Thanks to treatments available through cosmetic dentistry, people do not need to live with unattractive teeth. Even if they take meticulous care of their teeth, some people experience accidents that cause chips in their teeth. Some find that their teeth get discolored regardless of how often they brush while others have always had crooked teeth and simply want to take that extra step to make their smile straighter.
These and other concerns that people have with the look of their teeth lead to a need for cosmetic dentistry. Though cosmetic dentistry includes procedures that are not absolutely necessary for a person’s dental health, it is a service that many dentists offer for the well-being and quality of life that their patients seek.
With normal usage, teeth can sometimes begin to wear down. Even if a patient is careful to avoid biting on non-edible objects and chews carefully on tougher foods, he or she may have chipped teeth. Chipping can occur when there is an accident and a hard object makes contact with the patient’s mouth. Teeth can become chipped when the patient falls down. It can even happen when least expected, such as when a patient collides with someone else’s head.
If a tooth is chipped far enough down, it may reveal the inner part of the tooth, known as the dentin, leaving the nerve endings exposed to painful sensations. This can cause tooth sensitivity. Even a small chip, however, can alter the look of the patient’s smile, and cosmetic dentistry’s restoration treatment can restore that smile to its proper shape. This can be done through a process known as bonding.
A dentist applies a composite of resins to the patient’s tooth to fill in uneven or chipped spaces. This resin matches the natural color of the tooth so that it is restored to its proper shape without looking false. Bonding can also be used to close in the gaps between teeth if they are spaced too far apart. It is an effective way to avoid needing costly and time-consuming orthodontic treatments such as braces.
Another way to fix the look of a chipped tooth is with veneers. Unlike the bonding material, veneers are pre-shaped pieces of plastic or porcelain that are placed over the tooth. Patients with chipped teeth may also take advantage of this form of cosmetic dentistry to restore the shape of their teeth.
The dentist will take an impression of the tooth that needs veneers in order to make the shape of the veneer to the precise measurement of the patient’s tooth. Since veneers are cemented onto the tooth, the tooth itself may have to be buffed down a bit so that the extra layer of the veneer will not add too much bulk to the teeth. Veneers are sometimes preferred over bonding because they are stronger and less likely to discolor or to wear down.
One of the most popular services offered by cosmetic dentistry is bleaching. Teeth can become discolored over time due to many factors, such as smoking, drinking coffee or tea, or a general thinning of the enamel to expose the off-white dentin underneath. The first step towards a whiter smile is a professional cleaning, where all the plaque and tartar is removed from the teeth. To go a step further, the dentist applies a whitening solution that includes carbamide peroxide. The solution is subsequently set with a beam of high-energy light, such as LED or halogen. This accelerates the whitening action of the solution.
Patients with crooked teeth can choose to re-shape their smile with the help of cosmetic dentistry. Patients may opt for braces to straighten their teeth.
- A Woman’s Smile: Pixabay