What are the characteristics of an attractive smile? While not every person is born with a perfect smile, qualities such as straightness, cleanliness or whiteness of teeth may come to mind. Thanks to developments in the field of cosmetic dentistry, people can change the smile they were born with into a smile they love.
General dentists are able to perform a variety of cosmetic procedures to improve patients' smiles. These procedures range from subtle changes to major repairs, fixing flaws such as discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing teeth.
Cosmetic procedures include bleaching, bonding, veneers, reshaping and contouring. Bleaching is a common and popular procedure that is used to whiten teeth and can be performed by a dentist in the office or under supervision at home. Dentists can also use a variety of methods to correct misshapen or crooked teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or plastic that are cemented over the front of teeth, and bonding is the use of tooth-colored material to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Tooth reshaping or contouring are used to alter the length, shape or position of teeth and are ideal for patients with normally healthy teeth seeking subtle changes in their smile.
Bleaching is a common and popular chemical process used to whiten teeth. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while other just want a whiter shade.
Discoloration occurs in the enamel and can be caused by medication, coffee, tea and cigarettes. Discoloration also can be hereditary or due simply to getting older.
Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or, under dental supervision, at home. Many patients enjoy bleaching at home because it is more convenient. Treatment begins when your dentist creates a custom mouthpiece to ensure the correct amount of whitening solution is used and that your teeth are properly exposed. Typically, whitening at home takes two to four weeks, depending on the desired shade you wish to achieve. Whitening in the office may call for one or more 45-minute to one-hour visits to your dentist's office.
Tooth reshaping and contouring, is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped or irregularly shaped teeth or even overlapping teeth in a single session. Tooth reshaping and contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth. Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping.
This procedure is ideal for candidates with normal, healthy teeth but who want subtle changes to their smile. Your dentist will take X-rays to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there's enough bone between the teeth to support them.