Cosmetic dentistry is gaining popularity all over the world, with many people seeking different ways to improve their smile and appearance.
Earlier this branch of dentistry was thought to be costly and affordable by only a small section of people. Now, there are some inexpensive procedures are simple and completed within an hour. Of course, there are also elaborate procedures that take months to finish and can correct even severe deformities of the teeth.
All the procedures are planned and conducted according to the different requirements which people have. It is not just about enhancing the appearance, but many cosmetic dentistry procedures are restorative as well. They help regain and maintain good oral health and hygiene. Continuing with the lifestyle that a person followed earlier is possible after the treatment is completed.
Most cosmetic procedures enhance the overall appearance. Teeth will look flawless along with better colour and shape. All cosmetic dentistry procedures boost the confidence of the person along with the appearance.
The procedures are planned after an initial dental consultation. The oral health of the person is also examined as this is a deciding factor on the type of treatment that is planned.
Teeth can lose their sparkle, shine, colour due to aging, dental trauma, accidents or even due to prolonged medications. This procedure is most suited to those who have healthy teeth that do not have any fillings. If there are dental restorations, sensitive teeth issues, then these must be shared with the dentist before the teeth whitening procedure.
There are different types of teeth whitening procedures available – toothpaste, gels, strips, whitening trays etc. Many of these products can be bought from shops and the procedure can be done at home.
But, the most effective one is always the one that is done at the dental clinic. In all these procedures, a whitening agent is applied to the teeth. This product works on the stain and lightens them. If the peroxide that is applied causes allergy, then this can bring in other dental concerns. However, this aspect is taken care of while at the clinic, so you don’t need to worry at all.
Shaping and bonding
Getting well-shaped perfect teeth is possible through teeth shaping procedures in cosmetic dentistry. Teeth that are chipped, broken or cracked can be totally revamped using the procedure.
A small amount of dental enamel is removed at the initial stage of the process. Bonding is the process of applying a resin like material to the teeth. It hardens on the teeth and sticks to it. The hardened material is then altered to get perfectly shaped teeth.
The resin that is applied is similar in colour to the natural teeth and can also be used to fill gaps between teeth to achieve a perfect smile. Many minor imperfections in the teeth can be corrected using this procedure but those with infected teeth or pulp and inflamed gum lining are not ideal candidates for this procedure.
Among all teeth replacement options, this is a more permanent procedure when compared with dentures. In this procedure, replacement teeth are placed and fixed permanently to the jaw bone.
This is a complex process and requires surgery and is done under anaesthesia. In this process, the jaw bone is cut open and a metal root is fixed to the jaw bone. This can an abutment attached to it and it is on this the replacement tooth is fixed.
This procedure is possible for single tooth or multiple teeth replacements. This process requires many months to be completed as it requires healing after the placement of the root of the tooth. After the healing is complete, the replacement tooth is placed. The tooth can be made of similar colour to the natural teeth so it is not different from other teeth.
Braces are one of the most common dental appliances used irrespective of age. These are considered as both orthodontic procedures and cosmetic procedures as well. Misaligned teeth are corrected and moved to the proper position using braces.
Braces are placed over the teeth and they are adjusted or tightened over a period. The teeth will be moved to the position by wearing the braces. They need to be worn for several months or years to get the desired position.
After braces are worn, retainers are used to make sure the teeth do not move from their position. Clear braces/Invisalign are used by many. These are ‘invisible’ braces due to their transparency and they do not feel conscious of wearing braces as it is not visible to others. The appearance of the person is improved by continued use of the braces.
Improving smiles with a simple procedure is possible with dental veneers. These are thin coverings that are placed on top of the teeth to make them complete. Teeth that cannot be repaired through teeth whitening, misshapen or crooked teeth can be corrected by dental veneers. These coverings are placed on top of the teeth that need to be corrected.
As a first step, the top of the teeth that need to be corrected is scraped a bit. To this prepared surface, a hardening gel is applied. This will help in sticking the veneer to the teeth. The colour of the veneer can be chosen to mimic the natural teeth. They are shaped and polished to look like natural teeth.
Crowns are placed on top of the damaged teeth and hence they get their name. They help in protecting the teeth and also give shape and colour to the damaged teeth. Teeth that are weak, severely damaged, misshapen and discoloured can be protected by placing crowns.
Dental crowns are made of metal, ceramic, porcelain materials. They are chosen as per personal preference and the recommendation of the dentist. Before the procedure, the risk of decay, severity of the damage, and the injury to the teeth are all assessed. It will require two or more consultations with the dentist before it is completed.