There are many reasons for choosing cosmetic dentistry. Along with improving the appearance of the patient’s teeth, mouth and smile, cosmetic dentistry can improve a patient’s confidence and self-esteem. In addition, cosmetic dentistry can restore malformed, crooked, or decaying teeth.
Advances in technology mean that modern cosmetic dental procedures are more widely available and the results are generally more durable. Depending on the needs of the patient, there may be several options to choose from for achieving the desired result.
Common cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
Teeth Whitening – This is a very common procedure and when performed in your dentist’s office, it usually provides excellent results at relatively low cost. One drawback to teeth whitening is that crowns and composite fillings may need to be replaced to match the new whiter, brighter color of your teeth.
Dental Implants – These are a relatively recent innovation in dentistry where a metal anchor is implanted into the patient’s jaw bone. Once the bone has healed, an artificial tooth is attached to the anchor. The tooth looks and feels like the patient’s natural teeth.
Dental Veneers – These are thin shells made from porcelain or composite material that are bonded to the surface of your teeth to improve the tooth’s appearance. They are a less expensive alternative to crowns and do not require as much of the natural tooth to be removed, but they may not be as durable as crowns (also called caps).
Composite Fillings – Instead of using gold or silver colored (amalgam) fillings for decayed teeth, you may have the option of tooth colored composite fillings that will blend in and look just like your natural teeth. Composite filings can also be used to repair chipped teeth or fill gaps between teeth.
Inlays – Similar to composite fillings, tooth colored inlays are used a composite filling would not be strong enough and the tooth would be compromised. Inlays are made a dental lab and placed by your dentist.
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