A Complete Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry

HomeDentalA Complete Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry

Although visiting your dentist regularly is recommended for good oral health, it does not necessarily guarantee the appearance of your smile. For you to achieve your dream smile – from the colour and shape of your teeth to getting implants, crowns, or more – you should visit a cosmetic dentist.

Cosmetic dentists work to improve the beauty of your smile with treatments and procedures that alter the alignment of your teeth, whiten your teeth, add materials to your teeth, and anything else that is not medically essential but is of aesthetic value.

Read on to learn more about this field of cosmetic dentistry in Geelong and how you may benefit from it if you wish to brighten your smile.

Types of cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic dental procedures are extensive and they change and improve according to trends and science. Some of the common cosmetic dental treatments you may have heard of are scaling, reshaping, and straightening. Other treatments you may not have heard of – especially if you are new to the world of cosmetic dentistry – include:

  • Inlays and onlays: These are used to fill a tooth that is too decayed or damaged to support a direct restoration such as amalgam or composite. Inlays only fill the area between the cusps of your tooth, whereas onlays cover the cusps of your tooth. They are made from porcelain or composite material in a lab to fit the exact size and shape of the space it is going to fill. Once crafted, they are bonded to your tooth.
  • Dental crowns: These are also referred to as caps because it is a tooth-shaped “cap” that covers your tooth to restore its natural appearance. This is usually done to protect a weak tooth from extreme decay or fracture, to repair a broken or chipped tooth, and to support a tooth with a large filling but insufficient natural tooth to hold the filling firmly. Dental crowns are made out of different materials – each with its own benefits and price range. The most common ones are made out of porcelain as they mimic the look of real teeth and are undetectable to others.
  • Dental veneers: These are similar to dental crowns; however, dental veneers only cover the front of your tooth. They are often custom-made from porcelain or resin composite and based on a mold of your teeth. Just like dental crowns, dental veneers are used to conceal chipped or broken teeth, discoloured or stained teeth, teeth with wide gaps, and misaligned teeth.
  • Dental bonding: Also known as composite bonding, it is the process by which a dental material known as composite resin (tooth-colored resin) is shaped and molded over your teeth and “bonded” to your tooth using a specific light. It is one of the easiest and most affordable cosmetic dental treatments and is mainly done to treat minor chipped teeth, gaps, and discolouration in fillings and teeth.
  • Teeth whitening: This is the most sought-after cosmetic dental treatment, especially after celebrities made it popular. It is a straightforward and non-invasive procedure that can dramatically enhance the appearance of your smile.

Generally, cosmetic dental treatments are simple and only need a few hours of your time at the dental office. However, some procedures such as cosmetic dental surgery can be extensive and intricate. Cosmetic dental procedures of this nature usually require local anesthesia and a longer recovery period, like those for:

  • Dental bridges: They are commonly referred to as partials and are used to fill the gap left by missing teeth by featuring two or more crowns. Dental bridges are made of alloy, porcelain, gold, or a combination and are permanent, thus, they can only be removed by a dentist.
  • Dental implants: This surgical procedure involves drilling into your gums and implanting a fake titanium root into your jawbone to provide sturdy support for a permanent artificial tooth or teeth. It is often considered the ideal way to replace the missing tooth or teeth. Alternatively, you may consider dentures – especially if there is significant damage.
  • Full mouth reconstruction: This procedure is designed to improve not only the aesthetics of your smile but also the function of your jaw, and its supporting structures. Your bite, muscles, and bone structure are examined, and corrective procedures are prescribed accordingly.

Braces, Invisalign, and other types of Geelong orthodontics or prosthodontics treatment may also be considered a form of cosmetic dentistry. However, in some situations, this sort of dental work may be essential to improve the basic functions of your teeth.

The benefits of cosmetic dentistry

Essentially, cosmetic dentistry is mainly utilised for aesthetic purposes, which can help increase one’s self-esteem and confidence. Cosmetic dentistry can also offer the following benefits:

  • Help prevent future dental issues as some cosmetic dental treatments, such as dental veneers and dental crowns, not only enhance the appearance of your teeth but also strengthen and protect it.
  • Stimulates your appetite since chipped and cracked teeth usually hurt when eating, causing you to lose your appetite. By being able to treat this issue, you can resume eating normally without discomfort and pain.
  • When teeth are misaligned, they can cause headaches. Cosmetic dentistry can relieve this problem with treatments tailored to this specific issue.

Choosing the best cosmetic dentist for your needs

A cosmetic dentist may conduct all of the previously stated treatments or they may specialise in certain areas of cosmetic dentistry or types of cosmetic dental surgery. Hence, it is important to research thoroughly before making a choice.

Gauge the cosmetic dentists’ competence by examining their portfolios and any before and after photos of previous clients. Determine if you like these results and whether they fit your objectives. It also helps if you can bring along a list of questions, photo samples of your preferred smile, and any other relevant background research that you have done when you consult with a cosmetic dentist.

Most importantly, make sure to check the dentist’s credentials. This guarantees that they have received extensive training in cosmetic dental restorations – it will also assure you that you will be in good hands.

It is always best to speak directly to your cosmetic dentist before starting any treatment so you can see if you are both on the same page and also obtain professional advice on whether a particular procedure is suitable for your needs. Reach out to an experienced cosmetic dentist to learn more today!

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