Not everybody who visits a dentist is visiting simply to have the function of their teeth improved. There is a new trend in the dentistry field called cosmetic dentistry, which helps to improve the appearance of a smile, though not necessarily the function. When hearing this term for the first time, many wonder what cosmetic dentistry consists of. This article answers this question with six of the most common procedures that cosmetic dentists like Daniel M. Bade, DDS perform.
- Teeth whitening. This procedure has increased in popularity by more than three-hundred percent in just five years. This process helps to remove stains on teeth that come from drinking coffee, red wines, and sodas. While it is possible to whiten teeth at home with products purchased from the store, having a cosmetic dentist perform the procedure can produce better results.
- Tooth bonding. Cosmetic dentists use porcelains and composite resins to create bonds to help improve the appearance of a smile. They bond the materials directly to the enamel of the teeth to help improve crooked teeth, replace missing teeth, fix broken or cracked teeth, or align teeth that are different lengths.
- Dental implants. Dental implants help improve the appearance of the same teeth problems as tooth bonding, however they are a more permanent solution. They will help maintain the bone support of surrounding teeth, thereby providing a more stable replacement. When done correctly, a dental implant will be nearly, if not completely, imperceptible from the rest of the teeth and can last for many, many years.
- Porcelain or composite veneers. Veneers can help improve the appearance of the smile by covering gaps, teeth with chips or cracks, or stains on severely discolored teeth that teeth whitening has not been able to remove. They are bonded to the surface of the teeth with an adhesive and will look and function just like regular teeth.
- Enamel shaping. For those that have uneven enamel, chips, or rough spots, the dentist may suggest enamel shaping. This is where the dentist will use a small drill to shave away bits of the enamel to improve these issues.
- Smile makeovers. Many people visit a cosmetic dentist for a full smile makeover. This will require a full assessment of the smile and a consultation between the dentist and patient, to ensure the desired look is achieved. Often times, several of the procedures previously mentioned will be required.
Before deciding on a dentist, it is important to ensure that they are a fully qualified and board certified physician. Also be certain to ask any questions before the appointment to alleviate any concerns.