Published: 07/20/2022

Cosmetic dentistry involves dental procedures that aim to improve the outer appearance of teeth. Some of these procedures also help enhance the dental as well as oral health of the patient. Procedures like teeth veneers, crowns, dental implants, etc. come under this category of dentistry. Teeth whitening is also a very common procedure in cosmetic dentistry used to enhance the colour of the teeth.

Cosmetic dental procedures help the patient feel good about themselves and helps them feel confident about their appearance. A good appearance can also enhance the performance of the patient at the workplace since candidates with a well-kept appearance have higher chances of promotion. Not only that, but certain cosmetic procedures can also make patients look younger, therefore, energetic and fresh.

Let us understand how cosmetic dentistry makes it possible.

1. Teeth whitening

This is perhaps the most common cosmetic dental procedure. The teeth can be discoloured and may lack brightness due to various reasons like alcohol consumption, coffee consumption, eating coloured foods, etc. Sometimes poor maintenance of oral health also leads to discoloration of teeth.

The patient can achieve a bright, lustrous smile with the help of this procedure and can attain a younger look. The procedure begins with the application of a whitening solution consisting of various bleaching agents. Hydrogen Peroxide is the most common bleaching and whitening agent used by dentists. This solution is left for a few minutes over the surface of teeth. Then it is activated using intense laser light. After the desired shade is achieved, the light is removed and the solution is washed off.

Patients can also opt for at-home teeth whitening procedures but they may not provide long-lasting results. On the other hand, in-office whitening treatments ensure that the results last for a longer duration and the patient experiences an enhanced appearance.

2. Veneers

Dental veneers are dental devices that can be used to fix a variety of cosmetic dental issues. They are thin ceramic shells made to resemble the natural appearance of the teeth and are usually applied on the surface of the outer teeth. These veneers are prepared with the help of a mould created based on the patient’s teeth.

 During the placement, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned and the surface of the teeth is made to promote the sticking of veneers to the surface. Dental cement is also used for this purpose. Then, ultraviolet light is shed on this cement to strengthen it. The procedure lasts for an hour or two.

Dental veneers are usually used to fix disproportionate, discoloured, or wrongly positioned teeth. By fixing these issues, dental veneers provide the patient with a healthy, youthful look.

3. Dental implants

Dental implants help replace a damaged tooth that is affecting the appearance of teeth. The dental implant procedure includes the replacement of the natural tooth roots with the help of metal-like screws upon which an artificial tooth is placed. Before the procedure, teeth X-rays are taken to examine the condition of the teeth. Then, the damaged tooth is removed using specialized dental types of equipment. The jaw bone is grafted and a metal implant is placed. Then, the jaw bone is left undisturbed for a few weeks to promote healing. Afterward, the dental abutment and artificial tooth are placed on top of the implant. The artificial tooth looks and functions similarly to the natural teeth and hence improves the appearance.

4. Dental bonding

Dental bonding is a procedure used for binding composite material to the teeth surface to improve its appearance. The procedure involves the matching of the composite material, usually resin, shade to the original colour of the teeth. This is done to make the composite material appear natural. Then, the teeth surface is roughened to promote the adhesion of the material. A conditioning liquid is also applied. Then, the resin material is applied to the teeth and the desired shape is given. Finally, it is hardened with the help of a light laser and polished to provide a beautiful appearance.

5. Invisalign

Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that reshapes the teeth into a pleasant shape. They are often consumed as a much preferable alternative for braces because they are almost invisible, as the name suggests, and can blend with the natural appearance of teeth.  

As usual, before the procedure, the teeth are thoroughly examined for any pre-existing harmful conditions, and an X-Ray is also taken. This X-Ray is used for preparing a mould required for the construction of Invisalign aligners. The teeth are fitted with small buttons to hold the aligners in place. They are painless and next to invisible. Then, the Invisalign is made to sit on these buttons while covering the surface of teeth. Patients are required to attend follow-up treatments to ensure proper fitting of Invisalign trays.

Within a few weeks, the patient will start observing the straightening of teeth and a positive change in appearance.

6. Enamel contouring

Enamel contouring is the reshaping of teeth into proper, straightened-out contours.  X-rays are taken and then an appropriate enamel contouring procedure is finalized. The procedure involves the removal of little pieces of enamel with the help of drills or sandpaper. These teeth are then polished. Polishing ensures that there are no rough edges on the teeth surface and that the contoured teeth blend with the natural appearance. The procedure is also painless since there are no nerve endings present in the enamel. The procedure ends within a span of thirty minutes and can correct minor imperfections of teeth within one visit.  Crooked teeth are straightened with the help of this procedure, giving the patient a fresh look.

7. Braces

Although time-consuming, braces are still a relevant procedure to maintain a beautiful image of the teeth. The procedure involves teeth examination and placement of brackets, arch wires, and orthodontic wires to ensure proper shaping of teeth. Braces ensure the teeth remain straightened and can correct any teeth are misaligned. Thus, they are prescribed by dentists to patients who want a beautiful, youthful smile.

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