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Different Types of Cosmetic Dental Procedures

There are Many Choices Available for a White and Bright Smile!

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Updated: September 4, 2008

Photo  © Javiera de Aguirre
There is no doubt that cosmetic dentistry is on the rise. Even a few reality shows have given us an inside view of how a dentist can transform almost anyone’s smile into the beautiful bright smile that most of us have always dreamed about.

There are several choices available for cosmetic dental work and your dentist will be able to help you determine which one will work the best in transforming your smile.

    Teeth Whitening - Also called “teeth bleaching” can brighten and whiten your teeth from discoloration and / or staining. This procedure can be done in the dental office or at home. Not everyone’s teeth can be bleached, so it is very important to check with your dentist first.
    Veneers - Veneers are a thin shell made out of porcelain or composite material. They are custom made and cemented to the front side of the tooth. A veneer can be used to treat dental conditions such as a slightly crooked tooth, discolored teeth, chipped teeth or even to cover spaces in between the teeth.
    Implants - A dental implant is a metal device designed to replace missing teeth. The device is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is permanent. A dental implant is designed to act as the tooth root and can anchor an artificial tooth or teeth such as a crown, bridge or denture.
    Crowns - Crowns, also referred to as caps, are custom made to fit over your whole tooth after the dentist has prepared it. They are usually made out of acrylic or porcelain that has been fused to metal, to withstand biting pressure. Crowns can be used in cosmetic dentistry to treat teeth that are poorly shaped, badly decayed, broken or chipped, have had large fillings and to cover spaces in between teeth.
    Shaping - Also referred to as “enamel shaping” is the process in which the dentist can reshape the tooth by filing or removing some of the enamel. This process is usually not painful and can produce immediate effects.
    Bonding - bonding is the process in which tooth colored materials are adhered (bonded) to the tooth. This is a procedure that can be used to repair or improve the appearance of a tooth that has been badly stained, broken or chipped.
    Orthodontic Treatment - Orthodontics are not just for kids. More and more adults are seeking treatment from orthodontists for cosmetic purposes. If you have buck teeth or crooked teeth, ask your dentist if an orthodontist can help you.

How to Find an Orthodontist

While this information may be helpful to you in learning about different types of cosmetic procedures, only your dentist can decide which treatment is best suited for your needs.

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