There are many types of dental treatment a cosmetic dentist can make an improvement to the look of your teeth and smile. In fact, in our opinion, all treatments should fall into this category, after all, who wants non-cosmetic dentistry? In this blog post we are going to explore the various branches of cosmetic dentistry and look at how you can take advantage of each of them. But before we start let us assure you that the implants procedure is not associated with great pain. Most dental implant patients say the procedure doesn’t hurt and the discomfort is minimal.
Cosmetic dentistry is a modern part of everyday dentistry in every dental practice. All Malo Smile USA dental offices have extensive experience in all of the treatment modalities listed above and can advise you as to which one will help solve your dental problem. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns and find out which treatments are best suited for you.
Typically a cosmetic dentist is involved with the following:
- Maintaining a healthy mouth and smile.
- Straightening crooked teeth.
- Replacing missing teeth.
- Whitening dark teeth.
- Rebuilding broken down teeth.
Maintaining a healthy mouth and smile
Maintaining a healthy smile, teeth and gums would not normally be considered to be cosmetic dentistry, but we think it is. If your teeth and gums are healthy then they tend to look good and you feel much better. Also, before beginning any conventional cosmetic dentistry procedures you need to be in good dental health so maintaining a healthy mouth and smile is always first in our list before we begin anything else. If your gums bleed when you brush or you have gingivitis or even periodontitis you will probably find that your dentist will not begin any form of cosmetic treatment. Most dentists will insist that you’re in good dental health before they begin cosmetic dentistry and it is for this reason that you may be required to see our dental hygienist first.
Straightening crooked teeth
Straightening crooked teeth can be done with a variety of treatment options such as:
- Direct bonding or instant veneers.
- Dental veneers or dental crowns.
Direct bonding or instant veneers
Suitability: mild irregularity.
This involves the application of a small amount of tooth colored composite material directly onto your natural teeth. It can be used to correct minor discoloration and minor discrepancies in the tooth alignment.
Typical use could include one single teeth which is slightly rotated, bonding to the surface of this tooth can rebuild the surface and make it look as though it is more in line.
Dental veneers or dental crowns
Suitability: mild to severe irregularity.
Sometimes dental bonding isn’t quite enough to correct mild or severe irregularities. There were also times when the teeth are not only rotated but broken down also, in this case dental veneers or crowns may be required.
n order to place a veneer over the front of the tooth your dentist will remove a small section of the tooth, typically 0.5 – 1 mm. An impression will then be taken and sent to our inhouse dental laboratory where a highly skilled dental technician will manufacture the new veneer which fits precisely over the surface of your tooth.
Because such a small amount of tooth is removed it is not always necessary to have a dental injection, although most of the time one is offered just in case.
The advantage of having dental veneers or crowns to straighten crooked teeth is that from start to finish takes only two weeks. You can have your teeth prepared and two weeks later have a nice straight smile.
Suitability: for mild to moderate irregularity.
This is the process by which we move your natural teeth. Orthodontics can use a variety of techniques such as rapid orthodontics, clear orthodontics with treatments such as Invisalign or lifestyle orthodontics with tooth colored fixed braces.
Orthodontics are also available for adults. In years gone by it was only considered suitable for children and adolescents, but with modern techniques adults can also benefit from this life changing solution to crooked teeth.
Replacing missing teeth
The next aspect of cosmetic dentistry looks at replacing missing teeth. This can be done with options as follows:
- Dental bridges.
- Dental implants.
This is often the cheapest way to replace missing teeth. Dentures will be removable meaning they are easier to clean, however, it also may mean they are more likely to break. Dentures can be used to replace anything from a full arch of missing teeth to just one single missing tooth.
Dentures can be held in place using clasps which grip onto adjacent existing teeth or sometimes dental implants are used to secure a denture in place.
Stabilizing dentures with dental implants is extremely good way of ensuring that your teeth are stable and don’t move around when you eat or talk.
Dental bridges involved reduction of the adjacent teeth in order to accept the new dental bridge. Modern dental bridges can be made from the zirconia material which is translucent, lightweight and high-strength. This means that the dental bridge is as cosmetic as possible and mimics exactly your natural teeth.
Modern dental bridges can be highly cosmetic and blend in with your natural teeth if required or give you that brand new Hollywood smile that you maybe after.
Dental implants are the most modern way of replacing missing teeth. They involve the gentle insertion of a new titanium root to replace the natural route of your tooth. On top of this new titanium route we can make a highly cosmetic dental Crown to replace missing teeth.
Dental implants can be the most expensive alternative to replacing missing teeth however, in our opinion, this is the best value as dental implants can last many years and are less destructive on the surrounding teeth.
Whitening dark teeth
There are typically 2 ways to light and dark teeth.
- Teeth whitening.
- Dental veneers.
Suitability: mild to medium whitening required.
This is typically performed by providing you with a bleaching gel and closely fitting bleaching tray.
This bleaching tray fits very precisely over your teeth but particularly around the delicate gum margin. The gum margin is protected so that the bleaching gel, which will be either hydrogen peroxide or carbomide peroxide depending on your dentists preference, does not touch your gum. If the proximal I gel touches your gum it could cause burns which will be uncomfortable, unsightly and could damage the soft tissue.
Teeth whitening is an extremely safe procedure when conducted at a dental practice, your dental team will ensure that your dental health is in good enough condition to warrant teeth whitening and also ensure that the bleaching tray is fit for purpose and seats well over your teeth creating that all-important seal.
Teeth whitening does however not work on dental crowns or bridges, so if you have some of these in combination with your natural teeth you will need to speak to your dentist about replacing them in conjunction with the whitening process.
Suitability: mild to severe whitening required.
We won’t go too much into what dental veneers are as we have already discussed this previously earlier on. In this instance, if your underlying teeth are so dark that whitening would not be able to get them to the desired shade then dental veneers can be used to cover your natural teeth and whitening them as white as you want!
Rebuilding broken down teeth
At this point in this blog post we begin to repeat ourselves as treatment modalities use the same techniques as previously discussed. To rebuild broken down teeth we can use:
- dental bonding/instant veneers
- dental veneers
- dental crowns
What you will begin to notice is that different treatments can be used to solve different problems, for example if you have a combination of crooked teeth, dark teeth and broken down teeth then dental veneers could be the perfect solution as they can be used to treat all three dental problems.
You may also find that your orthodontist may want to move teeth with orthodontics (to get the root of the teeth in the right place) and then restore the tooth on top with either a dental veneer or dental crown.