Many people believe that the smile is an important asset to social conventions. Because of this, cosmetic dentistry is a current rising trend. Teeth whitening and bleaching alone have risen over two-hundred percent in the past five years. Cosmetic dentistry is the field of dentistry that works on improving the appearance of the teeth and smile, but not necessarily the function. This article lists the most common procedures that cosmetic dentists perform.
Teeth whitening and bleaching
What many people don't realize is that teeth whitening and teeth bleaching are actually two separate processes. They may be somewhat similar, but the end result is different. With teeth whitening, the dentist uses a gel to remove any stains from discolored teeth. Stains on the teeth can come from smoking or chewing tobacco or drinking red wines, coffees, and sodas. This process restores the teeth to their original luster.
On the other hand, when a dentist bleaches the teeth, he or she is using a gel to brighten the teeth beyond their original luster. This will still remove most stains, but the teeth will come out looking brighter than with regular whitening. This is particularly good for those whose teeth have a natural yellow color to them.
Tooth bonding is a process that is used to correct teeth that have gaps or chips. A composite resin, which is a durable plastic material, is put onto the teeth and shaped to match the surrounding the teeth. A light is then used on the resin to harden the material onto the teeth, to help correct the cracks or chips.
Veneers are used to replace missing teeth, but they can also help teeth that have cracks or gaps or are so severely discolored that whitening and bleaching won't remove the stains. Veneers are matched to the surrounding teeth so that when they are put into place, they are hard to discern from the real teeth.
For those who have several missing teeth, dental implants may be the way to go. When several teeth are missing, the jaw bone can begin to deteriorate, Adding dental implants, which are made of a very durable titanium, can help to prevent this deterioration from happening. It can also help the face to remain looking normal, because when many teeth are missing, the cheeks can begin to appear sunken.
It is important to keep in mind that cosmetic dentistry is not meant to replace regular teeth care and maintenance. You should still brush twice a day, floss once a day, and use mouthwash to help maintain oral health.