Cosmetic DentistStamford, CT
While general dentists have the role of ensuring optimal oral hygiene, a cosmetic dentist aims at improving the appearance of your teeth and gums. Simply put, general and restorative dental offices handle issues that need prompt treatment. Cosmetic dentistry offers solutions for aesthetic issues that could affect how your teeth look.
The basics of cosmetic dentistry
Cosmetic procedures can also have restorative benefits. Some procedures may improve your smile while also serving a medical purpose. For instance, dental fillings are a common solution for decayed teeth. In the past, these fillings were made mainly from materials like gold and amalgam that tend to give the teeth unwanted dark spots.
Now, dental fillings may be termed cosmetic to a specific extent because patients have the option of choosing porcelain or composite material that blends in well with natural teeth. The goal of this restoration is to keep your smile as natural-looking as possible. If you have opted to have older fillings substituted by newer, tooth-colored fillings, then you chose a cosmetic procedure.
Recent innovations in dental technology have made it possible to develop natural-looking, tooth-colored dental restorations that are quite durable. Also, dentists are now employing more conservative methods to save the tooth’s structure as much as possible.
Dentists are also using technologies, such as dental lasers, to perform some procedures required for cosmetic treatments in their dental practice. This has made procedures like smile makeovers easier and more convenient for patients. It also shortens the recovery period.
Cosmetic dental procedures
Cosmetic procedures can have a remarkable result in your general appearance. Even minor procedures can boost your self-esteem, confidence and give you a reason to smile often. Cosmetic procedures can include anything thing from basic whitening to restoring a full set of teeth. The following are common procedures offered by a cosmetic dentist.
Time may take a toll on your teeth, leading to discoloration. Smoking, medications or colored foods and drinks, such as tea and coffee, can all stain your teeth. The cosmetic dentist can help you whiten your teeth through an in-office procedure or at-home whitening kit.
At the office, whitening can be completed within one or two hours. It involves a bleaching mix and UV light. The results will be immediately noticeable.
For at-home treatment, you will receive custom mouth trays to help apply the whitening solution evenly to your teeth. The home whitening option may be more convenient, but it takes between two to four weeks before you see any significant results.
Also called caps, crowns cover the entire tooth to restore the function, shape and appearance of the tooth. The cosmetic dentist will suggest getting a dental crown if the tooth is severely discolored, damaged, weak or worn. You will also need a crown for dental implants or if you have recently had a root canal procedure. Dental crowns can serve to protect a tooth with a large filling and hold a dental bridge in position.
Crowns often consist of materials like metal, ceramic, resin or porcelain fused to metal. The dentist can offer you a temporary crown while the permanent device is being made.
The dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send to the dental lab to create the permanent crown. They will attach this crown at your next dental appointment.
Implant placement is a more invasive cosmetic dental procedure but offers a lasting solution for restoring a lost tooth. They are a stronger alternative to bridges and removable dentures. The cosmetic dentist or oral surgeon will insert the implant into your jawbone. If the bone mass has been lost due to gum disease, a bone graft procedure will be necessary before receiving an implant.
A dental implant is divided into three structures: The screw, abutment and crown. The titanium screw fuses to the jawbone. It acts as an artificial tooth root. The abutment sits on top of the implant and protrudes from the gums. The crown attaches to the abutment and serves as the replacement tooth.
Veneers are thin shells usually made from porcelain or plastic that are placed on the front side of the teeth to improve their shape and color. Veneers are more durable than bonding, and the cosmetic appeal is excellent. A cosmetic dentist may recommend veneers for chipped, slightly crooked, badly shaped, gapped and stained teeth.
Before placing the veneers, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth and proceed to prep the area. The veneers attach to the teeth using dental cement. A beam of light cures the cement to solidify the bond.
A dental lab must manufacture the veneers, meaning a second visit may be necessary for placement.
Also called endodontic therapy, a root canal involves the removal of the tooth nerves or pulp after a bacterial infection. Different dental conditions may require a root canal procedure, including severe tooth decay, trauma or even tooth chips.
The procedure aims to save and stabilize the tooth while eliminating the origin of the pain. The main benefit of the procedure is to stop the tooth from falling out, although you may need a dental crown to fortify the tooth.
Other times, a dental implant is used to replace the tooth if it cannot be saved.
Emergency dental care
Many cosmetic dentists are also emergency dentists since they have the tools and training needed to repair a damaged tooth. If you have an urgent need to improve the quality of your smile, there are multiple options available to you.
The dentist will treat your need as an emergency and provide you with a smile that you can be proud to have. Do not hesitate to contact a cosmetic dentist after damaging a tooth as prompt treatment is often vital.
Visit a cosmetic dentist
When you choose a cosmetic dentist, you are selecting a dental expert who will help transform your appearance by improving the look of your teeth and smile. While many of these procedures are optional, they will often help improve your overall health. To learn more about restoring your smile, please call our office and schedule an appointment.
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