Smiling, as they say, is the shortest distance between two people and in such proximity, teeth are the first thing to be noticed when you smile.
Cosmetic dentistry, as the name indicates, is the branch of dentistry that deals with improving the aesthetics of your teeth and giving your confidence a significant boost to interact with everyone with a bright and brilliant smile.
Your teeth may develop certain anomalies either due to genetic or accidental causes. Besides, your oral hygiene habits and lifestyle also determines the fate of your teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry will take care of all dental issues like stained teeth, chipped teeth, broken teeth, widely spaced teeth, uneven teeth, or decayed teeth. You just need to find the best cosmetic dentist who can handle your teeth efficiently.
The five major treatments under cosmetic dentistry are discussed here. After reading this, you will be well-versed with the features of these cosmetic dentistry procedures and will be able to decide suitable procedures for your dental condition.
Teeth whitening is the process of concealing any intrinsic or extrinsic stains on your teeth and giving them a brighter shade. Extrinsic staining can occur due to multiple reasons such as dental fluorosis, minocycline usage, chronic consumption of beverages with staining potential, or even due to endodontic treatment. Intrinsic staining occurs due to aberrations before the eruption of primary teeth, i.e., during embryonic life or during childhood. Whatever may be the underlying cause, stained teeth can hamper you from interacting socially or making public appearances.
Teeth whitening can help you in getting rid of these by changing the inherent shade of teeth and controlling extrinsic staining. Teeth whitening is also preferred by people with a dull inherent shade of teeth to enhance their dental aesthetics. Home-based whitening processes using whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, strips, or gels can help in whitening teeth to some extent, but their effect is highly ambiguous.
The bleaching agent which is used for teeth whitening is a chemical known as Hydrogen peroxide.
The process of teeth whitening can be done either as a home-based or an office-based procedure.
Office-whitening: It is a quick procedure completed in 30-40 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to be whitened. The process can be accentuated with the use of catalytic agents like nanoparticles. Internal bleaching is preferred in those patients who have undergone a root canal treatment.
The results of office-based whitening are visible instantaneously after the procedure with up to 3 shades brighter teeth.
Home-whitening: In home-whitening, you will require to wear custom mouth trays which are coated with bleaching agents, for about 2 hours per day. For convenience, you can also wear them overnight. It is a simple method, but results will take approximately 2 weeks to be visible.
However, once whitened your teeth will not stay like this permanently. It may last for 3-5 years, depending on your oral care routine. The more you care for them, the longer they will stay white.
Clear braces are the cosmetically improved alternative to metallic ‘train-track’ braces used to correct any issues with the alignment of your teeth. Your teeth may be misaligned due to genetic causes or may become so after any trauma.
Braces may be required in several other conditions such as to facilitate any other restorative treatment (veneers, crowns), to improve the health of teeth and gums, and to improve functions such as bite alignment.
Clear braces are practically invisible and thus, allow restoration of your teeth alignment in a completely natural way. These are a very distinguished choice among adults who are hesitant and refrain from getting metallic braces because its unsightly appearance may steer them towards embarrassment.
There are plenty of varieties of clear braces to choose from. These include:
Ceramic brackets: These are tooth coloured braces and serve the purpose just like traditional metallic braces. Being tooth coloured, they camouflage snugly with the teeth and are almost invisible. An added advantage is that they are stain-resistant, so you don’t have to worry much about them.
Lingual braces: These braces are attached behind the teeth, and support them without being in the field of vision. They help in straightening the teeth gradually by pushing and aligning them from behind.
Invisalign braces: These are the most popular modality in the field of clear braces. They are a blend of advanced technology and creativity. They include a series of transparent braces that are customised according to your teeth. You have to keep shifting to the next set of the series progressively until you have a perfect set of teeth. These are worn for at least 20 hours in a day, and they gradually straighten your teeth. They perfectly fit your teeth and are invisible, so it is a great way to improve the cosmetic appearance of your teeth with the process also being completely natural.
Damon Clear braces: These are technologically advanced braces which combine tieless braces with high technology archwire. These are more comfortable and better suited.
After the insertion of braces, you will notice difficulty in speaking and also feel slight discomfort for a few days, but it doesn’t require any intervention. Your mouth will also produce relatively larger amounts of saliva. This happens because your body takes some time to adapt to any foreign agent being introduced. You will be advised to take only liquid or semi-solid food items for 24 hours.
Clear braces have significant advantages over traditional braces, such as shorter time required and improved compliance. These are also removable, unlike metallic braces which allows you to maintain better oral hygiene and clean your mouth and teeth properly.
White fillings are tooth coloured fillings used to fill hollow cavities in your mouth produced most commonly as a result of tooth decay, or dental caries. They allow you to smile without the metallic glint of amalgam fillings in sight.
White fillings are composed of inorganic fillers (made of quartz, silica, or glass), resin matrix which blends all filler particles and coupling agents that enables adhesion between these two. Such a chemical configuration makes them sturdy and allows them to endure the forces of chewing or biting. These fillings are classified based on the type and size of organic filler present into micro, macro, and nano fillings.
Before commencing the procedure, your dentist will take a few X-ray scans to know the condition of your tooth.
The procedure is done under local anaesthesia. He will first remove any decayed debris present in the tooth by drilling through it. Then the cavity is filled with white composite fillings and allowed to set. The procedure is usually completed in an hour duration but may vary if the cavity is extensive or more than one tooth is involved.
White fillings are very durable and may last for as long as 10-15 or even longer if adequate care is taken. Maintaining good oral hygiene increases their longevity. White fillings on the front teeth may even last for a lifetime as they don’t have to withstand much of the forces generated in the mouth due to biting or chewing.
Some dentists, however, prefer to use metal fillings over white fillings for teeth on the back because they have to withstand much higher forces and are not visible anyway while speaking or laughing.
The major advantage of white fillings is that they are tooth coloured and provide natural restoration. The cavity drilled for white filling is much smaller as compared to that for metallic fillings. They also strengthen your teeth because they not just fill the cavity, but are bonded to the natural tooth. Besides, they don’t impact the sensitivity of your teeth.
A veneer is a fine, tooth-coloured piece of porcelain, which is bonded to the anterior surface of your tooth to renew any defect such as chipped, broken, or fractured teeth. Veneers can also be used to conceal extreme tooth discolouration or staining. Other conditions such as malformed/misaligned teeth, overriding on each other, enamel hypo calcification, enamel hypoplasia, or short anterior teeth, can also be corrected with the use of veneers.
Dental Veneers are also called dental laminates. The most common material used in making veneers is porcelain. Other materials such as ceramic, nano-ceramic, acrylic, wood can also be used in some cases.
The procedure for the application of dental veneers may require more than one visit to the dentist depending on the defect and the variety of veneer chosen. Before the procedure, your dentist will take a brief history and perform a few x-ray scans. Anaesthesia is usually not required, but if a patient is apprehensive about the procedure, sedation may be given.
The first and the most crucial step in the procedure is tooth preparation in which your dentist will shape your tooth surface in the desired way on which veneer will be applied. The impression is taken to make customised veneer as per your tooth. Then the patient is sent home and scheduled for the next visit when the veneer will be ready.
In the next step, that is bonding; your dentist will clean your tooth and slightly roughen it so that the veneer can be efficiently bonded on it.
The shade of veneer can be adjusted as per the wish of the patient by using a cementing material. The final modifications can be made by trimming and polishing the veneer to your satisfaction. It is then bonded on your etched tooth and fixed with the help of UV or laser. It is then allowed to harden.
Once applied, dental veneers last for around 7-10 years. After this, they begin to undergo wear and tear; then reinstallation will be required.
There are plenty of advantages to using veneers. They are tooth-coloured and stain-resistant, allowing natural restoration of the flaws in your teeth. It is a conservative approach as only a little amount of enamel is scraped off for bonding. An added advantage of veneers is with the material they are made of, i.e., Porcelain. Porcelain can easily adapt to your gum tissue and doesn’t cause any discomfort.
Bonding is a cosmetic procedure in which a tooth-coloured resin is bonded to the tooth surface to restore any defect or abnormality in the tooth surface such as chips, breaks, or fractures. There are plenty of other indications for cosmetic bonding usage such as stained teeth, diastemata, short anterior teeth, even formed due to decay can be filled by cosmetic bonding. It is a short procedure usually completed within 1 hour that gives instant results; hence, it is popularly referred to as “one-hour smile makeover.” It is also commonly performed along with whitening to give an overall better appearance to your smile.
The bonding agents used are methacrylates such as a bisphenol A-glycidyl methacrylate (BISGMA), urethane dimethacrylate (UDMA) or semicrystalline polyceram (PEX), and an inorganic filler such as silicon dioxide (silica). They may also consist of some diluent monomers.
The conditioning of dentin is done with an acid such as polyacrylic acids, phosphoric acid, or nitric acid, to remove the smear layer.
After a brief history, the dentist will begin the procedure.
Anaesthesia is usually not required, except in cases of a decayed tooth where drilling has to be done to remove the debris. The process doesn’t require any special preparation of the teeth beforehand. A shade guide is used to select the resin as per the tooth colour of the patient.
Then your teeth will be slightly roughened, and conditioning liquid will be applied to facilitate the bonding process. In the next step, the bonding material is applied and hardened with the help of UV or laser.
Any final modifications can be done by polishing the teeth after it gets hardened.
A good quality bonded tooth will last for 3-10 years.
It is a short and straightforward procedure with effective and long-lasting results. It also improves patient compliance and doesn’t cause any discomfort.
Cosmetic dentistry can give you an elevated sense of dental well being. If you are looking for the best cosmetic dentist in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire then visit Conway House Dental Practice. A team of highly competent dentists that are willing to cater to all your dental needs.