Cosmetic Dentistry: Definition and Types

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Every person has their fair share of insecurities. They can be related to relationships, jobs, goals, body image, or even appearance. These things are normal and, everyone has moments when they have to deal with these insecurities to move on with their lives.

Cosmetic Dentistry: Definition and Types

Luckily, there are now more ways to overcome these insecurities. One of these sought ways is through a cosmetic dentistry procedure that is perfect for people who are not confident with their teeth.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the overall appearance of your smile, including your teeth, gums, and mouth. It involves procedures like replacing, whitening, or shaping your teeth. A survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AAACD) found that, on average, patients who seek this type of treatment are between the ages of 31 and 60. Over time, the number of patients has increased because more people aspire to have better-looking teeth as they grow older.

Types of Procedures

There are many cosmetic procedures, depending on your problem and goal. After having your initial consultation with your dentist, they will decide which plan of action is suitable for you. Listed below are some of these processes.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin custom-made shells to cover the front part of your teeth. They are made of porcelain or resin composite materials designed to mimic the natural color and reflecting properties of your teeth. The installation of the veneers involves bonding to ensure that it is securely attached to the teeth.

Veneers usually last for about 10 to 30 years as long as the patient exercises precautions because the porcelain can shatter when excessive pressure is used. For that reason, people with conditions like bruxism are not ideal for this procedure as constant teeth grinding or clenching may cause veneers to crack or break easily.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening, on the other hand, is the process of making your teeth look whiter. It involves using bleaching agents like peroxide to aid with the brightening process. These teeth whitening gels contain about 15 to 43 percent of peroxide heated by a special lamp after it is applied. With several visits or sessions in the dental office, patients can achieve a teeth color of about three to eight shades brighter than its original color.

This approach is usually recommended for people with stained teeth, primarily because of smoking or drinking colored drinks like coffee, tea, or red wine. Although the whitening effect can last up to three years, it will still depend on how patients take care of their teeth.

Teeth Reshaping

Teeth reshaping, also known as enamel shaping, is a cosmetic technique that is done to improve the appearance of misaligned, cracked, chipped, or uneven teeth. The process is performed by removing some of the tooth enamel using a drill or a laser. The cosmetic dentists will then evaluate the pulp of each tooth to determine the right measurement for resizing the enamel and ensuring that there is enough bone to support it.

However, this procedure is only ideal for correcting minor or subtle issues in your teeth. So if you have major dental problems like severe teeth misalignment, this technique may not be the right solution for you. Also, you need to have a healthy set of teeth and gums—meaning no decayed teeth or pulp infection—to be a candidate.

Tooth Bonding

Tooth bonding is the process of applying a composite resin that matches your teeth’s color to fix subtle damages on the surface. This procedure may sound similar to how veneers are done, but the difference is that tooth bonding is irreversible while veneers are not. In the process, the dentist pours a liquid that will serve as the bonding agent for the resin. Once the resin is placed, ultraviolet light is used to harden the liquid to secure it.

It is important to remember that the resin used is not as sturdy as your permanent teeth. That is why it is prone to breaking or chipping, especially if you constantly chew on ice or hard candies.

Reach Out to Your Local Cosmetic Dentist

Smiling is undoubtedly one of the greatest assets that any person can do. It not only impacts other people’s moods but also has a way of boosting your confidence. So, if you are looking for ways to overcome your insecurities about your smile, you should ask your dentist about your preferred cosmetic dentistry procedure. In that way, you are guided in choosing the best measure to achieve that healthy and beautiful smile.

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