Posted on: 26 December 2019Share
Cosmetic dentistry can be as important for how you feel about your smile as dealing with functional issues. You may be wondering, though, what options are available. Here are some things to think about.
What You're Treating
Most cosmetic dentistry treatment plans are aimed at dealing with visible problems that make teeth look less appealing. These may include small chips, deformities or discolorations. Bigger problems like cracks are generally not considered just cosmetic, and alignment issues are the job of an orthodontist rather than a dentist. Your options may include fillings, crowns, veneers, bonding, and teeth whitening processes.
With something like a minor chip, the easiest solution may be to treat the damage like a cavity. This involves using materials that can be shaped to fill in the tooth and restore its form.
As the problem with a tooth becomes more extensive or intense, the options tend to become more aggressive. Putting in a crown involves removing the top portion of the enamel and installing a cap. This procedure is a viable option for dealing with chips, deformities, and discolorations because it involves removing the entirely aesthetically flawed area.
These are simple dental appliances that are installed on the portions of your teeth that face outward. They're usually made from similar materials as crowns. The big difference is that a cosmetic dentist will only strip away enough of the enamel to provide room for the veneer. Facing outward, veneers can be used to address all three of the previously mentioned kinds of cosmetic problems.
Bonded materials are applied in thin layers to the outside of a tooth. This is basically the equivalent of papering over the aesthetic flaw, and it's mostly used for addressing severe staining of the teeth. Bonding can also be used for reshaping teeth, but it's usually overkill for fixing chips.
Presuming the issue is just discoloration, you may want to consider professional teeth whitening. This involves applying a strong solution of hydrogen peroxide to the teeth, and a trained hygienist typically handles the work. They apply UV light to activate the hydrogen peroxide and trigger the process.
Notably, the strength of the chemicals used by hygienists is impossible to match with OTC cleaners and whiteners. Desiccation of the teeth is a risk of poorly done whitening. Also, you may want to consider getting professional teeth cleaning before taking more radical measures.
Learn more about cosmetic dentistry today.