There have been major advances in cosmetic dentistry in recent years, and more and more people are taking advantage of the opportunity to improve their appearance without undergoing surgery. There are many simple and non-invasive ways that a dentist can fix cosmetic dental problems, and the following are a few of the latest trends.
One of the simplest cosmetic procedures is dental bonding, and it works well to conceal a broken or chipped tooth. By attaching a tooth-colored composite material to the broken edge, the dentist can shape the material so that it fills in the space and matches the natural contour of the tooth. Then a light is used to harden the composite so that it will stay in place.
Another common procedure is a whitening treatment to lighten the color of teeth that have become stained. Teeth often become darker after years of smoking or drinking coffee, tea, or wine, and whitening toothpastes are not always strong enough to make a noticeable improvement. In the office, a dentist can apply a hydrogen peroxide gel to the teeth that will remove stains in about 20 minutes. Because teeth can become re-stained, some patients need to go back for follow-up treatment.
Dental veneers are composite or porcelain laminates that are adhered to the surface of the teeth, and they can completely transform the patient’s smile. Veneers correct gaps, chips, and discoloration by completely covering them up. The dentist will first ascertain that the patient is a good candidate for veneers and then consult with the patient about the desired results. At the time of the procedure, the dentist will first prepare the surface of the patient’s teeth and then attach a layer of veneers. The dentist may add additional layers to perfect the shape of the teeth before polishing the final result.
Other trends include inlays, which are thin veneers that cover the surface of a single tooth; sculpting of the gum line; and dental implants. However, not all procedures are ideal for all patients, so it’s important that each patient consult with a cosmetic dentist to determine the right solution for his or her smile. Learn more with this additional reading.