People typically go to a cosmetic dentist to fix the flaws in teeth and improve the appearance of their mouth and smile in the process. Though a lot of the people who go may have serious problems with their teeth, many who have healthy teeth also visit cosmetic dentists for simple procedures like teeth whitening.
What patients should know about cosmetic dentists
To better understand what a cosmetic dentist is, it can help to take a look at some of the services that these professionals can provide patients:
People’s teeth may become stained or discolored over time due to aging, eating habits, partaking in drinks like coffee and wine as well as smoking. However, such stains or discoloration can be fixed by visiting a cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening. The dentist will bleach the patient’s teeth and restore them to their original whiteness by either using a bleaching agent to whiten the teeth in the office or by providing the patient with a mouthpiece tray to be used to whiten teeth at home.
Getting the teeth whitening done at the dentist’s office is generally quicker and more effective. However, the take-home tray allows patients to whiten teeth in the convenience of home, which is more appealing to some people who may not want to spend extra time in the dentist's chair.
These are wafer-thin porcelain shells that are used to cover up imperfections in the teeth and give the patient an improved smile. The shells are bonded over the surface of the teeth to change the color and shape. Veneers can be used to cover up gaps in the teeth, broken or chipped tooth, crooked teeth and yellow or stained teeth.
Before placing the veneers on a patient’s tooth, the cosmetic dentist will first make an impression of the tooth, then buff the tooth before cementing the veneers in place. Since the veneers are made in a dental laboratory, the application procedure will require multiple trips to the dentist.
This procedure is used by cosmetic dentists to improve the appearance of the teeth if there is excess space between them or if the patient has a broken or chipped tooth. Bonding is also used to improve the appearance of teeth that are stained or yellow.
The procedure, which is usually done in one visit, requires the cosmetic dentist to use bonding materials to fill small cavities and protect an exposed tooth. This is done by applying an etching solution as well as a tooth-colored material, usually composite resin, to the surface of the tooth and wherever needed.
These are also known as dental caps and are used to improve the appearance of teeth and to protect an exposed tooth from further damage or infection. Dentists shave off part of the damaged tooth and clean it out if there are exposed nerves or damage to the pulp, before covering the remaining part of the tooth with the dental cap.
Depending on the type of technology the dentist has, crowns can be made during the first visit. Otherwise, an impression of the patient’s teeth will be sent to a dental laboratory to make the crowns, which will require a second visit to place them on the teeth.
A cosmetic dentist can improve the appearance of the teeth by fixing various flaws. If you do not like the way your teeth look and want to improve your appearance, schedule an appointment to go over the treatment options.
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