Not happy with your smile? Cosmetic dentistry is a method in dental medicine that focuses on bringing a pleasing curve to your face, thereby improving your appearance and confidence.

Regardless of how well you maintain your oral health, certain factors like age, genetics, injuries, accidents, smoking and consumption of alcohol can cause your teeth to break, crack, chip, and get stained or misaligned.

What’s more, prolonged stress can lead to a condition called bruxism in which individuals involuntarily grind their teeth in sleep. This damages and disfigures teeth and causes headaches and other jaw disorders.

From understated changes to major oral surgeries, cosmetic dentistry offers smile-makeovers and solutions for all sorts of dental issues. The latest advances in the field of dentistry have empowered cosmetic dental experts to use materials that are durable, natural-looking, and affordable for patients.

Cosmetic dental procedures are elective; yet, they can help restore your smile and confidence. If you desire to flaunt a radiant smile that oozes charm, talk to your dentist about the eight common cosmetic dental procedures discussed in this post.


1. Teeth Polishing and Whitening
Plaque and debris build-up on your teeth and around the gum line can cause inflamed and bleeding gums and tooth decay in the long term. They also make teeth look stained and dull. Furthermore, dental plaque and tartar are sticky and tough to get rid of, even through regular brushing and flossing.

Dental cleaning, whitening, and polishing are painless procedures that help break down the plaque and tartar, and remove stains, making teeth look shiny and smooth. Your dental expert will use a prophy paste that is formulated to remove stubborn stains. Further, he/she may use bleaching gel to whiten your teeth.

Laser teeth whitening is often used by dentists to speed up the chemical reaction that lifts stains faster in comparison to the traditional peroxide whitening. However, only your dentist can suggest whether laser whitening is ideal for you.


2. Porcelain Veneers
Dental veneers are wafer-thin laminates that cover misshaped and fractured teeth and the gaps between them. They are made of porcelain, which is why they are strong, resilient, and natural-looking. Your dentist will customize the cosmetic veneer as per the size and color of your teeth, and fix it using cement and ultraviolet light.

One issue with veneers is that its color remains the same in comparison to the adjoining natural teeth that tend to change color over time. This gives the teeth a non-uniform appearance. Since cosmetic dentists know how to deal with this issue, it is wise to consult a local expert who has a strong reputation in handling such cases.

For instance, if you live in the Midwestern region of the U.S., an expert in cosmetic dentistry, Illinois can help you avoid the embarrassment of a patchy smile.


3. Cosmetic Teeth Implants
A dental implant is the easiest and a cost-effective way to replace a missing or damaged tooth. An implant is a titanium screw (like a tooth root) that is surgically inserted into the jaw bone, enabling the dentist to mount a replacement tooth, crown, or bridge in the area of a missing tooth, thereby giving you a charming smile. Since getting the implant involves surgery, your dentist will use anesthesia to make you comfortable throughout the process.

Once placed, dental implants are indistinguishable from the neighboring teeth. Healthy gums and jaw bone are the essential pre-requisites for undergoing a successful dental implant procedure. Consult your family dentist for more information on how implants can help replace your damaged or missing teeth.


4. Dental Crown
Dental crowns or caps perform a variety of functions. They hold a cracked tooth together, cap the damaged or decayed tooth, fill spaces between teeth, and restore their shape and strength. Depending on your budget and preference, crowns can be made using metals, resin, acrylic, porcelain, and ceramic.

If you have a broken, damaged, or decayed tooth, a dental crown can help re-establish its original function and appearance, capping the gaps in your smile.


5. Orthodontic Procedures
Orthodontic procedures aim at straightening or moving teeth, thereby ensuring the long-term wellness of your teeth, gums, and jaw bone and enhancing your appearance.

Braces correct crooked and buck teeth, whereas dentures replace missing or broken teeth. Depending on your oral health condition, a skilled dental care team can suggest the most suitable cosmetic procedure, enabling you to wear a striking smile always.

Lingual braces are positioned behind the teeth rather than the front, thereby offering a great cosmetic alternative for those who wish to correct misaligned teeth without showing the braces.

Akin to braces, Invisalign is a popular orthodontic tool that uses virtually invisible aligners to straighten the teeth over a period of time. Since they are nearly invisible, they are a trendy alternative to traditional metallic braces.


6. Composite Tooth Bonding
Composite dental bonding is an inexpensive cosmetic technique that repairs decayed and damaged teeth using a material that matches the color of the tooth enamel. It is commonly used by dentists to shape chipped, gapped, and stained teeth, thereby giving them a healthy appearance.


7. Dental Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are collectively referred to as indirect fillings. They are made of a composite resin material, metal, or porcelain and attached to the tooth using medical-grade adhesive cement.

Indirect fillings are used when the biting surface of the tooth has a reasonable amount of decay. Inlays are placed directly on the tooth surface, whereas onlays help fill the gaps and cover the entire tooth surface while maintaining a pleasing appearance.


8. 3D Dentistry
The introduction of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) in the world of cosmetic dentistry has made it possible for dentists to design and fabricate high-quality crowns and dental restorations within minutes.

Traditionally, crowns and bridgework take several weeks to make. However, these advanced dental technologies can generate an accurate 3D model of the tooth, speeding up the dental restoration process. Thus, a tooth that is structurally damaged by decay or trauma and needs to capped can be easily restored using 3D dentistry.

Everyone dreams of having the perfect smile. Modern cosmetic dentistry uses the most advanced techniques and technologies to correct dental flaws and deformities that may otherwise dent one’s confidence.

The information shared in this article will prepare you in your journey towards caring for your pearly whites while improving your smile and self-confidence.