Cosmetic Dentistry Overview

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Cosmetic dentistry is devoted to enhancing a client's smile through various procedures, including teeth whitening, bonding, teeth straightening, dental crowns, porcelain veneers, and, in some cases dental bridges and dentures. Thanks in part to the technological advances of the late 20th Century, it's now easier than ever for people to develop a more attractive smile through cosmetic dentistry. And while cosmetic dental surgery typically isn't covered by health insurance, it is more affordable than ever.

Cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of methods for improving one's smile, from simple whitening techniques to more complex cosmetic dental surgery procedures that involve applying veneers, straightening the teeth, or bonding them to repair flaws and enhance the overall appearance of the mouth.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is designed to remove coffee, cigarette, and other stains from a client's otherwise healthy teeth. Teeth bleaching is the most common whitening procedure. For in-office teeth whitening, the cosmetic dentist makes a mouthpiece, similar to an athletic mouthguard, that precisely matches the client's teeth to ensure that the whitening solution is applied to the client's teeth uniformly and in the desired dose.

Once the mouthpiece is created, a gel is placed in it, and the client wears it for a dentist-specified period of time, which can range from twenty minutes to overnight. Some clients undergo repeated bleaching procedures in the dentist's office, while others can bleach their teeth at home once they've been fitted for the mouthpiece.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are wafer-thin pieces of porcelain that a cosmetic dentist adheres directly to a client's teeth to cover chips in or gaps between teeth and/or to lengthen or reshape the fronts of individual teeth. This treatment is especially popular among Beverly Hills cosmetic dentistry patients.

To start, the cosmetic dentist removes a thin layer of the existing tooth to make room for the veneer, and then he or she makes an impression of the client's teeth so the porcelain veneer can be sculpted to fit. Once a veneer is created, the dentist applies it to the tooth, checks its fit and appearance, and requests adjustments as needed. Finally, the dentist bonds the veneer to the client's tooth. Veneers aren't permanent, but they can last 10 to 20 years with proper care.

Teeth Straightening

Teeth straightening is a form of accelerated orthodontics that uses standard metal braces or new invisible braces to realign a client's teeth. Invisible braces are more common options for adults who decide to have a teeth straightening procedure. 

With invisible braces, the cosmetic dentist makes an impression of the client's teeth, and then scans the impression into a computer to devise a plan for repositioning the teeth. Computer software then helps the dentist create an invisible aligner (customized braces) that can be snapped onto the client's teeth. The aligner is designed to move the teeth into a new position, so it's not a perfect fit for the client's teeth at first. As the teeth move into their new position, the aligner will loosen, and the dentist will create and apply new aligners as needed until the teeth are in their final, desired positions. The aligner is easily removed and replaced, allowing the client to take it off to eat, brush, and floss.

Teeth Bonding

Teeth bonding is a procedure to correct gaps, chips, or other flaws in a client's teeth. The cosmetic dentist abrades the existing tooth and applies a coat of conditioning liquid to aid the final adhesion, then creates a composite resin that matches the color of the client's teeth. The dentist then applies the resin to the abraded tooth and shapes it into the desired form, matching it with the unaffected teeth. Once the bond dries, the cosmetic dentist performs any necessary touch-ups.

It's important to note that cosmetic dentistry procedures can only do so much. They can't create an entirely new mouth or magically reshape a client's face. Speaking with a qualified, board-certified cosmetic dentist about your desired look is critical in helping you to develop realistic goals for the results of your cosmetic dental surgery procedure, such as your porcelain veneers or dental implants Chicago treatment. By making the decision to undergo cosmetic dentistry, though, you'll be taking a strong first step toward improving your smile and, with it, your appearance and self-confidence.

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