How Does Cosmetic Dentistry Work?
There are many people who are unhappy with their appearance in the world today. Some peoples’ teeth may have been unattractive for their entire lives, whereas others’ teeth may have aged and slowly become unattractive. For these reasons, many people decide to look into cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry could be considered a dental facelift, changing someone’s appearance so that they look better and feel better about themselves. There are many techniques in cosmetic dentistry, from braces to porcelain veneers. More often than not, dentists use a combination of these techniques in order to achieve the best results.
The first method widely used in cosmetic dentistry is Porcelain Laminate Veneers (also known as veneers). These veneers are specially made porcelain wafers that can be places over teeth in order to enhance their appearance. Veneers can correct unappealing smiles, reverse the effects of aging, and whiten teeth. Many popular movie stars use veneers today in order to have that perfect smile. There are temporary and permanent veneers. People usually ware the temporary veneers while the permanent ones are being made. In terms of cost, veneers usually cost several thousand dollars, depending on the amount of teeth needing modification.
Teeth whitening is another very popular way to change the appearance of teeth. There are two types of whitening, in-office or at-home whitening. In-office whitening uses a high intensity light along with 35% hydrogen peroxide. The patient’s gums are protected, and the whitening process takes about an hour. The results are usually teeth that are four to six shades lighter than before. The at-home systems generally use between 10 and 20% carbamine peroxide. Impressions of the person’s mouth are made in order to make trays. The trays are then fitted and the patient is told to place a little bit of the carbamine peroxide gel in the tray and ware it while sleeping. The time of wearing this varies greatly from one week to six. Some people use a combination of in-office and at-home systems. This usually has a result of 12 to 15 shades of whitening.
There are three popular procedures to fix only a few unappealing teeth. The procedures for fixing select teeth are: tooth shaping, bonded-bridge, and resin or tooth colored fillings. Tooth shaping is when a doctor removes a very small amount of enamel from a tooth in order to shape it and make it more appealing. This is usually used for shortening long teeth, rounding off pointed teeth, or to simply make a smile follow the contour of the lower lip (which is more appealing). This procedure costs only $25 to $75 per tooth. The bonded-bridge procedure is used to replace missing teeth. The procedure usually involves taking out a small amount from teeth on either side of the missing tooth and then taking an impression or mold. From this, a bonded-bridge that can attach to the backs of the teeth on either side is made. There are resin-bonded bridges that do not fall out as easily, and there are metal bonded-bridges that are more expensive. Finally, people can get resin or tooth colored fillings. Resin is used to fill small cavities or a chipped front tooth. Resin instead of porcelain veneers saves money as well as time, but resin needs to be replaced every so often.
The final two things people can do in cosmetic dentistry are gum-lifts and braces. Gum-lifts remove gums in order to make teeth appear longer and eliminate a “gummy” smile. Uneven gum lines can make the teeth seem as though they are of different lengths that makes for an unattractive smile. The procedure is relatively quick and painless. Braces are the last, and most common, way to get cosmetic dentistry. Braces are placed on the teeth and can straighten crooked teeth, help fix over-bites, and generally create a more appealing smile. Braces are very time consuming, and costly, but are a great option for children. Some adults do get braces, but most opt for faster, cheaper methods. Braces run from $3,500 to $4,500, and require multiple visits to the orthodontist.
Cosmetic dentistry has been described as not a science but rather an art. Cosmetic dentists use many different procedures in order to improve their patients’ smiles and overall confidence. Some cosmetic dentistry procedures can be very costly, but yield great results. So, if someone has been unhappy with their smile for years, and does not know what to do, cosmetic dentistry may be the perfect option.