Most dental work is needed to protect your teeth from deterioration or pain. But have you ever reflected on how dentistry also improves tooth function or makes your smile more beautiful? This is Cosmetic Dentistry.
Cosmetic dentistry is defined as any dental procedure that improves the appearance or function of the teeth. Cosmetic dentistry improves your smile and enhances confidence. It truly can improve the overall quality of your life.
Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of treatments that are used to change the shape and position of the teeth. The procedures range from quick and simple procedures like teeth polishing, teeth whitening or teeth contouring to more complicated procedures like veneers, crowns, bridges and implants and braces. While we can help you with all of your cosmetic needs, the most common procedures performed at Durango Dental are:
- Teeth Whitening
Over time, teeth become discolored; it’s a natural consequence of living in the modern world, and happens over time as we age and or can be a result of drinking tooth-staining beverages. There are many kinds of toothpastes on the market that promote whiter teeth, but sometimes help from a specialist can provide a whiter, cleaner looking smile.
A professional dentist has the tools, materials, and processes needed to eliminate tooth staining and return teeth to a near-natural condition. Most dentists use hydrogen peroxide to bleach the teeth making them brilliant white. Of course, a bright smile improves confidence and life quality.
Bleaching is not the only tooth-whitening process available; someone might prefer whitening strips, for instance. All options can be discussed with your dentist or hygienist.
Sometimes the damage to a tooth is more significant than simple teeth whitening can address. Teeth can become discolored or broken due to a sports injury or can become worn from grinding. With more advanced cases like these, it is wise to consider porcelain veneers or crowns. As the name suggests, both crowns and veneers are made from porcelain. At Durango Dental, we will prep the tooth to be able to place the veneer/crown. Then we will make you a temporary veneer/crown while we send off your case to a lab that will fabricate your porcelain veneer/crown to match your exact tooth color.
Veneers and crowns are a fast, effective way to improve your smile, making it whiter, more linear, and more functional.
What happens if you lose a tooth due to decay or an accident or what can you do if a permanent tooth doesn’t ever come in? In these cases, you would use bridges or implants to improve function and appearance.
An implant is a prosthetic device, typically a titanium screw, that is placed in your jaw to serve as a root of the missing tooth. There are several steps to getting a dental implant but eventually, a crown is placed on the implant and your chewing function and smile are restored. Dental implants are the standard of care in dentistry to replace missing teeth.
At times, it is not possible to place a dental implant. In this case, a porcelain bridge would be considered. A porcelain bridge consists of a porcelain crown, technically called a pontic, that replaces the missing tooth. This crown is anchored, or held in place, by other crowns that are permanently cemented on healthy teeth.
Bridges and implants will restore function and once again, have you smiling widely.
Frequently Asked Questions
How frequently should I whiten my teeth?
This is different for every person. Some need to whiten frequently and others can whiten just once a year. Really, how white your teeth are is a personal preference and the frequency of how often you whiten your teeth will be determined by you.
What is the difference between a porcelain veneer and a porcelain crown?
Veneers cover and are bonded to just the front surface of the teeth and are made of thinner material than crowns. Crowns cover the entire tooth and are a more permanent solution. Both crowns and veneers will need to be replaced periodically. Typically these will be replaced between 10-20 years.
How do I know if I need cosmetic dental work?
If you are unhappy with your teeth, they can be modified; alternatively, your dentist might suggest a treatment to improve your dental health or life quality.
How does pulling a tooth affect my aesthetics?
Sometimes, pulling a tooth changes the alignment of your teeth for aesthetic purposes. If it’s for functional reasons, further treatment might be needed to maintain alignment.
When should I get braces?
Braces can be helpful at any stage of life, but they are most effective in the early teenage years when the gums are softer and the jaw is developing.
Regardless of your decision to either cosmetically alter your teeth or receive regular oral maintenance, Durango DMD can address all your dental-related concerns. If you’d like more information about our services, pricing, or otherwise, contact our office today to set up an appointment.