Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental procedures that have the goal of improving the appearance of a smile. Common issues addressed include chipped, gapped, missing, and stained teeth. A cosmetic or general dentist will be able to assess the condition of the teeth and recommend the best procedure for a patient depending on what their goals are.
One of the most common cosmetic dental procedures, a teeth whitening treatment can dramatically change the appearance of a smile in one short visit, removing discoloration that may be the result of diet (consuming teeth-staining substances such as coffee and tea), personal habits like smoking, or simply aging. While there are many different over-the-counter teeth whitening products available, an in-office treatment at a dentist office will provide the fastest and most dramatic results.
Small imperfections such as chips, cracks, or stains can be very effectively treated with cosmetic veneers. Issues with alignment can also be addressed with this procedure. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are attached to the front of the teeth to conceal flaws and change a smile’s appearance. This procedure is a good option because it is quick, affordable, and comfortable.
Crowns are most often used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. However, they can also be used to address chips, cracks, and discoloration in teeth. They are made of a tooth-colored material and are placed over a tooth to cover it completely.
The most common teeth replacement options are bridges and dentures. While these are effective and can restore some function to a set of teeth, a more stable solution is dental implants. Unlike bridges and dentures, which sit on the top of the gums and may rely on existing teeth for support, dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone. A dental prosthetic is placed on top of an implant to complete the look and function of the restoration. Implants are a more expensive option because they require surgery, but they allow fuller usage of the teeth.
A consultation will be needed with your dentist before any cosmetic work is done. During this appointment, you will be able to discuss your concerns and goals. You can then discuss your treatment options and decide on which is best for you.