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Explaining Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Cosmetic dental procedures can be an effective way to alter physical aspects of your smile you may be less than fond of including discolored, poorly shaped, cosmetically damaged teeth and more.

Before undergoing a cosmetic procedure, you’ll need to consult extensively with your dental care provider to ensure that the cosmetic procedure you’re interested in is in your best interest. This is also an ideal time to discuss any risks or long-term care considerations of the treatment. 

Below is a brief explanation of the most common dental cosmetic procedures.

Cosmetic Dentistry 

Cosmetic dentistry procedures aim to improve the appearance of a person’s mouth, teeth, and smile. The most common dental cosmetic procedures include the following:

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is by far the most frequently requested dental cosmetic procedure. Over the years, a person’s teeth can become discolored from food, drinks, medication, or smoking.  A tooth whitening procedure consists of plaque and tartar removal followed by bleaching to restore the original color of your teeth.

You can find home teeth-whitening kits at most department stores, but these should be approached with caution—not only are they often ineffective, but prolonged, improper use can damage your teeth.

Inlays and Onlays 

Inlays and Onlays are indirect fillings that dental healthcare providers use to provide support to a filling. This type of dental cosmetic procedure is necessary if a tooth is decayed to the extent that it can’t support a filling. This can prevent the need for removal. 

Composite Bonding 

Composite bonding is a tooth-colored material used to repair damaged and yellowing teeth that don’t require a full filling.

During this procedure, the dentist will remove all the decay from your tooth and apply the composite bonding. Then, the dentist will shape the composite bonding to the shape of the original tooth and cure it with a high-intensity light.

Dental Veneers

A dental veneer is a layer of material that is placed over a tooth to improve its appearance. Dental veneers have a wide dental application range, including closing gaps, altering shape, and resolving crooked teeth.   

Enamel Shaping

During enamel shaping, your dentist will shave down portions of your teeth and apply bonding to others effectively re-shaping them. As overzealous reshaping can lead to dental issues down the line, it is imperative in this case that you seek a well-qualified dentist.   

Orthodontics

While most orthodontic concerns are treated in childhood, if for some reason your issues persisted, you can sometimes have them addressed as an adult. This may include crooked teeth, over/underbites, or protruding teeth among other issues.

Planning a Cosmetic Dental Procedure

Regardless of the cosmetic issue you’d like to address, the first step is always to visit your dentist for a cleaning and exam. During your examination, you can express your concerns with your dentist and explore the potential procedures to remedy those concerns. There may be multiple approaches to achieve your desired cosmetic results. It will really come down to weighing the pros and cons of each for you personally.