A smile enhancement doesn’t just brighten up your smile; it also makes you look more youthful and confident. Thanks to modern advances in the field of dentistry, cosmetic procedures that focus on smile enhancement range from simple colour correction and broken tooth repair to missing teeth replacement. Cosmetic dentistry has become more popular now than it was before, and dentists now have access to more modern tools and techniques used in perfecting the look of your smile.
Before you decide to undergo any cosmetic dental procedure, it’s important to know and understand the benefits, risks, and what to expect during the process. Make sure to go to a dentist you trust, who’s both experienced and qualified to perform the procedure you want. During the consultation with your dentist, ask all your questions especially regarding the costs and whether you’ll need any post-procedure maintenance or care.
If you’re interested in enhancing your smile via cosmetic dental treatment, the following are some of the common procedures and services involved.
If you have broken, chipped, cracked, discoloured teeth, or gaps in between teeth, bonding can help improve the look of your teeth. This typically involves your dentists applying an etching solution directly to the surface of the tooth that needs bonding. This is followed by the application of composite resins or tooth-coloured materials to fill small cavities or to protect the exposed root if a tooth. Bonding can last for several years, but over time, it is still prone to chipping, staining, and wearing down.
These days, braces not only benefit children and teenagers, but even adults. Braces apply pressure to the teeth and reposition them over the course of a few months or a few years, depending on the case.
Braces are applied for the following purposes:
• To correct jaw positioning and jaw joint disorders
• To improve the appearance of teeth that are crooked or crowded
• To improve irregular bite
When placing braces, your dentist will bond brackets made of ceramic, metal, or plastic to your teeth. These are followed by wires that go through the brackets, which help keep teeth in their correct positions. In some cases, lingual braces are attached to the backs of the teeth so they won’t be visible. The dentist tightens the braces once they’re attached. Every subsequent visit afterwards, the dentist will tighten the braces. Discomfort for a few days after tightening of braces is common. Regular dental and oral hygiene should be a constant even while wearing braces. After wearing braces, the next phase involves wearing retainers. Retainers help hold your teeth in their new correct position. They can either be removable or permanently bonded behind your teeth.
Aligners are an alternative to traditional braces. Unlike traditional braces, they’re clear, that’s why they’re also called invisible braces. And they can also be removed prior to eating, brushing, and flossing. Aligners are used for minor teeth spacing problems. The dentist reshapes and replaces them every two weeks to move your teeth progressively.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. They’re also called fixed partial dentures. Bridges are composed of alloys, gold, porcelain, or a combination. The dentist prepares your teeth for crowns and then anchors the bridge onto surrounding teeth. A false tooth is joined to the crowns and the bridge is cemented onto the teeth. Bridges last depending on the strength of its foundation. Maintaining regular dental and oral hygiene is a must if you want your bridge to last for a long time.
Crowns are also called caps. A crown completely covers a tooth and is used to restore its normal shape and appearance.
A crown can be applied for the following purposes:
• cover misshapen, discoloured, or stained tooth
• cover a dental implant, a tooth with a large filling, or a tooth that has undergone root canal procedure
• hold a dental bridge in place
• protect weak tooth
• restore broken, chipped, cracked, or worn tooth
Crowns are typically composed of ceramic, metal, resin, or porcelain fused to metal materials. Note that they are also usually costly, and many dentists only recommend them when other procedures don’t work for you. A dentist can fit you a crown within a single or two dental appointments. The dentist will first prepare the tooth that needs the crown, creates moulds of the tooth or takes a digital impression, and provides you with a temporary crown if your permanent crown needs to be made in a laboratory. Some dental offices can mill crowns within the day. Crowns can last decades especially if you consistently maintain proper dental and oral hygiene.
Implants are considered a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. They’re more permanent, stable, sturdier, and even more expensive than bridges and removable dentures. It involves a surgical procedure of attaching the implants into the jaw bone.
Implants are made of 3 parts: the titanium metal that fuses to the jawbone, the abutment that fits over the portion of the implant that sticks to the gums, and the crown, which provides the natural tooth-like appearance of the implants.
1. Getting implants involves several required steps:
2. Comprehensive exam, x-rays, and consultation with your dental surgeon
3. Surgical implantation of the titanium screws
4. Taking impressions of the lower and upper jaws
5. Creating a model for the crowns or dentures
6. Placement of the crown
7. Follow-up consultations
Veneers are custom-made shells used to repair teeth that are chipped, cracked, crooked, discoloured, poorly shaped, stained, worn, or have gaps in between. Veneers are composed of porcelain or plastic and cover the front sides of the teeth. They usually have a more superior appearance and last longer than bonding. They’re also less expensive than crowns. Veneers are made in a laboratory, so you’ll need two dental appointments to have them secured to your teeth.
Enamel shaping and contouring
Enamel shaping and contouring is a process that alters the length, position, or shape of the teeth to improve its overall appearance. It can correct chipped or irregular teeth, crooked or overlapping teeth, and minor bite problems. The process involves removing and contouring dental enamel and may also be combined with bonding. To be a suitable candidate for enamel shaping and contouring, you must have normal, healthy teeth with adequate bone between your teeth to support them.
Over time, teeth gets discoloured and stained especially due to smoking, consuming food and drinks that stain like coffee, tea, red wine, and some types of medications. Teeth whitening involve bleaching the exterior of your teeth which can be done in two ways. Your dentist can perform an in-clinic procedure, or simply provide you with a teeth whitening kit to use in the comfort of your own home. If you opt for an at-home whitening treatment, your dentist will make a custom mouthpiece tray to ensure that the right amount of whitening solution spreads to your teeth. At-home whitening treatment is usually more convenient, although whitening may take 2-4 weeks or longer depending on the strength of the peroxide used. In-clinic whitening usually takes only one or two 1-hour dental appointments. Keep in mind though, that the effects of teeth whitening aren’t permanent. Your teeth can become stained again if you continue to expose them to the same substances that cause staining and discoloration. Also, teeth whitening products aren’t used to clean teeth. You’ll still need to maintain oral and dental hygiene daily.
Our dental clinic Barnet offers cosmetic dentistry Barnet services. We also offer emergency dentist Finchley services and general dental treatments.