5 Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Improve Your Smile

invisalign

Many Americans visit their dentist for checkups twice per year as recommended. But what other services can a dentist provide? Cosmetic dentistry includes procedures that improve the appearance of your teeth as a whole, doing more than just the preventative maintenance. In fact, there are many procedures that fall within the category of cosmetic dentistry. Here are five ways cosmetic dentistry can improve the appearance of your smile.

Teeth Whitening

About 48% of people in a recent survey feel that the appearance of their teeth could be improved, with the majority identifying discolored teeth as their main complaint. Home teeth whitening products have become readily available in the marketplace. But did you know that in-office teeth whitening is different from home products?

This is because dentists have access to stronger bleaching materials and can combine bleaching products with lasers, special lights, or even heat to increase their effectiveness. Moreover, dentists can produce custom mouth trays that provide more contact between the teeth and the bleaching agent than the trays provided with home products.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns cover a tooth to restore a tooth’s strength and appearance. This commonly used among teeth that are cracked or have a large filling that has weakened the tooth. However, dental crowns can also be used cosmetically to cover a chipped, broken, or misshapen tooth. The process of installing a crown includes shaping the tooth to mate with the crown. This might involve filing down a tooth or building up the tooth, depending on the shape of the tooth that needs to be covered. When the permanent crown is completed, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented in its place.

Tooth Straightening

Once upon a time, teeth were straightened using brackets and wires to coax teeth into the desired position. While this is still commonly used for serious alignment issues, more options are available now to straighten teeth, including Invisalign tooth aligners. The process of being fitted for braces began with making a physical mold of the teeth to determine which teeth needed to be moved and where those teeth needed to be. Invisalign begins in a similar way, with a three-dimensional scan of the teeth. Using that scan, transparent aligners are manufactured to match the teeth while slowly moving those teeth into the desired position. The advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces is that Invisalign aligners are transparent, the Invisalign aligners are more comfortable on the lips and gums than braces, and the Invisalign aligners can be removed to brush the teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that are implanted into the jaw bone to support a crown. Dental implants are used to replace a tooth that is missing or has been extracted. The process of getting a dental implant begins with the implantation of a titanium post into the tooth socket. The jaw heals around the titanium post to secure it in place. Then, an abutment attaches to the post which, in turn, is covered with a dental crown. Because the dental crown is attached to the dental implant, it is held securely in place. This makes dental implants and the dental crowns they support more comfortable than dentures.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin covers that are cemented to teeth. Dental veneers are used to cover up chipped, discolored, worn, and misaligned teeth. To prepare a tooth for a dental veneer, a dentist files a thin layer off of the tooth. An impression of the tooth is taken so that the dental veneer can be manufactured to fit the tooth. Once manufactured, the dentist fits the dental veneer to the tooth, then cleans and etches the tooth so that the dental veneer can be cemented on. The cement used to bond dental veneers to teeth is activated using a special light which is applied directly to the dental veneer.

Cosmetic dentistry can improve self-confidence by fixing some of the most visible dental imperfections. Whether those imperfections take the form of discolored teeth, misaligned teeth, missing teeth, malformed teeth, or gaps in the teeth, there are options for improving those imperfections. Contact Loudoun Dental Associates for more information today.