A lot of people think cosmetic dentistry is just about the looks of your teeth. Many cosmetic procedures are indeed about making your your smile look its best. But so is almost everything a dentist does for you.
How great would your smile look if the dentist didn’t fill all your cavities? Or get your teeth as clean as they can be with dental cleaning and deep scaling? Or take out your wisdom teeth to stop your other teeth from being pushed out of line?
The Difference Between Regular Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry
While everything your dentist does is about keeping your teeth and gums healthy, which helps them looks their best, there’s one big difference that sets cosmetic dentistry apart from everything else your dentist does.
Cosmetic dentistry isn’t really about the functionality of your teeth, but more about their alignment, colour, position. shape and size. So while everything else your dentist does helps your teeth look great, that’s just result of fixing a problem with how your teeth work or with their health.
Some dental procedures straddle the line between cosmetic and regular dentistry. Orthodontics are often used to make sure adult teeth grow in as straight as possible. But they could also be used to correct a dental misalignment that causes a speech impediment, creates problems with chewing food properly and can even change the shape and alignment of your face.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
Getting back to the purely cosmetic treatments available for a better looking smile, let’s take a look at three of the most common and effective cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Perhaps the best known, most common and most popular cosmetic dental procedure is teeth whitening.
A dentist uses one of two main ways of whitening teeth:
a. Surface Whiteners
Like the name suggests, surface whiteners use specially-formulated abrasives to remove stains on the surface of the teeth. The abrasives are often only finer versions of those used in regular toothpaste, so they will not wear out your teeth. The finer abrasive is able to remove more of a surface stain than regular toothpaste.
Dental bleaching products are peroxide-based and can actually change the colour of the tooth itself. But, different teeth respond to bleaching differently and, in some cases, no change in colour occurs. That makes it important to discuss bleaching with your dentist to make sure bleach can do what you expect.
A veneer is a thin cover, overlay or coating that changes the look of the surface of your teeth, without treating the tooth itself. Made from medical grade ceramics, porcelain veneers are created specifically for your teeth, each one individually, so they fit perfectly and stay more securely in place.
Each veneer is fastened to the corresponding tooth with a dental adhesive. Once in place, veneers can look remarkably lifelike. They can also be used to fix a variety of problems, including crooked teeth, cracked and/or damaged enamel, and even gaps between teeth.
– If a tooth decays to the point of needing to be removed, or the tooth is knocked out accidentally, an implant can be used to replace it. Dental implants are probably the cosmetic procedure that results in a replacement that most closely mimics how your natural teeth work.
Implants involve the anchoring of a small titanium screw directly into the jawbone. Once the screw is properly set, a complete crown, or full replacement for the missing tooth, is screwed onto the implant.
If there is anything about your smile that causes you concern, contact us at myDentalcare here in Lindsay, Ontario, to find out how cosmetic dentistry can help.