Understanding Cosmetic Dentistry
Your teeth take a lot of wear and tear. Sometimes they can become damaged. Missing teeth and teeth with chips and cracks can be embarrassing. Fortunately there are a number of treatments your cosmetic dentist can perform to restore your smile.
Some fillings are made of silver amalgam. While silver amalgam is a good way to protect a tooth from further damage, composite fillings are another option. The advantage of composite fillings is that they are tooth-colored. Your dentist can match the natural color of your teeth for aesthetically pleasing results. Composite fillings chemically bond to the tooth’s structure and can be used to repair tooth chips and cracks. Like all fillings, composite fillings may one day need to be replaced but they are considered a permanent restoration.
Porcelain veneers are another great option for people with discolored, chipped and cracked teeth. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain made to fit on top of your natural teeth to give you a bright uniform smile. The veneers adhere to each individual tooth for a complete transformation. It takes two appointments to complete the process. During the first appointment your dentist prepares your teeth for the veneers and works with you to find the correct shade. The veneers are applied during the second visit after which your teeth are polished and your bite checked. Your dentist will also give you instructions for taking care of your teeth and maintaining your new smile.
Your dentist can cover your tooth with a crown (or cap) when there is structural damage such as a fracture or decay. Crowns can also be used to cover a tooth when a filling is too large or right after a root canal. Porcelain crowns are usually preferred by dentists because they can be matched to your existing teeth. Your dentist will need to take a mold of your tooth and send it off to the lab, so you will be given a provisional crown in the interim. You will be asked to return in three to four weeks when your crown is ready to be applied.
Porcelain Fixed Bridges
A missing tooth can cause your other teeth to shift. It can also affect the shape of your face. Porcelain fixed bridges are used to replace missing teeth, making it easier for you to chew and speak. Permanent porcelain fixed bridges can also replace partial dentures. The teeth on either side of the space are covered with crowns attached by a metal piece. An artificial tooth sits between the two crowns. It takes multiple visits to complete the process because molds need to be taken and sent to the lab to make the restoration. You can wear a temporary bridge during that time. When the bridge is ready you will be asked to come back to have it cemented.
These are some of the treatments possible with cosmetic dentistry. No matter which treatment your cosmetic dentist performs, the overall goal is always to give you the beautiful smile you deserve.