6 Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Cosmetic dentistry procedures refer to all dental work completed to improve the appearance of the patient’s teeth and to benefit their oral health. There’s a range of procedures that can be conducted and the choice of the most suitable one depends on the type of dental issue at hand.
However, these seemingly aesthetic problems actually go beyond appearance and more often than not, may affect the patient’s dental and overall health. Naturally, dental professionals advise regular checkups and early diagnostics that could prevent any more serious problems.
In the article below, you will find a list of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures performed to refine the patient’s teeth and, as a result, improve their looks and function.
1. Dental implants
Dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth and better a person’s smile and quality of life. A small screw is inserted into the jaw and it serves as a support for a dental crown. In time, the bone and the supporting tissue fuse to the implant and keep it secured in place. When finished and if performed by a professional pair of hands, the dental implant should be indistinguishable from the patient’s natural teeth that are surrounding it. Unlike a dental bridge, dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth.
Dental veneers are used as a solution for discoloured, deformed or crooked teeth. They are wafer-thin shells of porcelain or resin which are placed on a tooth which has previously been trimmed by about 1mm. Veneers are custom-made for each patient to ensure they resemble natural teeth and look as realistic as possible.
3. Dental crowns
Also referred to as caps, dental crowns are used to repair discoloured or deformed teeth. Unlike veneers that can help with some minor aesthetic issues, crowns can replace an entire damaged or decayed tooth, above the gum line. As such, it can restore shape, size, and the appearance of the tooth, blending with the remaining, natural teeth. Dental crowns can be made from ceramic, composite, acrylic, or porcelain, all depending on what the dentist feels is the best solution in the patient’s particular situation.
For more info regarding the difference between dental veneers and crowns, check out one of our previous blog posts.
4. Inlays and Onlays
Quite commonly called indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory and can be made from porcelain, gold or composite materials. They can be used for a tooth that is damaged by moderate decay, or for a tooth that does not have enough tooth structure to support the filling. If there is no damage to the tooth cusps, a dentist places an inlay onto the surface, and when a greater portion of the tooth is damaged, an onlay has to be used to cover the entire surface. Inlays and onlays are attached to the tooth with adhesive dental cement and provide the tooth with support and give it strength.
Whitening is one of the most commonly requested cosmetic services used to bleach the patient’s teeth. In some instances, whitening is performed to rid of plaque, tartar and debris from the surface of the teeth and thus restore their natural colour. Discolouration of the tooth occurs from food, certain beverages, medication, or as a result of certain individual habits, like smoking.
6. Composite bonding
In order to repair chipped, discoloured, or deformed teeth, a dentist may advise to undergoing a composite bonding procedure. First, the tooth is drilled to remove decay and place the composite on the remaining tooth surface, which is then hardened and bonded to the tooth base with UV or laser light. It is intended to cover the damaged tooth and substitute the missing parts, in that way blending with other natural teeth that are surrounding it.
As already stated, based on a patient’s specific case, the dental professional advises them which cosmetic procedure will best help with the issue in question. In some instances, more than one solution is possible and the patient can opt between the several options they are presented with. In any case, it is imperative to consult with the best dentist who collaborates with a reliable dental laboratory and in such a way to ensure the quality of the final result.