Your smile is your greeting to the world, sending the right message in any language or any culture. While a smile would ideally last a lifetime, sometimes life itself has other plans and accidents occur. Time can also take a toll, leading to damaged, discolored, or poorly aligned teeth. When that happens, it can have a number of negative effects on the patient’s self-esteem, smile, or daily life. Fortunately in many cases a cosmetic dentist can offer solutions which can restore your smile and ability to eat and speak normally. But what does a cosmetic dentist do, exactly, and when should you see one? Let’s go over how this works and what procedures a cosmetic dentist most commonly performs.
Cosmetic dentistry is the branch of oral health which focuses on restoring the appearance of your mouth, teeth, or smile. Contrary to what many people think, cosmetic dental procedures are not always about vanity. A healthy-looking smile offers all sorts of benefits in daily life, allowing the patient to live normally and with confidence. While many different cosmetic dental procedures exist, it’s helpful to be familiar with some of the more common ones. These may include the following:
- Dental veneers are cosmetic coverings applied to the front of a natural tooth. Also known as indirect fillings, these are as the name suggests porcelain veneers placed on the front of a tooth in order to repair decay or cosmetic damage. While not as strong as a natural tooth or implant, they provide a lifetime of use if properly cared for.
- Inlays and Onlays are more substantial coverings used to repair a decayed or damaged tooth if the root is still intact. Also known as indirect fillings, these are used to cover part or all of a tooth and help restore normal appearance and function.
- Composite Bonding is the use of filler material to replace part of a damaged tooth. The dentist shapes and colors the material to match the existing teeth and then attaches it to the damaged area. This is one of the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedures and gives the tooth a normal appearance and function.
- Teeth Whitening is just what it sounds like, restoring the brightness and shine of a discolored or damaged tooth. One of the most basic cosmetic procedures, this involves cleaning the teeth to remove plaque and debris and then perhaps using a chemical whitening agent to restore their shine.
- Dental Implants are one of the more involved cosmetic procedures. They come in many forms but in essence they involve crafting and installing prosthetic teeth to replace lost or missing natural teeth. This allows the patient to regain a normal range of activity despite a missing tooth.
Different types of cosmetic procedures require different preparation and aftercare, so your dentist will explain in full what’s going to happen before, during, and after your procedure. While emergencies happen, it’s important to remember that most cosmetic procedures are routine and many involve minimal discomfort for the patient.
At Queen City Dental Arts, we believe a healthy and attractive smile should last a lifetime. We approach cosmetic dentistry the same way we do everything else–with a focus on the individual patient and their unique needs. Whatever your dental needs, get in touch today and we’ll make an appointment as soon as possible.