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Cosmetic Dentistry- What You Need To Know

Cosmetic dentistry deals with the aesthetics of your oral cavity; meaning, the overall look of your face and smile. So if you have crooked/misaligned teeth, discolored teeth or even gaps between them, the cosmetic dentist is the one who will help you out.

What does cosmetic dentistry include?

Cosmetic dentistry broadly includes the following:-

Teeth whitening/bleaching

It is the most cost-effective method to whiten or brighten your teeth. The many options include bleaching toothpaste, whitening strips, and gels, bleaching rinses etc for at- home bleaching. Best results are obtained by the in-office bleach method where it is performed by your dentist using specific bleaching solution and light of a specific intensity which gives faster and intense results.

Dental 397, a dentist in Exeter, UK says:

“You may choose to whiten a single dark tooth or to improve the colour of all your teeth. This technique has been safely used in dentistry for well over 50 years and most people can achieve a result that is several shades lighter than their existing colour.”

Dental veneers

Not all cases of discolored teeth can be treated by bleaching and this is where veneers come in. These are made by removing only half a millimeter of your tooth enamel and then porcelain material is used to make extremely thin wafer-like tooth-colored chip. This is then glued/cemented to the teeth, thus altering the appearance of the teeth.

Dental bonding

This is most commonly used to reshape or rebuild a broken or chipped tooth. The tooth is first prepared by a process called etching. Then a plastic-like material called resin is bonded to the tooth and hardened by use of ultraviolet light. Finally, it is shaped and polished to give it a realistic look so that no one can make out if you have a restoration done. It is also a better alternative to silver amalgam fillings which are clearly visible in your oral cavity and also get discolored over a period of time.

Dental crown and bridges

A dental crown is a cap-like structure that is glued to the teeth and is indicated in cases of a root canal treated tooth. It can be used to restore teeth that are excessively decayed and cannot be restored by fillings. In such cases, they not only restore the shape and function of the tooth, but they also strengthen it. A bridge, like a name suggests, is used to close large gaps between teeth by drawing support from the tooth adjacent to the gap. These can be made of porcelain or metal or a combination of both.

Inlays and onlays

These are another alternative to excessively decayed tooth if tooth preservation is your priority. Dental crowns and bridges include some amount of tooth cutting which can be avoided here. These are also dental fillings made of metal or composite but are fabricated in laboratories and then bonded into place in the tooth. The difference between them is that inlays lie in the central part of the tooth whereas onlays cover some part of the biting surface of the tooth.

Orthodontic treatment

The most conventional branch of cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics deals with moving your teeth into the most preferable position by applying forces on them. Braces are the most commonly used treatment form which now comes with many modifications to make them almost invisible. Braces consist of brackets, which are bonded to the teeth, and wire which applies the force to move them into position. The most recent and most aesthetic of the treatment options is Invisalign or clear aligner which is totally transparent and associated with the least amount of discomfort.

The British Orthodontic society has more information.

Dental implants

Dental implants are very versatile and can be used in many ways for cosmetic treatment of your smile. A single implant can be used to replace a missing tooth whereas an implant supported bridge can be used to close large gaps without disturbing the teeth adjacent to the space. The implant supported dentures are the best available full mouth dentures which help you to perform the functions of chewing and speaking with ease.

The best option for you will be decided by your dentist once s/he does a comprehensive oral examination of your mouth. You may need one or more or a combination of some cosmetic treatment options depending on your budget and convenience. So, go ahead and book an appointment with your cosmetic dentist today.

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