Top 17 Cosmetic Dentistry Options

cosmetic dentistry options

If you are not pleased with the way your smile appears, there are several different ways to improve it. These various methods of correcting the way your teeth appear when you smile are collectively known as forms of cosmetic dentistry.

Cosmetic Dentures have come a long way in recent years, and give those requiring dentures another choice to give them a more natural look and feel when compared to Standard Dentures.

Cosmetic dentures are specially crafted dentures administered by a trained cosmetic dentist. They are designed to improve the aesthetic appearance of an individual, particularly the smile, correct teeth that are unevenly spaced, discolored, cracked, or chipped, and replace missing teeth. They are designed not only to look like natural teeth but are also made to function like natural teeth, to improve facial appearance, to properly bite and chew, and to improve speech.

The crafting of cosmetic dentures has been regarded as an art, giving emphasis on all details of the oral appliance to make it look natural. Traditional or standard dentures are usually made for the sole purpose of replacing missing teeth. Cosmetic dentures, on the other hand, focus on details such as the size, shape, and texture of the teeth to give them the natural look.

In this article, we will take a look at what cosmetic dentistry options exist and review what each of them entails.

What Are The Various Cosmetic Dentistry Options?

If you are looking for a solution to crooked, missing, or yellow teeth and can’t wait to regain the confidence of a great smile again, a visit to your cosmetic dentist may be your answer.

While missing, crooked or discolored teeth can make you feel awkward and feel like you don’t want to show your teeth to other people, your local cosmetic dentist can help you get your smile back with a wide range of different options so that you can share your smile without reservation to rest of the world.

Braces

Orthodontics (braces) apply a steady force of pressure that slowly nudges crooked teeth into place over time. Braces are effective in straightening out teeth as the tooth socket changes shape to accommodate the shifting movement of teeth holding them firmly in place once they arrive where they should.

There are many different types of braces used ranging from metal to clear plastic “invisible” molds that push teeth into place.

Dental Bridges

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When there are one or more missing teeth in a row, a bridge is often used.

These are sturdy structures consisting of a prosthetic tooth and two crowns placed on healthy teeth to which the bridge is anchored. They are installed to bridge the space or gap caused by missing tooth or teeth.

Dental bridges are permanent (or fixed) partial dentures. To apply, crowns are placed on the teeth on either side of the gap and artificial teeth are attached to “bridge” the gap. The bridge is cemented into place and produces a visual of a complete row of teeth. If there are just teeth on one side of the gap a cantilever bridge is used.

Composite Fillings

Older tooth fillings can chip or crack over time. Some get worn down. A composite filling replaces the silver amalgam filling with a natural-looking, tooth-colored material. As the composite material makes a tooth look as if it does not contain a filling, the filling will last a long time but is not as durable as the silver amalgam filling it replaces.

Dental Crowns

For teeth that are weak or damaged, a crown is used. It is a tooth-shaped attachment and fits over the tooth or teeth that require them. Crowns will improve the look of teeth by enhancing the size, shape, appearance, and strength of the teeth they are used on.

A mold is taken from the original tooth to serve as the pattern for the crown. The crown is then placed over the treated tooth after the decay is removed and prior to putting the treatment.

Crowns are available in different materials ranging from ceramics to resin, metal, and porcelain fused to metal. A crown can last between five and fifteen years and require the existing tooth to be filed down to permit the crown to be cemented over top of it as a cap.

Dental Bonding

One of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry options is dental bonding. This is where a tooth-colored resin is attached to the outer surface of a tooth or teeth. A special light applies the material and also hardens it to the teeth it is used on.

Bonding not only improves how teeth look at a fraction of the cost of many other cosmetic dentistry services, but it can be used to repair teeth that have been cracked or chipped. Bonding also closes gaps between teeth, can alter the shape of teeth, or be used as a tooth filling alternative to silver amalgam.

Dentures

Dentures are removable replacements for teeth and the tissue that surrounds teeth. Dentures are available in two different types. There are complete dentures and partial dentures. As the names imply, one is used to completely replace all missing teeth where the other is intended to just replace a few missing teeth or a partial row of teeth.

The dentures that are worn for replacing teeth in your upper jawline are called uppers and the dentures used for the lower jawline are known as lowers.

Overdentures

Overdentures use a precision dental attachment to keep the dentures down and in place. The overdenture attachments are placed in the roots of the teeth that have been restored or they can also be placed on dental implants. They give more stability than standard dentures and help prevent bone loss.

Read more about overdentures here.

Flexible Dentures

Flexible dentures adapt around the gums and teeth and flex into the mouth without any clasps. They are designed to perfectly fit the tissues of the gum and wearers are assured of increased retention. Flexible dentures are among the preferred choice of cosmetic dentures because they look so natural with their transparent gums and they blend easily with the natural color of the gums of the wearer.

Enamel Abrasion

Discolored teeth can be rectified with this procedure. Fine pumice attached to a micro-abrasion machine removes stains from the surface of affected teeth. Deep stains cannot be removed with this method, however, coffee, wine drinkers, and smokers can see results when this cosmetic dental treatment is used to remove staining.

Enamel Shaping

This procedure is fast and painless and is used to shape teeth in such a way that the appearance is improved. Enamel shaping is commonly used to remedy minor imperfections where teeth are either overcrowded or uneven. This cosmetic dental treatment is typically combined with bonding, whitening, or veneers.

Gum Grafts

Gum recession can expose the roots of teeth. This can make the affected teeth sensitive to temperature and make teeth look longer than they should. It also leaves affected teeth susceptible to developing a cavity in the tooth root.

To prevent this and bone loss, gum grafts remove the soft tissue from another part of your mouth to the exposed tooth root. This procedure improves the look of teeth and prevents damage that can start in the root and result in loss of teeth.

Gum Reshaping

Used when the gum line looks uneven or a smile appears to reveal too much gum, gum reshaping is the alternative to cosmetic tooth replacement. The procedure removes a small amount of soft gum tissue and is contoured to show more of the tooth or teeth. If needed, extra bone tissue is also removed to enhance the look of the teeth impacted by too much gum tissue.

Dental Implants

Dental implants have become one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry options available… for many reasons.

A dental implant is a titanium replacement tooth root. It is placed directly into the jawbone tissue and once healed provides a strong foundation for permanent or removable crowns to be attached. This is a perfect solution for a missing tooth or two.

However, if there are several missing teeth, implants can be used to hold removable dentures in place.

For more information on dental implants, click here.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are also known as indirect fillings. They are manufactured in a laboratory and designed to perfectly fit the shape of your teeth. When there is not enough tooth material to support a complete filling due to tooth decay, indirect fillings become the logical cosmetic teeth options.

Smile Makeover

This is where more than one cosmetic dental treatment is used as a combination to correct your smile. For example, gum grafts can be used along with porcelain veneers and crowns to improve the way your teeth look in your mouth. By combining these procedures, the results can be better than just opting for one or two of the options.

Teeth Whitening

There are several different teeth whitening solutions available in the marketplace as well as at your dental office. They include such things as pastes, rinses, gels, trays, dental strips, and whitening agents that you can get through your dentist. However, teeth whitening does not always work for everyone.

If your teeth have yellow tones to them instead of gray tones, you may see better results from teeth whitening products. To be sure as to which of these cosmetic dentistry options to use to improve the look of your smile, consult your local dentist.

Veneers

These wafer-thin shells are custom-made to cover the front surface of teeth. They can change the color, size, length, or shape of the teeth they are bonded to. Dental veneers for teeth are available in porcelain or a composite resin material. They are more affordable than crowns and once attached to teeth, cannot be removed.

Cosmetic Dental Financing Programs

cosmetic dental treatment

Although not all cosmetic dental procedures are covered by health insurance policies, it truly depends on your situation. Some policies will cover portions of the work performed. Several different bank loan options can be accessed to help finance cosmetic dental work.

If you do not qualify for any of these loan options, you still have a few possibilities at your disposal.

Negotiate A Better Price

Dental fees are not typically regulated by governmental bodies. This means that if your dentist quotes you a price for a specific procedure, you may be able to work on getting a better deal. You won’t know if you don’t give it a try.

Finance Through Your Dentist

It is not uncommon for dental offices to have in-house dental payment plans. If you are about to get a lot of expensive cosmetic dental work done, discuss how you can stretch out paying for the procedures with a monthly payment schedule.

Comparison Shop

Yes, you can see what kind of prices are available for the same cosmetic dental work by visiting a different dentist or two. You may find a huge difference in cost when you have quotes from more than just your regular dentist to consider.

Have The Work Done At A Dental School

So that dental students can earn experience performing various procedures, you can have dental work done at greatly reduced rates. Dental schools do this routinely and you may find a great deal on cosmetic dental treatment by going this route.

Why You Might Want To Improve Your Smile

Whether you like it or not, a good smile can help you in your life in making friends, completing business deals, and can affect a whole range of other aspects of your life. Without uttering a single word, the smile is in itself enough to portray confidence and optimism.

An aesthetically pleasing smile is a feature that other people subconsciously find attractive and makes them respond in a positive manner. The smile has a deep influence on your personality; if you are not happy and confident with your smile, you can appear a scared, angry, or hesitant person to others.

Cosmetic dentistry has a great role in providing a perfect smile makeover. As well as changing the structure of your teeth by straightening crooked teeth or filling in any gaps, it can enhance the way your teeth reflect the light, making your smile more visually appealing.

In fact, even improving the appearance of a person’s tooth should not be denigrated; although it is often done for purposes of vanity, it can also quite dramatically improve a person’s quality of life, improving their self-confidence. Research has shown that this in turn often leads to a greater degree of success in their chosen field and in personal relationships.

Misaligned Teeth

Cosmetic dentistry

Perhaps one of the biggest problems faced with teeth is the fact that, more often than not, many of us are born with crooked teeth. You might think that you’re the only one because clear braces have become such a common way to fix them, but crooked teeth are more common than you may have thought.

Of course, crooked and uneven teeth can look unattractive, and that in itself is enough reason for many people to have this corrected, especially if the misalignment is severe. However, it can also cause a person to have problems with their bite which can lead to jaw problems later on as well as difficulty in eating certain foods on occasions too.

Modern cosmetic dentistry corrects these issues using a new range of invisible braces, the most popular of which is Invisalign but others are gaining popularity too.

Crooked teeth shouldn’t be keeping you from sharing your smile with the rest of the world, and a professional may be able to help you and come up with an affordable payment plan so you don’t have to continue wearing a smile you’re not happy with.

Discoloration of Teeth

One of the more common problems cosmetic dentists face is discolored teeth, but they do have the same effects on people as more serious dental issues. Even though your teeth may be healthy, you still don’t have the confidence to show them off.

As we get older, our teeth will naturally darken whatever we attempt to do to prevent this. Unfortunately, this is just a part of getting older. Cosmetic dentists however are able to reverse this and whiten the teeth significantly by using laser teeth whitening.

The great news is that it only takes a few minutes to have your teeth cleaned and whitened by a cosmetic dentist, and you only need to have it done once every couple of months.

Teeth whitening is a very common practice these days, so if you are suffering confidence issues stemming from the color of your teeth, make sure you speak to your dentist, or alternatively look into whitening your teeth at home using teeth whitening toothpaste or at-home teeth whitening kits.

For those teeth that are in a poor condition or cracked, dental veneers can also be used. Whilst this is almost purely a ‘cosmetic’ treatment, many people report growth in self-confidence in themselves once their teeth have been whitened.

Missing Teeth

One of the biggest problems dentists face is patients with missing teeth. When you are missing some of your teeth, whether it was through accident or some other cause, the thought of getting them replaced might seem embarrassing. However, many dentists offer some great options for replacing missing teeth.

Whether you decide to go ahead with a dental implant or some other kind of repair or restoration work, making the decision to speak to your dentist about the options available is a good choice. Many times a professional will offer you an affordable payment plan so it won’t hurt your wallet too much, plus you will have an amazing smile everyone will be jealous of.

Talking to someone who knows what they are doing is the first step in achieving what you want – a perfect smile that will make you happy for the rest of your life.

So as you can see, there are a variety of reasons why a person may need the specialized expertise of a cosmetic dentist. It’s not always just about improving a person’s appearance; it can dramatically improve their life for the better. So if you fit into any of the categories above, make sure that you book to see your local cosmetic dentist soon.

Principles Of Smile Design

a perfect smile
A perfect smile can help with your self-confidence

Cosmetic dentistry is increasing in demand these days. Various principles are looked into in the smile makeover process to improve the aesthetic impact of a person’s smile. These smile makeover principles are divided into four groups.

Facial Aesthetics

Facial and muscular concerns of a person can be studied visually and by analyzing photographs. Every person has a unique appearance, so your doctor will note things that will improve your aesthetics.

Gingival Aesthetics

Gums are important features of your smile, so they should be healthy. Displaying too much of your gums, root surfaces, or gum contours are common aesthetic complaints that can spoil your smile.

Micro-Aesthetics

This uses techniques to produce a look that is natural and suits your face. It involves using unique colorations in order to reflect light properly, resulting in a solution that resembles natural teeth. The anatomy of actual teeth varies from person to person and from tooth to tooth, so making the micro-aesthetics suit the individual is important for a natural look.

Macro-Aesthetics

The relationship between front teeth, surrounding tissue, and the characteristics of the face determines the beauty of a smile. During the smile makeover procedure, these elements can be improved to produce a natural look.

The cosmetic dentist will work in collaboration with the dental lab technician to produce an aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking appearance. The shape, sizes, and arrangement of individual teeth are made to blend in with and complement your particular features.

Components Of A Perfect Smile

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By talking to a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist, you can look at options that might be best for you and your budget.

A cosmetic dentist can correct the negative components of a smile. The doctor will analyze the patient and diagnose the individual needs properly. The main features of a pleasing smile include:

Lips

The lips have been compared to a frame that sets the image of your smile, consisting of your teeth and gums. For optimal aesthetics, facial features should line up with your teeth and lip lines.

Midline

The midline is an imaginary line drawn between the front two upper teeth. For optimal aesthetic value, the facial midline should be in the middle of the face.

Smile Line

The smile line is the line created by the top of your lower lip. In an ideal smile line, the edges of the upper teeth should be parallel to your lower lip when you smile.

Teeth

Teeth that are whiter in color look more attractive. Central and prominent teeth make you look younger. Teeth must be well proportioned to look pleasing. The smile line of the upper teeth follows the curve of the lower lip.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into the making of a perfect smile. If you have features of your smile that you are not happy about, make sure that you have a chat with a cosmetic dentist, who can provide you with a range of options to suit your budget and needs, with the aim to improve your smile and give you the confidence you desire.

Even if you were not born with the greatest smile, it should be a comfort to know that through the various cosmetic dentistry options available, you can get the smile you’ve always wanted.

The list above outlines the many different procedures available to brighten your smile and make it look spectacular. So if you have concerns about your teeth and smile, make sure that you talk to your dental professional for specific advice on the best cosmetic dentistry option for you.

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