They say, “You are never fully dressed without a smile.” From subtle changes to major repairs, your cosmetic dentist can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. Are you self-conscious about your smile? A healthy smile contributes more than just beauty; it is a vital component of good overall health. Every day, dental patients ask us about options for improving the health and appearance of their smile. Here is a guide to the top 10 dental procedures:
1. Dental Fillings: A dental filling repairs a hole or cavity in a tooth caused by tooth decay. While most people find metal fillings unattractive, dentists can now fill your teeth with composite fillings, which come in natural white shades that blend with the color of your teeth and are not noticeable when you talk, smile or laugh.
2. Teeth Whitening or bleaching: While over-the-counter tooth whitening products are available, dentist-supervised tooth whitening remains the safest, most effective method for brightening your smile. Professional whitening gel often reduces or eliminates tooth stains and discoloration that occurs over time.
3. Porcelain Veneers: A dental veneer is a thin layer of porcelain applied to the face of a tooth. Veneers allow dentists to change the color size and shape of teeth for a more aesthetic smile. Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for people with tooth discoloration or heavy stains that do not lighten with professional tooth whitening.
4. Crowns: A crown is used to cover or “cap” a damaged tooth starting at the gum line. In addition to strengthening the damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve the tooth’s appearance, shape or alignment.
5. Dental Bonding: Dental Bonding is the application of white tooth colored filling material to the surface of a tooth. Bonding is similar to veneers in that it allows the dentist to change the shape size and color of a tooth. Bonding is typically less expensive than porcelain veneers but does not last as long.
6. Invisalign: Invisalign is a simple and convenient way to straighten your teeth. Clear, thin Invisalign trays straighten teeth and correct your bite. Unlike metal braces, almost no one else can tell you are wearing Invisalign. Straightening crooked teeth with Invisalign is more comfortable, more convenient, less expensive and usually faster than traditional metal braces.
7. Dental Implants: Dental implants are an excellent example of the benefits of new dental technology, and are often an ideal solution for replacing missing teeth. A dental implant serves as a tooth root and anchors a replacement tooth, bridge or denture to your jaw. When dental implants are restored with porcelain crowns, they look and feel like natural teeth.
8. Dental Bridge: A dental bridge is also called a fixed partial denture and may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. A fixed partial denture can be placed at the location of a missing tooth and is connected by crowning adjacent teeth. Bridges are sometimes better alternatives to removable partial dentures for comfort, as well as aesthetic appeal.
9. Tooth Contouring: Tooth reshaping or dental contouring can be used to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth. Contouring can also help adjust the length, shape or position of your teeth.
10. Gum Surgery: The amount of visible gum tissue can be altered to improve the appearance of your smile. Sometimes gums recede with age or as a result of gum or periodontal disease. Gum recession can create the appearance of unnaturally long teeth. Gingival grafts can add gum tissue to reduce that “long in the tooth” look. Gum contouring is also used to create a symmetrical, or even, gum line.
To learn more about different dental procedures, call the office of Dedicated Dental at (702) 566-5509 to request an appointment.