Cosmetic Dentistry: What are Some of the Common Types

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In a nutshell, cosmetic dentistry is defined as a method of professional oral care that focuses on improving your teeth’s appearance. While many mistake cosmetic dentistry for a smile makeover, the two are not exactly the same. A smile makeover includes procedures that are designed to alter your smile (i.e., porcelain veneers).

Cosmetic dentistry procedures sometimes make use of Digital Smile Design or DSD. DSD is known as a treatment planning protocol that carefully makes the careful analysis of the patient’s dental and facial structures possible using state-of-the-art digital technology and videography.

Digital Smile Design is considered by many to be the most patient-centered and modern design approach available today. Cosmetic dentistry procedures are typically elective rather than essential. However, some treatment cases come with restorative benefits. Below are some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures available:

Composite Bonding

Composite bonding is the repair of damaged, discolored, and decayed teeth using materials that mimic the color of your tooth enamel. Your dentist will drill out the tooth decay and apply the composite on the surface of your tooth. From there it will be “sculpted” into the right shape before it is cured with a high-intensity light.

Also referred to as bonding, the procedure can effectively cover tooth damage and gives the appearance of a healthy tooth. Bonding is considered one of the least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures nowadays. However, it is considered very effective for patients with chipped, cracked, and decayed teeth.

Dental Implants

Over the years, dental implants have become the go-to option for many patients who would want to replace lost or damaged teeth. The dentist will insert a small titanium screw into the site of the missing tooth. The dental implant will function as the support for the crown.

Dental implants are indistinguishable from natural teeth. As soon as the bone and the supporting tissues fuse with the dental implant, it is secured permanently in place. Patients need to observe diligent oral care to help ensure the implant’s longevity.

Teeth Whitening

This is another cosmetic dentistry procedure that is very popular. Teeth whitening is often done in a single sitting in the dentist’s office. Before the teeth is whitened, tartar, plaque and other debris from the surface of the tooth are removed. A bleaching agent is used to whiten the teeth.

Over the years, teeth can become worn and stained from drinks, food, medication, and personal habits like smoking. That said, teeth whitening can be a great option for you if you want to achieve that stunning and glowing smile.

Dental Veneers

Manufactured from medical-grade ceramic, dental veneers are the custom-made caps that are placed over your natural teeth. Since they look exceptionally realistic, dental veneers can be used to address various cosmetic concerns including crooked or cracked teeth, noticeable gaps, and damaged enamel. The veneer will be applied to the front of each tooth using a dental adhesive.

Inlays and Onlays

Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are created by a dental laboratory. They are typically the option for patients with mild or moderate decay or those with insufficient tooth structure and cannot support a filling. Given there is no damage to the tooth cusps, the inlay will be situated directly onto the surface of the tooth.

However, if there is substantial damage to the cusp or a portion of the tooth is damaged, an onlay may be used to cover the entire surface of the tooth. Inlays and onlays are made from ceramic material or porcelain. It is attached to the teeth using adhesive dental cement. They can help strengthen and restore the shape of the teeth. They can also help ensure further deterioration or decay is avoided.