Cosmetic dentistry has gained significant popularity over the years, with more people putting extra effort into improving the appearance of their teeth, mouth and smile. A smile is viewed to be an essential social asset. And while cosmetic dentistry is more of an elective procedure than an essential one, most people find it well worth the investment. Here’s an outline of some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments available.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser teeth whitening, also known as teeth bleaching, is the most basic cosmetic dentistry procedure. The relatively low cost involved in the procedure and ease of access is what makes teeth whitening a popular dental procedure. Teeth whitening can be carried out in-office or at your own home. The procedure involves the whitening or brightening of your teeth, minimising the appearance of staining and discolouration.
Laser teeth whitening uses highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide and a zoom light to whiten the teeth and improve their appearance. However, laser teeth whitening may not be suitable for everyone and should only be performed by a qualified dentist after a thorough examination.
Dental veneers are thin, customised shells used to cover the front surface of your teeth. They’re ideal for individuals with uneven teeth alignment, worn out enamel, or cracked or discoloured teeth. Dental veneers, unlike teeth whitening, are an invasive dental treatment. Choosing this procedure will mean your natural teeth will be permanently altered.
Dental Composite Bonding
Composite bonding is another popular dental cosmetic procedure. It involves repairing discoloured, damaged or decayed teeth using dental composite materials that resemble natural teeth.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are used to treat teeth that have moderate decay, or teeth with an insufficient structure for a filling. Popularly known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are made in a dental laboratory using materials such as porcelain, gold and other composite substances. When the materials are centrally bonded to a tooth, the filling is referred to as an inlay. When the material is being bonded to more than one point of the tooth surface, the filling is referred to as an onlay. Inlays and onlays are excellent for strengthening weak teeth, preventing further tooth decay, and restoring the shape of your teeth.
Commonly known as caps, dental crowns are used to preserve and restore the functionality of a damaged tooth. They’re customised to fit over the damaged teeth above the gumline. Made from gold or porcelain, dental crowns are used to hold a damaged tooth and keep it from breaking. Caps can be used in cosmetic dentistry to treat discoloured, decayed and cracked teeth.
Dental implants use natural tooth-like implants to provide strength and durability to your dental framework and replace missing teeth. Your dentist will surgically implant an artificial root into your jaw. An artificial crown is then attached to the implanted root to act as a replacement for your natural tooth. This procedure offers a solution for tooth loss that’s permanent.