What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is designed specifically to help improve the appearance of your teeth. There may be nothing from a medical standpoint wrong with your teeth, but if you’re embarrassed of your teeth or if you feel like they look bad, there are many forms of cosmetic dentistry that can help you restore confidence in your smile.Cosmetic dentistry – is it for you?To find out if cosmetic dentistry is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:o Do you feel self-conscious when you open your mouth to laugh?o Are you careful not to smile too broadly?o Do you cover your mouth when you speak?o Do you go without lipstick rather than draw attention to your teeth?o Have you ever tried to grow a mustache or beard to hide your teeth?o Is your gum line uneven?o Are your teeth discolored or stained?o Do any of your teeth with silver fillings look dark?o Are your teeth crooked or too small or too large?o Are any of your teeth missing?If you answered yes to any of these questions, cosmetic dentistry might be right for you.What are the types of cosmetic dentistry?Virtually any problem can be fixed with cosmetic dentistry, from yellowed teeth to missing teeth to wide spaces. The following are some of the more common types of cosmetic dentistry:Porcelain veneersPorcelain veneers are very thin shells of porcelain that are permanently bonded onto the front side of teeth and can make a vast improvement on the tooth’s appearance. Porcelain veneers are often used by dentists to correct teeth that are yellowed or discolored, worn, chipped, or crooked.Veneers take on the appearance of a tooth, so they don’t look fake. In addition, they are resistant to staining. Most often, veneers are used for minor imperfections on the teeth and in some cases can be used in place of braces. Severe cases of misaligned or missing teeth are not candidates for veneers.Laser whiteningOne of the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry is cosmetic whitening. Laser whitening whitens the teeth up to 8 shades, giving yellowed teeth a much healthier and brighter appearance. With laser whitening, the dentist first places a special retractor in your mouth to keep the lips from touching the teeth during treatment. Then a translucent bleaching gel is applied to the teeth, and a laser is shone on the teeth for an hour. This light activates the gel, which in turn whitens the teeth. The dentist may decide to shine the light for longer than an hour, depending on the degree of discoloration the patient has.Invisible bracesIf you have crooked teeth but you’re embarrassed to get braces, you may be a candidate for invisible braces. People with crowded teeth, gaps in the teeth, or with a severe overbite and under-bite may be able to have that corrected with invisible braces. This type of cosmetic dentistry uses clear aligners to move your teeth back into place.Invisible braces, unlike real braces, can be removed for brushing, flossing, and eating. Many adults and teenagers prefer them so the appearance of braces isn’t so obvious.If you’re embarrassed by the appearance of your teeth, talk with your dentist to see which form of cosmetic dentistry is right for you.