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Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

In the world of dentistry there are two general categories: general and cosmetic. Within each of these categories are a number of specialties. You may notice that most of these specialized dentists provide services for both of these categories. Typically, dentistry is considered to be “cosmetic” when the primary function is to improve the appearance of the smile while addressing issues such as broken teeth and discoloration. There are a lot of different types of cosmetic dentistry with procedures that range from quick and easy to procedures that can take months to be complete.

Addressing Tooth Discoloration

One of the most common types of cosmetic dentistry procedures, tooth whitening can be done typically in one or two sessions in the dentist’s office. Extensive whitening may need more than a few sessions and will also require proper home maintenance during the process and after it is done. How well you follow the tips the dentist gives you will help to determine how long your teeth will stay bright and white.

Bonding and veneers can also be used to brighten a smile and may be used not only for deeply stained teeth but to address chipped or broken teeth at the same time. Bonding is the less expensive of the procedure and does not need to remove as much of your natural enamel. The dentist may address problems with chipped or broken teeth in one session and then apply the bonding in another.

Implants, Bridges, Crowns and Dentures

The cosmetic dentist has a number of procedures to choose from to help you address problems with broken or missing teeth. The choice may depend on the number of missing teeth and the condition of the remaining teeth as well as the health of the gum and underlying jawbone. There are pros and cons to all of these procedures and each has a different healing time. Implants can be used to replace one tooth or several teeth but can also be used as a more permanent solution to traditional dentures. The anchors are placed in the bone and are left to heal for several months. Once that process has completed the dentist will be able to affix dentures to the anchors. These have better fit and are more like natural teeth than regular dentures.

Periodontal Plastic Surgery

While definitely necessary for the overall health of your teeth and gums, periodontal plastic surgery also addresses the look of your smile. Swollen or receded gums that are bright red or bleeding are not attractive and can ruin the appearance of even the whitest teeth. Gum disease can progress to the point where you are losing teeth as well as gum tissue which can give your face a sunken appearance and cause other issues such as bad breath. Worst of all, ongoing gum disease can increase the risk of dangerous infections including one that affects the heart and can lead to death.

Before You Choose a Procedure

Any of the cosmetic dentistry procedures can carry some risks. It is important that you make your decision based on careful consideration and consultation with the dentist taking in to account the expense and the recovery time (if any). You also want to make sure that you are doing the most minimally invasive procedure to address your issue. You wouldn’t want to get full dentures for two missing teeth, for example.

Work with a dentist that you trust and actually listen to the tips you are given. Not only will you end up with a healthier mouth but a prettier and brighter smile as well – learn more about our cosmetic procedures! Curious about the costs of cosmetic dentistry?