Cosmetic Dentistry - Improve Your Mouth, Smile & Teeth at 123 Dental
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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is continually gaining popularity due to the widespread media coverage and social trends. While traditional dentistry relies on the basic tenet of oral hygiene through prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral complications, cosmetic dentistry is now a professional form of oral care focused on improving the aesthetic qualities of the mouth, smile, as well as teeth. Such improvements are justified because a person’s smile is the initial thing people notice about any face and a person’s appearance has the potential to determine success or failure in the competitive contemporary society.

Consequently, enhancing one’s smile can profoundly improve one’s overall appearance, open opportunities, and potentially boost self-esteem and confidence. Further, even though cosmetic dentistry is classified as an elective as opposed to a medically essential procedure, there are cases where such treatment confers therapeutic benefits.

dentist viewing results with patient

The array of procedures in cosmetic dentistry is diverse ranging from simple to complex procedures that need specialised care. The technological and knowledge advancements in the dentistry field have allowed people to perform different alterations such as colour correction, replacing missing teeth, and others. Dentists also now seek to use more conservative techniques to ensure that they leave as much of the natural tooth as intact as possible. In the past, some procedures had side effects. For example, some fillings left dark blemishes on teeth.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Step 1 – Prepping the Teeth

Do you have chipped or crooked teeth? Or perhaps you have tried so many DIY teeth whitening products, but your teeth are so stubborn that they do not stay white. Here’s the solution to your problem: veneers. These thin shells are made using either porcelain or resin composite and designed to resemble natural human teeth.

Veneers are a conservative approach to altering the shape and colour of the teeth by coating the front surface of teeth. They are bonded to the teeth’s surface with a special adhesive. You can have one or more veneers depending on your needs and budget. You also have the option to get a full or partial veneer. Typically, veneers are recommended for people with gaps in their teeth and those with unsuccessful teeth whitening.

Usually, chipped, decayed, or discolored teeth can be corrected using a procedure known as composite bonding. The process is among the most affordable procedures that can be used to mitigate tooth decay, worn down edges, or chipped teeth. The primary material used in the procedure to restore the integrity of the teeth has a close semblance to the natural colour of tooth enamel.

In the procedure, the dentist will typically drill out areas where the teeth show decay and apply composite on the surface of the area of interest before sculpting and contouring the material into the ideal shape. Subsequently, the dentist then hardens the material using a high-intensity light. The product is a tooth that blends meticulously with the surrounding teeth. The procedure thus covers the damage of the tooth and gives the tooth a healthy appearance.

Example of dental implants

When your dentist tells you that a tooth or multiple teeth are beyond repair, a crown may be the best treatment for you. Crowns are among the most common and well-known of all types of dental restorations. Crowns follow the shape of teeth and are usually placed over damaged or weak teeth to enhance the appearance, strength, size, and shape of the teeth. They are similar to veneers, but there are distinctions between the two. Click here to know the difference.

On average, crowns last from five to 15 years, depending on maintenance and the health of the teeth. Dental crowns are often crafted using various materials, including ceramic, metal, and resin. The procedure begins by filling the problem tooth and sealing it with a crown to protect the area from the rest of the mouth.

Inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, are a form of dental restoration. They are often considered the less drastic version of full-coverage crowns. Inlays and onlays use porcelain or composite to fill damaged or decayed teeth.

You require an inlay restoration when the material should be bonded at the centre of the tooth. If there is significant damage, an onlay may be needed to treat one or more tooth cusps. In some cases, the entire biting surface is treated in an onlay restoration.

Inlays and onlays are similar to fillings, but the big difference is that they are not moulded directly on the teeth. They are first developed in a dental lab. They will then be fitted and bonded by your dentist.

Having a better smile is not impossible. Many treatments are available, including enamel shaping, which is a quick and painless process that can enhance the appearance of teeth. The procedure is also known as enamel recontouring, enameloplasty, odontoplasty, or stripping. It is ideal for correcting certain imperfections, including uneven and chipped teeth. Results are usually instantaneous, and you can also combine enamel shaping with bonding, veneers, or whitening.

Although enamel recontouring is a cosmetic procedure, it can also improve your overall dental health. It helps remove spaces and overlaps between your teeth where plaque can accumulate and turn into tartar. Not everyone is a good candidate for enamel shaping. It’s best for people with minimal dental issues and should not be used as a substitute for veneers, fillings, or crowns.

Are you scared to smile because your gums are too high, making you look like you have long teeth? Or is it because your gums are too low, and they make your teeth appear small? Whichever your case is, gum contouring or gingival sculpting may be the solution to your problem.

Gum contouring is a procedure that reshapes the gumline to change how the gums, teeth, and smile look. Dentists utilise lasers, radiosurgery, and scalpels to perform the treatment, which takes up to two hours.

Gum contouring is mainly done for cosmetic purposes. Still, it can also be for your oral health, especially if you have gum disease. Our gums play a crucial role in our oral health. When you frequently avoid brushing and flossing, the gums and gum line will show signs of poor hygiene.

patient after teeth whitening treatment

Apart from straight teeth, the perfect smile consists of pearly whites. Most people desire to have that Hollywood smile, but it seems impossible due to poor hygiene and food choices. Are your teeth stained due to coffee, red wine, or smoking? Perhaps you have tried DIY kits and whitening toothpaste before but to no avail. With in-office bleaching here at 123 Dental, you can have whiter teeth safely and effectively.

We use a whitening product that can be applied directly to your teeth and combined with special laser light. You can have whiter teeth in under an hour. Depending on the condition of your teeth, you can reach up to eight shades lighter. However, most patients require two or more sessions to reach the desired shade.

Teeth whitening is available in our clinic or as take-home kits.

Dental implant illustration

Dental implants are ideal for people who lost their tooth (or teeth) due to trauma or gum disease. Since adult or permanent teeth do not grow back, you can have dental implants to replace missing teeth.

The implant is similar to a crew and is made of titanium that works the same way as an artificial tooth root. A small piece or abutment is attached to the implant. Then, a crown is fitted or attached to the abutment. These three parts work together as the solution to your tooth loss issue.

Dental implants may be similar to dentures, but they are much better options in preventing jawbone loss. Suppose you have one or more missing teeth with healthy oral tissues and no health conditions that may hinder bone healing. In that case, you are a good candidate for dental implants.

Do you have unrestorable teeth? We can create a treatment plan that meets your needs, insurance, and budget. A full mouth reconstruction is customised based on your requirements. It includes a wide variety of procedures, including implants, crowns, dentures, veneers, bridges, and inlays and onlays. Some patients may require rebuilding of the jaws.

The treatment plan can vary vastly from one patient to the next. However, the result is mostly the same: a fully restored smile that will make you feel happier and more confident. For us to determine if you are a good candidate for full mouth reconstruction, we consider your routine treatment and problems, such as muscles, teeth, bite, and bone structure.

The reconstruction will depend on your goal, such as restoring your chewing ability, improving your oral and overall health, or enhancing your personal appearance.

Considerations to Make

It is imperative to be cautious when one needs to have a procedure done. It is vital to select a dentist of good reputation to take you through any procedure. One of the ideal ways to find a reliable dentist is through referrals. Also, if one does not have referrals, it is always recommended to assess how long a dentist has been practising. Frequently, well-established and long-running practices are highly reliable.

What to Expect

The initial meeting is an opportunity for the dentist to delve into details about the procedure of choice and to listen to the client’s views. At this point, the dentist also divulges the possible realistic expectations of treatment. A thorough inspection is also done to determine how the procedure is to be done.

Most importantly, if you are not sure about the ideal procedure for you to improve your smile, then it is advisable to consult a dentist for comprehensive advice.

Our Dental Team Can Help You Get Your Perfect Smile!

Get in touch today to start your journey!

FAQ’s

Which Cosmetic Dental Treatment Should I Seek to Conceal Teeth Flaws?

Covering imperfections of teeth is best done with veneers. Dental veneers can hide blemishes or flaws on your teeth, including broken or chipped teeth. These two problems are quite common, particularly in areas where teeth experience constant wear and tear. As you get older, your tooth enamel weakens, usually due to daily wear and tear, such as when you often bite down on hard pieces of food.

On the other hand, a broken tooth is typically caused by a trauma like heavy blows to the mouth because of sports or vehicular accident. Other imperfections that cosmetic dental veneers can hide are tooth stains or discolouration, gaps, and even crookedness.

How Painful is Composite Bonding?

Pain and discomfort can occur depending on the tooth or teeth that require composite bonding. However, the pain you feel should still be tolerable. It is often pain-free because the dentist is merely working on your teeth’s surface. This part of the teeth is not sensitive. Many patients, though, complain about sensitivity and pain, which is mainly due to gum or tooth decay.

Tolerance depends from person to person. If you have additional dental work done, you could feel more pain and sensitivity in the treated areas. If you are worried about the pain, the dentist can make the tooth and gum numb with a local anaesthetic before the procedure.

How Do I Care for My Veneers to Make Them Last Longer?

Dental veneers can last about ten years. But proper care, it is possible to make them last longer – even up to 20 years. One of the most important things you need to do is stop treating your teeth as tools for opening and even chewing fingernails and pen caps. If you are still smoking and drinking dark coloured beverages, it’s time to give them up. Tea, wine, coffee, red sauces, and even berries are known offenders that can stain your teeth.

Other hygiene habits to continue are flossing daily, wearing a mouthguard, and brushing teeth at least twice a day.

Are There Any Side Effects Associated with Veneers?

After the placement of veneers, you could feel mild discomfort or even sensitivity. However, it should subside in a few days. The procedure requires you to preserve your new enamel for as long as possible, which means you need to avoid very hot and very cold food and drink. You should also stop eating anything hard, chewy, or crunchy. Being on veneers does not mean you should completely avoid your favourite foods, but making smart choices is certainly required – at least for the next week or so.

Other side effects include colour irregularities, gum tissue inflammation or discomfort, and teeth placement issues. Make sure you talk with your dentist if you notice any side effects.

What If I Chip My Crown? Is It Possible to Repair It?

We highly recommend that you take care of your dental crown. But accidents can happen that can lead to a broken or chipped crown. The good news is that it’s not impossible to fix. As soon as you see that the crown is chipped, you should first examine the area. See if there are missing pieces. If your crown is loose, you should immediately call your dentist to know what to do next.

Never pull the crown off unless your dentist tells you to do so. It is a very rare case where removing the crown yourself is necessary. However, it can happen if there is a possibility that you could swallow it accidentally.

Are Crowns and Veneers the Same?

Crowns and veneers are both used to make-over your smile and strengthen your teeth. It’s why some people confuse these two procedures. But they have distinct differences, which you should know about if you can’t make up your mind which treatment suits you.

A crown encases the whole tooth while a veneer is placed on the front surface only. They have similar results, but veneers are more about giving cosmetic benefits to beautify the look of a stained or chipped tooth. Meanwhile, a crown is a procedure that truly restores teeth. For a more in-depth answer, please read our blog post here.

Should I Get a Dental Implant or a Bridge?

The answer depends on the state of your teeth, your goal, and your actual needs. A dental bridge is less durable, which means that an implant can outlast it very easily. In fact, implants can stay with you for as long as your entire lifetime, but make sure you take good care of your new teeth.

As for a bridge, it can take about 10 years before you might need a new bridge. Implants also help keep your jaws strong, and your bone stays healthy, as well. Best of all, an implant mimics the look, feel, and function of your real teeth. Bridges, however, are less invasive and more affordable than implants.

How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?

The duration of the entire procedure depends on the patients, particularly the condition of their gum. Everything is assessed thoroughly before starting the implant procedure. The actual placement can take anywhere from one to two hours and usually take three to five appointments. It varies on the complexity of the teeth and the number that needed replacement.

Your 123 Dental professional will talk to you about your wants. Then, we will formulate the most suitable dental implant plan for your case.