Many people with crooked, chipped, discolored, or missing teeth are searching for ways to improve their smile. Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of treatments to enhance the appearance of your smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Las Vegas procedures are primarily elective, while restorative procedures focus on improving your oral health and function. Generally, cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance.
Implants are an excellent solution to replace missing teeth. They are made from a ceramic material that looks just like your natural tooth and have the same structural integrity. They are very durable and may last a lifetime with proper care. Nevertheless, people often wonder if dental implants are considered cosmetic dentistry.
A dentist will evaluate a patient’s overall health before determining whether they are a good candidate for implants. Patients with certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes or leukemia, may have a hard time recovering from the surgery. Smokers also are not good candidates for implants since it affects their ability to heal from the procedure.
Before a dentist places an implant, they will make sure that the patient’s jaw bone is healthy enough to hold the post. In addition, they will verify that the gums are healthy. If they aren’t, a bone graft can be performed to build up the area.
Once the area is ready, a metal spacer called an abutment will be placed on the jaw bone. This will allow the crown to be secured on top of it. The crown is the part of the implant that will be visible to others. The dentist will make a mold of the patient’s mouth so that they can create a crown that matches their existing teeth.
Besides looking and functioning just like your natural teeth, implants will preserve the shape of the jaw bone. As you age, the bone tissue in your jaw can break down, causing your face to lose its shape. This can lead to sagging skin and wrinkles. Implants will keep the bone tissue stimulated, preventing it from breaking down.
Although dental implants are considered cosmetic dentistry, they are more commonly linked to restorative dentistry. The reason for this is that they restore a patient’s missing teeth and help them chew and speak normally. However, they can also improve a patient’s appearance by making their smile look fuller and more attractive. Implants are also sometimes used in conjunction with other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers, to achieve a more beautiful smile.
Dental bonding involves applying a tooth-colored composite resin to your teeth to repair cosmetic issues like chips or cracks. It is one of the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures, typically completed in just a single visit. The resin can also be used to close gaps between teeth, hide discoloration, alter the shape of a tooth or make it appear longer, and replace silver fillings or protect tooth roots exposed by receding gums.
Your dentist will start the procedure by coating the tooth with an etching liquid to roughen and prepare it for the bonding material. They will then apply the adhesive and a tooth-colored resin, building layers until the desired look is achieved. Once the bonding is in place, they will use a high-intensity light to harden it and ensure it’s firmly in place. The bonded area will then be shaped, trimmed and polished for a natural appearance.
Unlike veneers, which require the removal of some of your natural tooth enamel, dental bonding is minimally invasive and does not need anesthesia. Some people may experience temporary sensitivity after their treatment, but over-the-counter pain relievers should be sufficient to manage any discomfort.
Aside from its aesthetic benefits, tooth bonding is extremely durable and will last for several years with proper care. However, it is not as stain-resistant as natural teeth, and you will need to practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups every six months.
Virtually anyone who has minor cosmetic dental concerns can be a candidate for bonding. However, the procedure is not recommended for patients with severe decay, advanced gum disease, or other conditions that will need extensive restorations. There are better solutions for crooked or misaligned teeth, as the composite cannot support structural changes. In such cases, your dentist will recommend alternative treatments.
The most common cosmetic dental treatment is teeth whitening, which addresses stains on your enamel and brightens the color of your dentin. This is also a restorative dentistry procedure, as it restores the appearance of your natural teeth while improving your oral health and function.
The first step in teeth whitening is to discuss the level of whiteness you want to achieve with your dentist, since there are many shades of white. Unlike the one-size-fits-all whitening kits sold in drugstores and grocery stores, a cosmetic dentist can tailor your treatment based on your specific needs and degree of staining.
Teeth whitening uses a bleaching agent to break apart the chromogen molecules that give teeth their color. Your dentist can then rinse away these molecules, leaving your teeth with a lighter color. The process can take several sessions, and you will need to maintain a certain level of care following the procedure to prevent the re-staining of your teeth.
Professional whitening will leave your teeth looking much brighter than the results you might get with over-the-counter products, which may not have the strength to penetrate a tooth’s enamel. However, a whitening treatment can only be performed on healthy teeth. It cannot address underlying problems like gum disease or worn enamel.
After professional whitening, your teeth should be healthy and ready to receive decorative porcelain tooth enhancements such as veneers. It is a good idea to get your teeth as white as possible before receiving these types of cosmetic treatments, because they can’t be color-changed once in place.
A veneer is a thin, porcelain laminate that covers a damaged or discolored tooth. The dentist can custom-make a veneer to fit your tooth shape and color, as well as to address chipping or gaps in between teeth. The procedure is usually quick and relatively painless, though the dentist will need to prepare your tooth by removing some of the surface enamel. A cosmetic dentist can also reshape teeth by filing or polishing them, or use crowns to cover a broken tooth. If you have a missing tooth, your cosmetic dentist may recommend dental implants to anchor an artificial replacement.
Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment that can fix a variety of minor problems. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the front surface of your teeth to improve their appearance. They can hide stains, chips, cracks, and minor misalignments. They also look very natural and have a translucency that closely mimics the light-reflecting properties of your tooth enamel.
When applied correctly by a skilled cosmetic dentist, your new veneers will blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile. During your first appointment, your cosmetic dentist will make an impression of the affected area and decide on a veneer shade that best suits your natural smile. For traditional veneers, the dentist will have to remove a small amount of your natural tooth enamel to create room for the restoration. However, no-prep porcelain veneers are available that can be bonded directly to your teeth with minimal preparation.
Your dentist may recommend using a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste that’s specially formulated for dental veneers to prevent decay around the edges of your new restorations. You should also floss daily and use an alcohol-free mouthwash to kill bacteria that can erode your natural teeth. If you take good care of your new veneers, they should last for up to 20 years or more.
Although veneers are durable and stain-resistant, they can become discolored over time if your adjacent teeth haven’t been properly whitened before your veneers were placed. Therefore, it’s important to maintain proper oral hygiene and schedule regular cleaning appointments with your Phoenix cosmetic dentist to keep your natural teeth healthy and free of plaque and tartar that can cause decay and staining.
Although whitening is safe for veneers, it’s not recommended for all patients because it can make them look overly white and unrealistic for their complexion. If you want a whiter smile, your Phoenix cosmetic dentist may suggest other options, such as bonding. Bonding is a less invasive procedure that involves applying a tooth-colored composite resin material to your affected teeth. This can close gaps, repair chipped teeth, and even alter the shape of your teeth.