What is cosmetic dentistry? At Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we want you to understand more about cosmetic dentistry so that you know whether there may be treatments available that would benefit you. There are a number of different cosmetic procedures that could improve almost any smile and restore your confidence.
Traditional dentistry focuses on oral disease prevention and treatment. It also improves your oral hygiene and general condition of your teeth. Traditional dentistry is focused on necessary treatments for your oral health. Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, focuses on improving your smile—its appearance, the look of your mouth and teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is elective and focused on making you happier with the appearance of your smile.
Restoring Your Teeth
Some of the primary cosmetic treatments that many people take advantage of are restorative in nature. For example, people usually get fillings to treat cavities or decaying teeth. Previously, the materials used for these fillings included amalgam, gold, and other material that left dark spots on the teeth. Today’s fillings can consist of composite materials or porcelain that matches the color of your teeth. This makes these types of fillings cosmetic. The material used is unnecessary for the repair but improves the appearance of your smile because it is cosmetic.
There have been a number of technological advances in both traditional and cosmetic dentistry. In general, dentists are trying to conserve more of a person’s original tooth structure in any treatment. This is considered to better for your teeth, gums, and mouth in the long run.
Many of the cosmetic treatments available have materials that are more durable and better looking for your smile. Cosmetic dentists often have laser treatments available, which can make cosmetic treatments less painful and reduce recovery time. This also allows for procedures to be done without having to be referred to a specialist.
In cosmetic dentistry, inlays and onlays are also referred to as indirect fillings. These are made from porcelain or composite materials and are aesthetically pleasing and long lasting way to repair tooth decay or structural damage to a tooth. It is different than a filling because inlays and onlays are created in a lab before being fitted adhesively to your tooth by your dentist.
Traditional fillings are molded into teeth during the same office visit. Inlays refer to bonding the material with the center of your tooth, while an onlay is bonding involving the tooth surface, such as on the cusp or point of a tooth.
For chipped, decayed, discolored, or broken teeth this procedure uses dental composite material during the composite bonding procedure. The material is similar to the look of enamel and dentin creating a restoration that looks like the rest of your smile. Most composite bonding only requires one visit to your dentist, though more complicated situations may need more.
Teeth whitening is frequently recommended as a basic cosmetic procedure at the dentist. Our day to day eating and drinking habits can darken our teeth. Smoking and poor oral hygiene can also cause your teeth to change color over time. Whitening or bleaching your teeth can make your smile appear brighter and whiter.
Bleaching your teeth refers to when teeth are whitened beyond their natural color and the product used must contain a type of bleach, such as carbamide peroxide. Whitening is a more generic term for any procedure that helps restore or whiten the color of your teeth. Whitening can be used to describe bleaching; however, bleaching can only be used when the procedure meets the above criteria.
Laminates that consist of porcelain or composite material are bonded adhesively to the tooth surface. This can be used to correct chips, cracks, or improve the overall appearance of a tooth. Veneers can also be used to correct gaps between teeth without braces. Veneers are also sometimes recommended when teeth have worn enamel or when the teeth are uneven.
It is important to recognize that the removal of the original natural structure of your teeth is permanent, so this is not a procedure to take lightly, though it does have positive benefits.
Dental implants are used when a root replacement is needed and/or when a tooth is missing and/or needs to be replaced entirely. Dental implants can beautifully enhance your teeth and make your smile look younger. Missing teeth can make you appear older because your face can appear slightly collapsed. Implants are an excellent remedy in such a situation. Dental implants are also used to prevent or cease jawbone loss. Implants can help improve some rather serious tooth and jaw issues.
Makeover Your Smile
A comprehensive assessment of your smile may reveal that more than one procedure is needed to produce the look you desire. When multiple procedures are involved, it is often referred to as a smile makeover. In a smile makeover evaluation, your dentist will look at different variables such as your teeth alignment and spacing, your smile’s balance, color, health, as well as the shape or your lips and teeth, and more. All of the factors are taken into consideration to figure out what procedures will give you the smile you want while improving your mouth health.
If there are functional problems with your bite, bone structure, muscles, or teeth structure, you dentist may recommend reconstruction. Reconstruction corrects these issues while improving the beauty of your smile. Often a reconstruction is recommended when there are serious issues involved. Reconstruction may require multiple serious procedures to fully address the problem(s) involved. A full mouth reconstruction makes it possible for you to get treatments that are durable and functionally sound, while looking great at the same time.
What is cosmetic dentistry? Now that you know more about the various procedures involved, give us a call at Wimmer Dental in Centennial. We can get you started with a consultation to find out more about what your want for your smile, as well as what you need to improve your overall oral health.