About 99.7 percent of Americans believe that smiles are an important aspect to social customs. Because of this, a rising trend in the dental industry is cosmetic dentistry. This branch of dentistry is designed to help the appearance of a smile, but not necessarily the function. This article lists and discusses the most common cosmetic procedures.
- Tooth whitening and bleaching. Many people think that these are the same thing, but these are actually two different (though similar) processes with two different results. Teeth whitening occurs when the dentist uses a gel to remove stains and whiten the teeth to their original color. Stains can occur from drinking coffee, sodas, and red wines and also from chewing or smoking tobacco. Tooth bleaching occurs when the dentist uses the gel to brighten the teeth beyond their original luster, so that they are brighter and whiter than before.
- Tooth bonding. Tooth bonding is often for teeth that are so severely discolored that whitening and bleaching cannot remove the stains, teeth that have cracks or chips, or teeth that have rough enamel. A composite resin is made and bonded onto the front of the tooth to cover up the stains, cracks, or chips or to smooth out the roughness.
- Veneers. These are a more permanent form of tooth bonding and can also be used for several teeth that have issues. They are made to fit to the teeth and are bonded to the front. They are harder to decipher from real teeth than other types of bonding and are made to last longer. They can cover up or replace teeth that are discolored, have cracks or chips, or are uneven in any way.
- Dental implants. Implants are the most permanent form of tooth replacement. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for the remainder of the patient's life. They are surgically implanted into the patient's jaw, eventually fusing with the bone. Because of this, they help to prevent jaw bone deterioration, which can happen over time when several teeth are missing.
- Enamel shaping. Sometimes a patient needs their tooth enamel shaped. This can be because the enamel is rough or sharp, the shape of the tooth is uneven, or some teeth are longer than others. The dentist will shave away small bits of the enamel to help improve these problems.
It is very important to remember that cosmetic dentistry is not meant to replace regular dental care. It is still important to brush and use mouthwash at least twice a day and floss daily. Talk to your dentist, one like Flemington Family & Cosmetic Dental Group, to discuss the best options for you.