When we talk about cosmetic dental treatments, we mean any technique that restores or improves the appearance of teeth. The required procedure will differ from case to case and it will be the discussion with your dentist that determines which one to follow. We are going to look at some of these treatments in a generalized way, as each person may need a more individualized procedure.
Cosmetic dental treatments usually include restoration of the teeth, teeth whitening, and straightening of the teeth. Therefore, the basic procedures will consist of restoring, bleaching or straightening our teeth. These processes are usually performed by the dentist, although some require an orthodontist.
This professional specializes in the prevention or correction of tooth irregularities. Before performing any of these procedures, it is necessary to have a complete checkup of our mouth because if we suffer from any dental disease or have any cavities, it is necessary to solve this problem before starting any cosmetic treatment.
There are different methods for restoring decayed, worn or even broken teeth. The dentist will choose the most suitable one for each case: from fillings to crowns or veneers.
Fillings are used to fill holes or cavities that have formed in the teeth as a result of decay or general wear and tear. There are two types of fillers: amalgam or compound fillers.
- Amalgam fillings are silver colored and are made from a combination of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. The amalgam is very strong and can withstand the subsequent action of our teeth for long periods of time.
- Composite fillings are used as a more natural looking alternative as they are usually tooth-colored. That way, you won’t notice any difference if the hole is in a visible place. However, amalgam fillings do not last as long and are not always recommended. It will depend, above all, on the position and situation of the hole, since if it is in a place that is susceptible to wear, an amalgam filling will be implemented.
Before undergoing any fillings, the dentist will remove the decayed and weakened parts of your tooth with a small drill to clean the cavity. If tooth-colored fillings are used, the dentist may need to build up the filling in layers, hardening each one with a bright light before proceeding to the next. This can slow down the process.
If the tooth has been broken or weakened by a large number of cavities or larger fillings, your dentist may suggest a crown. A crown looks like a natural tooth. It is made in the laboratory to be glued to the damaged tooth to conceal the missing space.
Crowns can be made of porcelain, gold, or a combination of tooth-colored porcelain-covered metal. Normally, the crown will be inserted in two sessions. In the first one, the dentist will place a provisional crown while the final one is being performed. In the second, one will be replaced by another.
If one of your front teeth becomes splintered, damaged, or discolored, a thin layer, usually porcelain, can be placed to protect the tooth. Sometimes, if you have even one or more crooked teeth, veneers of different thicknesses can be implanted to balance your teeth.
Two visits to the dentist are usually required. At first, your dentist will take a cast of your teeth, which will be sent to the laboratory, where the proper veneer will be made. In addition, the dentist will take advantage of this to remove a small amount of your enamel. At the second visit, the dentist will cement the veneer bonded to the tooth in question.
The sheets are very durable, but can also be damaged due to accidents or knocks and must be replaced.
Teeth whitening is used to lighten or restore some of the natural colors of tooth surfaces. There are a number of different methods of teeth whitening. Some can be purchased online or at the pharmacy and can be used at home yourself, while others require a visit to a professional – your dentist.
- Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste is slightly abrasive, which can help remove stains on the surface, but they do not change the natural color of your teeth. Even today, experts are examining how effective this toothpaste is.
- Teeth Whitening Kits
Teeth whitening kits are sold in most pharmacies in your country. They usually contain molds with the approximate shape of your denture and several tubes of whitening gel. The main ingredient of the whitening gel is hydrogen peroxide, but these kits contain it in a lower concentration than any product used by a professional. Therefore, they may not be as effective for deeper stains.
- Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is performed by your dentist. It is the most common type of teeth whitening and can be performed externally or internally. If your procedure is external bleaching, the gel is placed on the outer surfaces of the teeth, similar to pharmaceutical kits. Internal whitening involves the whitening product being placed inside the tooth. External bleaching is much more common, as the internal method can only be performed if you have had a previous root canal treatment, which allows access to the inside of your tooth.
In many cases, the dentist can rely on laser technology to make the chosen method more effective. In this case, the dentist will place a rubber shield around your teeth to protect your gums. The whitening gel will then be placed over the teeth and a bright light will be used to speed up the whitening process. This process usually takes about an hour and can take more than one session, although this is not common.
Although there are not too many risks in teeth whitening, there are certain possible side effects. Among the most common are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. In any case, these effects will manifest themselves for a very short period of time. However, the exact long-term effects are not yet known and are not recommended for pregnant women or younger women.
Any teeth whitening technique only bleaches teeth temporarily. Therefore, you should take good care of your teeth and mouth to lengthen the natural discoloration process.
Orthodontic treatment usually involves the use of a brace on the teeth. This involves gentle pressure on the specific teeth to gradually move them to the correct place where they belong. The average time of brace use varies from six months to two years. During this time, your orthodontist will check your teeth and make adjustments to your brace at regular check-ups. Orthodontic treatment is usually done during childhood or adolescence, but adults can have it too.
There are several different types of braces. While some are mobile and are used during a certain period of the day, others are fixed for as long as necessary. This will depend on the specific correction that each person needs in their teeth.
- Removable bridges
Removable bridges are plastic and usually have wire clips and springs to move specific teeth. These accessories are the most commonly used to move teeth from the upper denture. You can remove them yourself to clean them and only wear them during a specific period of the day.
- Fixed wrenches
The open end wrenches cannot be removed from your denture except by your trusted orthodontist at the end of the treatment. They are made of small brackets that are glued to the teeth with filler material and joined together with a wire. These fixed appliances are usually made of metal, but can also be made of plastic or ceramic.
Over the past few years, these devices have evolved dramatically and many are now virtually invisible to the naked eye. Small elastic bands attached to the brace may be needed. They are used to hold the cables in place and are available in different colors.
Open end wrenches are usually used on both upper and lower teeth. At the end of the treatment, the dentist will remove the brackets and remove the filling material from your teeth.
As mentioned above, each process is suitable for a particular type of denture, so you should always consult your dentist to see how to correct any small deviations your denture may have.
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