Few things are more uniquely “you” than your smile. It’s your greeting to the world, giving everyone who sees it a brief preview of your personality, character, and style. While teeth are meant to last a lifetime, the fact is that their appearance can be marred over time by damage or discoloration. That’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. This is the branch of dental science that focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth and thus elevating your self-confidence and overall lifestyle.
Cosmetic dentistry can take many forms, all aimed at improving the appearance of the teeth and gums. Some of the more common procedures include the following:
- Reshaping involves reforming the teeth by removing some enamel to correct shape, length, or position. It’s generally a quick and easy fix to minor problems.
- Bonding involves reshaping the teeth by using a malleable material to replace a damaged portion or just change the overall shape. The material is hardened using a UV light. Bonding is also generally a relatively quick and easy procedure.
- Dental veneers are a bit more complex–the tooth is reshaped to accept thin porcelain or composite outer layer that restores or corrects the shape and color of the original.
- Dental implants replace a missing or damaged tooth with an artificial one, which when healed properly functions just like a natural tooth. This is one of the more complex cosmetic procedures, requiring several office visits.
- Whitening is perhaps the most common cosmetic dental procedure. Teeth can become discolored for several reasons, and whitening uses a chemical bleaching agent to restore their natural color and shine.
Cosmetic dentistry is about far more than vanity–cosmetic procedures can boost a patient’s self-esteem and quality of life. These procedures can also prevent future damage or further complications, saving time and money later on.