The aesthetics of a person’s smile is just as important as oral health. We, as dentists, give equal prominence to both these aspects, which is why an entire branch of dentistry is dedicated to improving the appearance of the smile. Cosmetic dentistry involves several restorative and non-evasive procedures that aim at improving the aesthetics of the smile.
Dental crowns and dental bridges are one of the most common cosmetic appliances. Dental bridges are replacement prosthetic teeth that are used to restore extracted teeth. They not only restore the appearance of a smile but also prevent the drifting of the remaining teeth from their positions. Dental crowns are cap-like ceramic appliances that entirely cover the surface of a worn-out, chipped, misshapen, cracked or weak tooth. Thereby, it helps to hold such teeth intact without allowing them to fail.
Dental veneers are thin porcelain shells that only cover the frontal surface of the teeth. They are used to treat teeth that are badly discolored, cracked, spaced too far from each other, or misshapen. Since they are wafer-thin, they do not add a lot of volume to the existing tooth and also save the natural tooth tissues.
The dentist would initially screen the tooth to determine the extent of infection. Prior to starting the filling procedure, the cavity has to be disinfected. The decay will be removed and the walls of the cavity will be scrubbed to get rid of the microbes. Once it is disinfected, the filling material will be prepared. It will be made to match the exact color of the tooth, applied on the cavity and shaped accordingly. A special curing light will be used to harden the applied filling. Any adjustments, if required, will be made.
Teeth whitening is one of the best procedures to get whiter teeth in a short span of time. There are mainly three types of teeth whitening, namely conventional teeth whitening, custom tray teeth whitening and laser-assisted teeth whitening. Whitening gel, which is essentially an oral bleach is applied to the teeth and allowed to stay on the surface for a certain time period. The gel contains carbamide peroxide, which liberates oxygen molecules and helps to remove the stains from the teeth.
Bonding involves the application of composite resin on the surface of a damaged/misshapen tooth. The tooth surface is etched to roughen it, the composite resin is applied, shaped according to the contour required and hardened using a high intensity curing light. Issues such as excessive spacing, chipping, misshapen teeth, etc. can be treated using this procedure.
Sometimes, the gums can go out of shape due to receding, overgrowth, undergrowth, decaying of gum tissues, etc. In such cases, the gum tissues may have to be removed, disinfected or grafted from a different region of the mouth. This improves both the oral health and appearance of the smile.
Along with the above-stated procedures, other cosmetic options such as tooth-colored fillings, dental implants, dentures, inlays, onlays, orthodontic treatment, sealants, oral cleaning (scaling and root planing), etc. also help to improve the aesthetics of the smile.