Cosmetic dentistry is a method of professional oral care that focuses on improving the appearance of your mouth, teeth and smile. And although cosmetic dentistry procedures are usually elective, rather than essential, some cases of treatment also provide restorative benefits.
The most common procedures used in cosmetic dentistry are fairly simple, whereas others are more complex and require specialised care.
Inlays and Onlays
These are known as indirect fillings, which are made by a dental laboratory, and they are used when a tooth has mild to moderate decay or there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling. Provided there is no damage to the tooth cusp the inlay is placed directly onto the tooth surface.
Composite bonding refers to the repair of decayed, damaged or discoloured tooth using material that resembles the colour of tooth enamel. Your dentist drills out the tooth decay and applies the composite onto the tooth’s surface, then “sculpts” it into the right shape before curing it with high intensity light. Also referred to as simply “bonding” this effectively covers the damage to the tooth and gives the appearance of a healthy tooth in its place. Bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures available to patients with tooth decay, chipped or cracked teeth and worn-down edges.
Typically manufactured from medical-grade ceramic, dental veneers are made individually for each patient to resemble one’s natural teeth. They look exceptionally realistic and can resolve numerous cosmetic problems, ranging from crooked teeth, to cracked or damaged enamel to noticeable gaps between two teeth. The dentist applies the veneer to the front of each tooth using a a dental adhesive.
One of the most basic cosmetic dentistry procedures, teeth whitening or teeth bleaching can be performed at your dental surgery. Whitening should occur after plaque, tartar and other debris are cleaned from the surface of each tooth, restoring their natural appearance. Teeth can also be bleached to achieve an even lighter shade than this original colour.
Dental implants are used to replace teeth after tooth loss. The dentist inserts a small titanium screw into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth,
which serves as a support for the crown. These implants are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding natural teeth, and once the bone and supporting tissue fuse to the implant, they are permanently secured into place.