Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
If you are looking to improve the aesthetics of your smile, there are a number of cosmetic treatments your Dentist can provide to make sure you love your smile. Keep in mind, most dental insurance will not cover cosmetic procedures.
Using either an at-home whitening kit or having them professionally whitened at your dental office is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to improve your smile! Home whitening products like whitening toothpastes and whitening strips are very effective for patients that only need a little brightening. For those who need more intense whitening, most dental offices offer an in-office whitening treatment that takes about two hours.
For patients with more sensitive teeth, at-home whitening may be a better choice since the concentration of the whitening agent is lower and whitening is more gradual. You can purchase a whitening kit at most drugstores or possibly even at your dental office. Regardless of what type of whitening you do, there will be some dietary restrictions for you to follow while you whiten in order to achieve optimal results. For in-office, you will be instructed to avoid foods and beverages that could stain for 48-72 hours, anything that could stain a white shirt can stain your teeth.
Not everyone is a candidate for teeth whitening so it is important to discuss treatment with your Dentist before you begin, even an at-home treatment. Patients with grey colored stains, like tetracycline staining, will not benefit from standard whitening options but there are other options available for those patients.
Bonding is a great way to quickly repair chips and small gaps between teeth. Composite is also used to repair areas of decay so it is often associated with “fillings” when cavities are mentioned but bonding is very versatile and can even be used to fabricate veneers. Composite is a very strong material but it is not as durable as porcelain and is susceptible to chipping and staining just like natural teeth, so while it is a great way to quickly refresh your smile, it is not always a long-term fix for cosmetic purposes.
Veneers and crowns are a permanent solution as opposed to bonding and are much more durable and resistant to chipping and staining. Porcelain can easily last up to 20 years before it may need to be replaced, unless decay develops under the porcelain.
Veneers are very thin and do not require the loss of much tooth structure whereas crowns are thicker and need a bit more structure loss. Veneers only cover the front of the tooth and are only used on anterior teeth. Crowns cover the entire tooth and can be used anywhere in the mouth. Dental crowns are also used for large decay and also in case of fracture or root canal therapy.
A porcelain onlay is a restoration that is used to restore teeth with significant decay when composite would be insufficient.
Dental implants are used to replace one or more missing teeth. An Oral Surgeon places a titanium implant directly into your jawbone and then your Dentist places an implant crown or other implant prosthesis on the implant, giving you a beautiful, fully functioning smile!