Having the perfect smile is an important part of an individual’s self-esteem and these days, no one wants to be seen in a photograph that reveals a set of teeth and gums that are less than “photogenic.”
Enter the cosmetic dentist, a licensed professional who can practice traditional dentistry, but chooses to focus more on improving a person’s smile, and the appearance of the mouth and teeth.
The following are some of the many treatments that a cosmetic dentist may perform to help a person achieve that perfect smile:
1. Teeth Whitening
The first thing you notice in a person’s smile is usually the color of his teeth. Embarrassing smiles often result from teeth stains caused by food, drinks (tea, coffee or red wine), smoking or bad oral hygiene.
A cosmetic dentist may perform or recommend three teeth whitening methods.
a. Clinic Treatment
The patient is treated in the dentist’s clinic with a peroxide gel for bleaching effect. The peroxide stays on the teeth for 15 minutes to an hour. Patients with stubborn stains are advised to have one or two more sessions, or use a home bleaching system.
b. Professional Take-Home Kits System
For safer treatment and for a longer lasting whitening effect, a professional home-use kit is recommended. A lower strength peroxide gel is applied on customized mouth guards, and remains on the teeth for more than an hour or overnight.
c. Commercial Whitening Kits
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products have peroxide gels with a much lower concentration than the ones used in professional home system kits. The gel is placed on strips, trays or paint-on applicators. This teeth whitening procedure usually affects only a few of the front teeth resulting in an uneven shade of white.
2. Dental Fillings
The conventional dental fillings like gold and amalgam that are used to cover damaged surfaces of the teeth usually leave uneven dark spots. Modern fillings such as porcelain and composite fillings can be formulated to imitate a patient’s natural tooth color.
3. Inlays or Onlays
While dental fillings are shaped and molded in the clinic to fit the cavity of a damaged tooth, inlays or onlays (also called indirect fillings) are created in a dental laboratory prior to doing the restorative treatment.
Customized to match a patient’s teeth color, indirect fillings provide superior fit, long-term resistance to discoloration, strength and stability, and protects weak areas of the teeth.
4. Composite Bonding
A type of dental bonding, composite bonding uses composite dental materials that are the same color as human tooth. The materials are attached to the damaged teeth with the use of an adhesive, a bonding agent, and extremely focused curing light. Prior to hardening, the composite material is sculpted according to the normal shape of the teeth to create a natural-looking smile.
One should never hesitate to visit a cosmetic dentist if one sees or feels something wrong with teeth. The world can seem brighter and happier when a person has no worries about their smile.