelain. If you’re having more than one tooth repaired, veneers adhere to each individual tooth to improve your smile. Your dentist will be sure to match the veneer with the color of your other teeth to create a natural appearance.

Crown

A crown is a prosthetic tooth that is made of various materials including ceramic, stainless steel, and porcelain. Crowns are an excellent option to repair a broken or weak tooth. Usually, crowns are needed if a tooth is too weak to be repaired with a filling alone. Opting for a crown is a great way to improve both the function of a tooth and the appearance.

Usually, it takes two appointments to have a crown. During the first appointment, the decay from your tooth is removed, and the tooth is filled and prepared, so it supports the crown. An impression of your teeth is taken, and the permanent crown is made in a dental lab. Your dentist will match the color of the crown to your other teeth, so it blends in naturally.

A temporary crown is placed while you wait for your permanent crown to be made. During your second appointment, the crown is placed over your tooth and cemented in place.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to enhance your smile. As we age, our teeth often lose their natural brightness. Eating and drinking certain things, such as coffee, red wine, and berries can also stain teeth.

Whitening can take your teeth from a yellowish hue to a white smile. Both at-home and in-office teeth whitening are available. At-home whitening is often a convenient option for many people.

At- home whitening involves wearing custom-made trays and a whitening agent. The whitening agent placed in the trays comes in preloaded syringes, so it’s user-friendly. Trays can be worn overnight or during the day.

Custom-made trays fit your teeth better than over the counter store bought products. Wearing a custom-made tray helps the whitening agent cover every angle of your teeth, which provides optimal results.

It’s helpful to wear the trays on consecutive days until your teeth are your desired color. The number of days it takes to reach your desired shade depends on how discolored your teeth are. Keep in mind, teeth whitening products will not brighten veneers or crowns.

How Do I Know What Procedure is Right for Me?

With all the cosmetic dentistry options you have, how do you know what is best? The dental problem you are hoping to correct plays the biggest role in which procedure is most appropriate. In some cases, you may have more than one option that would work well.

It’s also essential to determine if any cosmetic dental issues are due to an underlying problem, such as gum disease. A thorough dental exam helps your dentist identify any problem areas.

Choosing the best cosmetic dental procedure may also depend on several factors, such as your cavity rate, periodontal health, and your bite. Your dentist will work with you to determine what type of cosmetic dentistry is right for you. The bottom-line is if you are unhappy with your smile, you can do something about it. There are several ways to enhance both your appearance and dental health!