When someone wants to improve the appearance of their smile, a cosmetic dentist may recommend one of a number of treatment options. Cosmetic dentistry consists of procedures that fix minor problems with the teeth, gums, or bite. Some reasons for treatment include crooked, stained, or misshapen teeth; jaw misalignment; or a gummy smile.
Types of cosmetic treatment options
The type of treatment a cosmetic dentist recommends will vary depending on the patient’s issues, goals, and budget.
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular treatments. This procedure is relatively quick, and it is the least expensive of the options. Whitening helps brighten yellowed or stained teeth and, depending on the method, the results can last for months or even a year.
People who have crooked teeth may choose to straighten them using some type of braces, and there are numerous options from which to choose. Traditional braces are made with metal, but there are also clear-colored ceramic braces and clear aligners that are taken out for eating and teeth cleaning. The straightening of teeth can take anywhere from six months to two or three years, based on the severity of the misalignment of the teeth.
Typically made from porcelain, veneers are used to cover chipped or yellowed teeth, and they can also cover up gaps or change the shape and size of teeth. To apply, the dentist files down the enamel of the affected teeth and then places a thin veneer over each one. The result is natural-looking teeth, and veneers typically last 10 to 20 years. However, this procedure is irreversible because of the enamel removal.
Bonding has similar results as veneers, but it is more affordable, and the process does not require the removal of much enamel. The cosmetic dentist uses a putty-like resin that closely matches the surrounding natural teeth. The surface of the tooth is roughened so the material easily sticks to the surface. The dentist applies the resin, hardens it with a laser, and polishes it. Bonding does not last as long as veneers, and it is not quite as natural-looking.
A dental implant is used to replace a missing or severely damaged tooth and is an alternative to a bridge or dentures. The advantages of implants are that they look and function like natural teeth and are stable. A titanium rod is inserted into the jawbone, and then a tooth-colored crown is placed on top. The procedure requires multiple appointments, and completion may take up to 6 to 12 months. This treatment is an option when one tooth or multiple teeth need to be replaced.
Self-confidence can have a lot to do with one’s smile. When someone is unhappy with the teeth or gums, a cosmetic dentist may recommend a variety of treatments to improve appearance. All have advantages and disadvantages, so discuss what is a good option for your situation.
Request an appointment or call GDC Smiles at 770-504-5725 for an appointment in our Gainesville office.
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