Not many people are born with a perfect smile, but that doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to go head-to-head with your favourite celebs in the radiance department. That’s because cosmetic dentistry can do amazing things and, in most cases, can give you the smile you’ve always wanted. It focuses on improving the look of your smile through a variety of procedures including veneers, fillings, teeth whitening and dental implants.
Cosmetic dentistry is extremely popular, and we see a lot of patients that want to have their smile augmented and perfected. It’s not always an essential aspect of your oral health (even though it often is), but cosmetic treatments can help restore confidence and boost a positive outlook.
What treatments does a cosmetic dentist offer?
Cosmetic dentists are responsible for a number of treatments that include everything from minor fixes to major procedures. Here’s a few of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures we perform for our patients on a daily basis:
One of the most popular ways to fix a smile are dental veneers. These are thin shells made from medical grade porcelain, ceramic or resin that we attach to the front of teeth to fix things like crooked teeth, gaps and damaged enamel. Your cosmetic dentist will remove a portion of enamel from the tooth’s surface so that the veneers can be bonded into place. Veneers are permanent, durable and a great way to enhance anyone’s smile.
The most basic cosmetic dentistry treatment is teeth whitening. Over time teeth will pick up stains from the food and drinks we consume or from medications and bad habits such as smoking leaving them less than white and often not very attractive. Teeth whitening is a quick, easy fix and is also one of the best bang-for-your-buck treatments to take your smile to the next level. There are a number of over-the-counter products available – rinses, toothpastes, bleaching gels – but we do recommend having your teeth professionally whitened for the best, fastest and safest results.
Somewhat similar to a veneer in the results they provide, dental crowns or dental caps are made to fit over a damaged or decayed tooth to keep it from breaking or to offer cosmetic enhancements. Like veneers, crowns are often used to cover misshapen or discoloured teeth or to cover procedures like dental implants, root canals, fillings and dental bridges. Your dentist will opt for crowns if the damage to your teeth is on the rearward facing side or there isn’t enough enamel present to attach a veneer securely.
If tooth decay or tooth loss is severe, then dental implants can be used to fix things permanently and effectively. Implants require your cosmetic dentist to insert a titanium base (screw) into your jawbone to which a dental crown (artificial tooth) can be securely attached. Over time the implant and your bone/tissue will fuse so that the dental implant plus crown will function just as your normal tooth. Once this happens, the artificial tooth can be attached and your function will be restored. This procedure is time consuming though, requiring multiple appointments and it’s also expensive. The results however are amazing, as patients can often have a damaged smile made good as new or better.
Inlays & Onlays
Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are used by cosmetic dentists when a tooth is too decayed to support traditional fillings. An inlay means that only the centre of a tooth is being covered while an onlay covers more than a single portion of or the whole tooth. This treatment is an alternative to a crown or veneer that allows more of the natural tooth to be preserved while still restoring the damaged tooth.
Dental bonding involves applying a mouldable resin to the tooths surface and then using a UV light to harden the material. After hardening, the resin can be shaped and polished to blend with existing teeth. Bonding is often used to repair cracks, chips, tooth decay damage and to cosmetically straighten misshapen teeth. It’s best used for minor repairs and is a cheaper alternative to crowns.
Do I need to see a cosmetic dentist?
If you have an issue with your teeth, a cosmetic dentist might be the solution. There are many reasons you might need a cosmetic dentist, including:
- Decaying teeth
- Tooth damage (cracks, chips, stains)
- Misshapen teeth
- Discoloured teeth
- Crooked or gapped teeth
- Missing teeth
Damaged, crooked, discoloured or decaying teeth might cause difficulties when eating or speaking and will have a severe negative impact on confidence. If you feel there is an issue with your teeth, please visit one of our convenient dental clinic locations in the GTA to find out how we can help restore your smile.