Cosmetic Dental Procedure Guide

Are you happy with the appearance of your teeth? Maybe your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be, or that gap in them seems to be getting wider. Whatever your teeth problem may be, there is likely a simple cosmetic dentistry procedure that can fix it. Not sure if cosmetic dentistry is right for you? That may be because you are unaware of the wide range of procedures that can improve all aspects of your dental health.

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) offer helpful overviews of some common cosmetic dental procedures.

Bleaching – This is a popular procedure that whitens teeth. According to the AACD, although there are many at-home teeth whitening kits, it’s better to go to the dentist for this procedure if you want dramatic results. The organization states that your teeth can literally brighten up to 10 shades in about an hour when you get them whitened professionally.

BondingThe AGD states that bonding is tooth-colored material that is used to fill in gaps between the teeth. This is done in a dentist’s office, and can even be placed over the entire tooth to change its shape or color. Although this procedure requires only a single visit to the dentist, the results can last for years.

Implants – Dental implants are placed in the mouth to replace a lost tooth. When you lose a tooth, particularly one in the back of your mouth, you may feel as though it’s not important to replace it because no one can see it. However, there may be bone loss happening in the jaw where the tooth was, which can lead to some major dental health issues and may affect a person’s ability to eat or speak.

Veneers – These are thin pieces of plastic or porcelain that are placed over teeth to change their shape or color. Veneers help improve the appearance of teeth that are crooked, unevenly shaped, stained or chipped. While veneers treat the same problems as bonding does, this procedure is slightly more expensive. That’s because veneers last longer than bonding, and will retain their pearly white color for a longer amount of time.

Orthodontics – When you think of orthodontics, you probably imagine traditional braces, complete with wires and brackets and the pain and embarrassment that can come along with getting braces past your teenage years. However, if you want to straighten your teeth, there are modern and discrete options that can help align your pearly whites. For example, clear braces are a sequence of clear, removable trays that are placed over the teeth and worn for about 20 hours a day for two weeks before moving on to the next tray. In about six to 18 months, you’ll likely see serious improvement.

Still torn on which procedure is the right one for you? Talk to your dentist. He or she knows your teeth the best, and can make recommendations for what cosmetic procedures will benefit you the most. Ask your dentist what the changes will look like, what you should expect while having cosmetic dental work performed and what maintenance is required on your part following a procedure.

Also, the AGD recommends asking your cosmetic dentist for examples of before and after pictures to help you determine if a certain procedure will give you the smile you’ve been searching for.

Are you considering a cosmetic procedure? Let us know in the comments below!

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