Flash Your Smile: 7 of the Most Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Your smile is an excellent communication tool. According to Psychology Today, there are five types of smiles, each communicating different messages. 

The happy smile we all know and love is the “Duchenne Smile.” It includes the smiley, upturned corners of your mouth and the happy eyes. The other smiles have hidden meaning, like the “Fake Smile” and “Uncomfortable Smile.” 

Of course, you want that gorgeous communication tool of yours to be as good-looking as possible. And luckily, there are plenty of excellent cosmetic dental procedures that have your back. And your happiness expression maker.

But what are all the cosmetic dentistry procedures out there, you ask? And how do you know which one is best for you?

To help, we’ve put together some of the best smile boosters available. Keep reading for the details on these cosmetic dentistry options available right now, then get started with a smile brightener for you.

1. Teeth Whitening

This procedure is all about brightening that smile by whitening your teeth. Essentially, your teeth are bleached to get rid of stains and discoloration on your teeth from the food you eat and the beverages you drink. 

Your dentist can do this procedure in her or his office. There are also options that allow you to bleach your teeth at home.

Some people react poorly to bleach. Ask your dentist if this procedure will work well for you. 

2. Implants

A dental implant is a titanium screw. It’s drilled into and attached to your jawbone to act like the root of a tooth that’s missing. It’s used to anchor a fake tooth or something similar like a bridge, denture, or crown. 

Dental implants are permanent as the bone and other parts of the jaw fuse around the screw. A crown with an implant will probably create a tooth that looks almost exactly like your other natural teeth. They’re that good!

Be sure to find out about the price. It should be worth it though.

3. Veneers

Veneers are made of a thin shell used to cover your teeth to make them look more white and cover up issues like extra spacing between teeth, crooked teeth, a chipped tooth, or a cracked tooth. 

The shell is custom-made. It’s porcelain, metal-grade ceramic, or a composite material, and it’s attached using cement to the front of your tooth or as needed to cover/fix the issue.

Veneers tend to look very natural and return your teeth to what they were before the damage. Or they make crooked teeth look straight. 

4. Composite Bonding

Similar to veneers, bonding covers issues on teeth like discoloration. It can also cover and fix teeth that are broken or chipped. It’s also used for tooth decay.

Bonding uses tooth-colored composite material. It is bonded to (stuck/adhered to) the tooth where needed. Then it is sculpted right there on the exterior of the tooth. 

The goal with bonding is to fix teeth so they look great again. Repair and improve those issues!

It’s not cosmetic but worth mention: we deal with decay too. If someone comes in with tooth decay, the doctor gets it out. Then the doctor puts the bonding over it. 

5. Inlays and Onlays

This is used to get back a tooth’s awesome look. It covers chips in a tooth. It covers a tooth that’s missing a chunk. It also helps with spaces and tooth decay. 

A nickname here is “indirect fillings.” They are used for teeth that don’t have enough structure to attach a filling to. The inlay, made of composite resin, is put onto the tooth as long as the tooth cusps are okay. 

An onlay is used if the cusps are not okay. The onlay covers the surface of the whole tooth. Onlays are also made of composite resin. 

Inlays and onlays are glued to the tooth with dental cement. In addition to making the tooth look better, they are used for fillings, to strengthen teeth, to shape teeth, and to fix teeth damaged by decay. 

6. Orthodontics

Usually, you think of preteens, teens, and brace-face when you think of orthodontist, right? But today, adults also get braces too to fix an issue or simply to make their teeth look straighter and, in their opinion, better. 

Orthodontics use braces to make your teeth straight so they look better. Sometimes the orthodontist has to pull some teeth to make them all look straight. Some use “headgear” to create resistance to move teeth. 

Retainers are in the orthodontics family. Often, you get a retainer once the braces off, but not always. They’re custom made and help your teeth get into a position or stay in a position.

7. Shaping

Who knew your dentist had a bit of Rodin in him or her? Yes, dentists, like sculptors, love to shape things, especially your teeth. 

This type of teeth shaping is called “enamel shaping.” The dentist or orthodontist takes a tool and starts taking off the bits of enamel that look bad or aren’t working. Sometimes they actually file the tooth and purposefully remove the enamel. 

Enamel shaping gives you instant results. Plus, it’s not painful. But it can reshape. 

Cosmetic Dental Procedures for You

Yes, you can start smiling now. These cosmetic dental procedures are just waiting for you. Did any jump out at you? Start there.

Find the right professional or shop around. Ask lots of questions. And go ahead and give that smile something to smile about!

Also, keep reading our blog for more on staying happy and healthy, like amazing things to eat or drink when your smile is taking a break.