Dr. Whitener's Information Center

Cosmetic Dentistry Overview

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Cosmetic dentistry is any procedure that enhances your teeth, your gums or your smile in general. People that have cosmetic dentistry done often have complained about stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth. This is a great option for you if you are experiencing any of these problems.

Evidence of methods used in cosmetic dentistry have been discovered in several continents and date back centuries ago. Although in previous years cosmeticdentistry was something only celebrities and high society could afford to take advantage of, they are now affordable and available to the average American.

An attractive smile has been claimed to have a positive effect on one’s career, social life, and overall self-esteem. In fact, research has shown that even infants are drawn more to people with attractive smiles than to those generally perceived as unattractive. It is important that we acknowledge that the most basic feelings, instincts, and drives we have as human beings are driven, at least initially, by appearance. The appreciation of beauty is a uniquely human capability and plays a central role in all our lives and beauty is seen through a person’s smile.

If you decide that you want to have cosmetic dentistry done, you will want to know what your options are and what kind of budget you have to work with. You dentist should be able to work with you to decide what plan works best for you and how you might be able to set up a payment plan, if necessary.

There are many different kinds of methods available. Some of the common procedures used today are:

• Teeth Whitening: methods for whitening teeth range from inexpensive over-the-counter whitening strips to more expensive one-time light and bleach treatments performed in the dentist office.

• Composite and Porcelain Tooth Veneers: veneers are thin layers of composite or porcelain that are bonded to the front of your teeth, usually to make them whiter.

• Dental Implants: if you are missing teeth, dental implants are a permanent solution wherein an implant is placed in your jawbone to serve as a root and a tooth replacement is attached to the implant.

• Dental Bonding: bonding is a procedure where some kind of composite material is bonded to teeth to reshape them, whiten them or to fix any other aesthetic problems.

• Dental Bridges: bridges replace missing teeth and can be an alternative to dental implants.

• Tooth Contouring and Reshaping: this can be done using different procedures, some already mentioned. Ask your dental professional about your situation to see what small changes can make a big difference.

• Dentures: dentures are used to replace all or some teeth and can be removed.

• Dental Fillings: today’s dental fillings are more than the typical metal fillings of our youth. Dental fillings are now color matched to the rest of your teeth for a great smile.

• Dental Crowns: crowns are caps for your teeth that can be used for many purposes.

• Dental Caps: similar to crowns, these are also a solution to many problems

• Orthodontics: braces can do a lot to straighten crooked teeth or to correct misaligned bites.

• Cosmetic Gum Surgery: a “Gummy Smile” or a “Long Tooth Smile” can be corrected through gum surgery.

The most important thing you can do in order to determine if cosmetic dentistry is right for you is consult your dentist. Before having any cosmetic procedure done, it is imperative that you find a dentist that has the skill, experience and aesthetic eye to give you a beautiful smile. You will want to discuss any cosmetic dentistryoptions with your dental professional.