People often put too much stock on one’s outward appearance, so it is no wonder that people these days are very conscious about how they look. People are especially critical about their teeth and smile. Now, this is when cosmetic dentistry comes in. Dentists perform cosmetic dentistry procedures to correct any dental problems that are deemed correctable.
Although cosmetic dentistry procedures seem like they are done for vanity’s sake, they are actually restorative procedures to improve the appearance of one’s teeth or smile. It also improves the oral health of the person and gets rid of the pain in the jaw due to poor oral health.
Here are five of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures done on people:
- Teeth Whitening or Bleaching – Teeth whitening has somehow become so popular that you can now buy celebrity-endorsed teeth whitening kits that you can use at home. Although the effectiveness of these homekits are still in question, dentists themselves can actually perform teeth whitening or teeth bleaching procedures to remove discoloration and surface stains off the teeth.
The stains can be caused by natural aging of the teeth. They can also be due to the food or drinks that you ingest. Drinks like tea, coffee, and colas are some of the top causes of teeth discoloration. Habitual smoking of cigarettes is also a top contributor to teeth discoloration.
Keep in mind, however, that before whitening the teeth, it is required that the tooth be cleaned first to get rid of tartar, plaque, and debris. Once the procedure is done, the teeth’s color improves to at least one or two shades–whiter and brighter than the original color.
- Composite Bonding or Bonding – This procedure is done to improve the appearance of a decayed, chipped, or worn down tooth. For decayed teeth, the dentist first removes the decayed material of the teeth and fills it with dental composites. The dentist can then mold or sculpt the composite to the look the patient prefers in order to give the teeth a healthier and whiter appearance.
Once the tooth has been sculpted or molded, it is then applied using a high intensity light. The procedure can be done in just one appointment and could last up to 10 years, depending on the oral health and hygiene of the patient.
- Dental Veneers – Dental veneers are also popular for correcting chipped teeth or fractured front teeth, as well as correcting deep and hard-to-remove teeth discoloration. To apply the veneers, often porcelain, the teeth are carefully filed and an impression of the teeth is taken.This impression is taken to the laboratory to be used as a guide when making the veneers. The impression is necessary because the veneers are custom-made to ensure that they look just like your teeth.
In the meantime, you will be provided with a temporary veneer to use while the other one is still being made. Once the custom-made veneers are done, they are then fitted and attached to your teeth using dental adhesives.
- Dental Implants – Dental implants are done to replace lost teeth. Lost teeth due to extraction can be a problem when chewing food and talking in general. It can also be a source of insecurity for some especially if the lost tooth is visible to people when you are talking. It can lower your self-esteem and make you very self-conscious when in front of another person. So, people often rely on dental implants to solve such a problem.
Dental implants are permanent replacements for lost teeth. These are done by drilling a titanium crew on to the jaw to serve as the support of the implant. Once the jaw and screw has fused and has completely healed, then the implant will be permanently placed on the gap.
- Inlays and Onlays or Indirect Fillings – These procedures are used to correct slightly to moderately decayed teeth. When the decay is not too severe, inlays are applied to the teeth directly using dental cement. In cases where the decay is too severe and the teeth cusps are damaged, then the onlays are used to cover the whole teeth surface by attaching them using the dental cement as well.
The indirect fillings used in this procedure are made in the laboratory, so they are definitely safe for use. The procedure is done to restore the look of the teeth, as well as to prevent further decay.
A great smile is not possible without the confidence you get from the fact that each one of your pearly whites is in great shape. This is the reason why the importance of oral health is taught to children during the earliest stages of their life.
If your teeth have been damaged by an accident or just tooth decay, there will always be a cosmetic dental procedure that can correct the problem.