How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Remake Your Smile after Tooth Damage, Loss, or Decay

March 29, 2021

More than half of all respondents in a recent poll said they were insecure about the appearance of their teeth. If tooth damage, loss, or decay has you covering your mouth, take heart in knowing that you're not destined to a tight-lipped smile forever! Thanks to cosmetic dentistry, there are several ways we can restore your smile.

Cosmetic dentistry is a broad term that refers to any dental work that adjusts the appearance of teeth, gums, or bite. Unlike general dentistry, which focuses on preventing and treating oral disease, cosmetic dental procedures and treatments are considered elective and primarily focus on improving dental aesthetics (i.e., color, position, shape, alignment, and overall smile appearance).

Given the significant role a healthy smile plays in one's self-confidence and quality of life, the demand for esthetic dental work continues to increase, along with procedure options. While specific treatments depend on a patient's circumstances and health history, a few common cosmetic dental procedures are outlined below.

Dental Implants

Unlike earlier days where teeth loss was only treatable using dentures and bridges, today, missing teeth can be treated using dental implants. Not only do today's implants restore function, but, just as importantly, they also fulfill patients' esthetic expectations. As long as facial growth and development are complete, dental implants can be an excellent option for those who have lost teeth due to injury or decay. Ideally, implant surgery candidates are non-smokers with good oral health, which includes a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw and healthy gums.

Inlays and Onlays

Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are used when a tooth has mild to moderate decay, or there isn't enough tooth structure to support a traditional filling. Using adhesive dental cement, an inlay is placed directly on the tooth's surface. When more significant damage is present, an onlay is used instead to cover the tooth's entire surface. Made of durable materials, inlays and onlays can last up to 30 years with proper oral hygiene.

Dental Veneers

Veneers are a great option for patients who have a tooth that is cracked, chipped, or severely discolored. This form of cosmetic dentistry can also be used to close a gap or fix teeth that are worn down or uneven. Cosmetic veneers are ultra-thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin materials that cover the front surface of a tooth. Custom created to look exceptionally realistic, these shells bond to a patient's tooth with a strong dental adhesive designed to hold up to daily rigors.

Composite Bonding

Bonding is generally used for the repair of decayed, damaged, or discolored teeth. Dentists apply material that resembles the color of tooth enamel onto the tooth's surface, then sculpt it into shape before curing it with a high-intensity light. Similar to veneers, bonding covers the damage and creates the appearance of a healthy tooth. Bonding is a good choice for patients who have minor, aesthetic issues that don't require extensive treatment

Schedule A Cosmetic Dental Consultation

Everyone deserves to have a smile they want to share! If you think you might benefit from cosmetic dentistry, contact our dental practice. Our team will be happy to schedule a consultation and answer any questions you may have.

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