Understanding Cosmetic Dentistry

If your dentist has mentioned that a cosmetic dental treatment may be able to improve the look of your smile, you may be excited about the chance to have perfect-looking teeth. Cosmetic dental applications are designed to help your teeth appear more attractive. 

Here is a bit of information about cosmetic dentistry to help you better understand it.

Do Cosmetic Applications Restore the Teeth?

Restorative dental care is used to help improve or restore the health of the teeth. However, some cosmetic applications, such as dental crowns, may also be used as restorative devices. 

A dental crown is frequently used in conjunction with a restorative procedure, such as the filling of a large cavity, the removal of the infected pulp, or the treatment of a tooth that has been extensively chipped. The crown protects the portion of the natural tooth that is exposed in the oral cavity by encircling it with a hard dental material.

Dental crowns may be made of a metal or a white material that can be colored to match the patient's natural tooth color, such as porcelain or resin. The crown is generally applied after the restorative application is complete, fortifying the treated tooth and preventing the invasion of oral bacteria that could cause an infection.

As the crown protects the tooth, if a tooth-colored crown is selected, the device also improves the appearance of the tooth. Chips, changes in tooth shape, and spots of discoloration are concealed.

Is Every Patient a Candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Patients who are uncomfortable with the look of their teeth make the most suitable candidates for cosmetic dental procedures. The dentist can help the patient determine the most suitable applications for their needs based on their particular dental issues.

A patient who has smoked for years and suffers from significant tobacco staining may benefit from a chemical tooth-whitening process. Dental bleaches can be placed on the tooth enamel to remove surface stains. During the whitening process, ultraviolet light may be directed toward the bleaching solution as it rests on the teeth. The light increases the whitening effect.

Still, patients who have different types of staining, such as discoloration from a medication's side effects, would not make good candidates for chemical bleaching. Instead, dental crowns or veneers could be used to make the teeth appear whiter. The crowns and veneers would hide the permanent discoloration of the underlying teeth since it cannot be chemically whitened.

If you would like to learn more about cosmetic dentistry, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in your area.