Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments That Can Improve Your Smile

People tend to smile more when they feel proud of that smile. The smile is one of the first attributes others see when they look at you, so it makes sense that people want to make sure their smile is a feature they love about themselves.

Cosmetic dentistry is a form of dentistry that can help people dealing with broken, discolored, worn, or chipped teeth to address those issues and feel more confident about their smiles. Sometimes, cosmetic dentistry can just help someone get that boost of confidence they’ve been needing when dealing with a smile they do not love looking at in the mirror.

While some cosmetic dentistry procedures are relatively simple, quick, and non-invasive, others are more complex. To find out which one is right for you, you should always consult your dentist.

However, here is an overview of seven types of cosmetic dentistry treatments that can help improve your smile. Hopefully, once you’ve found the treatment that’s right for you, you’ll want to show off that smile as often as possible! 

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Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening or bleaching is perhaps the most non-invasive and simple cosmetic dental procedure available to improve your smile. And, if you opt for professional teeth whitening at a dentist’s office, it can be very effective.

Everyday habits like smoking cigarettes or drinking coffee, tea, or red wine can discolor your teeth over time. The teeth whitening process is pretty simple and painless and can be completed in one office visit.

Generally, dentists will polish your teeth prior to the whitening treatment, much like they would do in a dental cleaning, to make sure your teeth are clean. Then, they will put a professional whitening solution on your teeth and activate it with a laser. This solution might stay on your teeth for 30 to 60 minutes.

Professional teeth whitening is a relatively easy way to make a big impact on your smile. You’ll be surprised how much difference a little brightening can make!

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns can be necessary to correct various dental problems that might arise with a specific tooth. For example, you might want to pursue dental crowns to protect a weak tooth, restore a broken or worn tooth, hold together a cracking tooth, or hold a dental bridge in place. 

However, dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons. You might also want to cover any misshapen or severely discolored teeth, cover a dental implant, or simply improve your smile.

There are various forms of dental crowns, but porcelain crowns are the most natural-looking since they can be matched to the color of your teeth.

Keep in mind that porcelain crowns can be prone to breaking if you bite down too hard on hard foods, and sometimes you’ll see a line where a dental crown has been placed.

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Inlays and Onlays

You might have heard of dental inlays and onlays, which are usually options to help fix a problem with a particular tooth. An only will cover the entire cusp of a tooth, whereas an inlay will only fill the area between the cusps. 

An onlay is cheaper than a dental crown because less of the tooth’s structure has to be removed in order to place the onlay. 

For that reason, if you need tooth restoration, you might choose an inlay or an onlay instead of a crown if you only have a small area that needs to be restored, rather than the entire tooth.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges help to replace a tooth or a couple of teeth that are no longer viable by using surrounding teeth as a foundation. The reason they are referred to as “bridges” is that they serve as literal bridges between existing teeth to address any missing or damaged teeth.

Though there are varying materials that dentists use for dental bridges, porcelain dental bridges are optimal for most people, especially for cosmetic purposes, because they can be sculpted to look like natural teeth. 

Some dental bridges require that you have a natural tooth on each side of the missing tooth, while others only require one existing tooth to act as the anchor for the bridge.

Since there are different types of dental bridges, make sure to consult with your dentist about which is right for you.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers not only help to improve the look of one tooth but also address the appearance of your entire smile. Dental veneers sit on top of a row of teeth, offering an improvement in the brightness and alignment of your teeth but also a layer of strength to protect your natural enamel.

To place a set of dental veneers, dentists will usually take off a small amount of your enamel to ensure that the veneers fit correctly. They will then apply an adhesive, set the veneer in place with a light-sensitive resin, and cure it with a special light.

Dental veneers are a great choice for people who want to get the celebrity-style smile with a relatively easy and painless procedure.

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Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is another option for people who want to address cracks, stains, or spaces in their teeth. During this procedure, dentists apply a tooth-colored composite resin material to improve your smile. 

Bonding remains one of the least expensive cosmetic procedures and can be completed in a single visit, whereas dental crowns and veneers require more preparation time and two visits. 

At the same time, dental bonding can stain over time, whereas more durable veneers and crowns tend to last longer.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are perhaps the most invasive and involved of the cosmetic dental procedures on this list; however, they are a great option for people who want a long-term solution to major dental problems or missing teeth.

Dental implants act as artificial roots for your teeth. They are devices similar to the shape of a screw that are placed in your jawbone and then bond with your natural jawbone to become a base for supporting dental crowns. 

Dental implants are the strongest devices the dental community has to offer to support replacement teeth and allow replacement teeth to look, feel, and function as naturally as real teeth. 

Often, dentists use dental implants to deal with more complex dental issues, so treatment time after an initial consultation can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, depending on the patient’s medical history and dental health.

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