Due to advances in materials and techniques during the past 25 years, cosmetic dentistry has made great gains. Today, there are many options for solving cosmetic dental problems. Because of these new procedures and materials, you can have more natural-looking and attractive teeth.
If you don’t like the shape of your teeth, their contours can be changed for a more pleasing appearance. If the color is too dark, you can try professional bleaching. Chips, cracks or fractures can be repaired with bonding, and veneers can cover a multitude of problems like gaps, stains, poor shape, or teeth that are out of alignment. Tooth-colored materials are used to repair decay, and sealants help protect the teeth.
Less visible and “invisible” braces may help make treatment possible for those individuals who have important cosmetic concerns. The braces may be placed on back side of teeth so they are not visible. In some cases, treatment may be done without using braces at all —by using a series of clear plastic removable mouthpiece-like aligners.
Because of these new procedures and materials, you can have more natural-looking and attractive teeth.
Veneers – Thin custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front side of teeth. Made of tooth-colored materials, veneers are used to treat spaces between teeth and teeth that are permanently stained, poorly shaped or slightly crooked. They may also cover teeth that are chipped or worn.
Tooth Whitening – Also called bleaching — is a procedure that brightens teeth that are discolored, stained, or have been darkened because of injury. It can be performed on living teeth or teeth that have had root canal treatment.
Bonding – Cosmetic procedures that can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have spaces between them. With bonding, tooth-colored materials are attached, or bonded, to a tooth surface. The process can improve unsightly stains from coffee, tea, tobacco or certain childhood medications; front-tooth spaces; and accident-induced cracks or chips. Bonding also is used to protect exposed tooth roots that result from gum recession and to fill small cavities. Bonding usually lasts from three to five years.
Enamel Shaping – A process of shaping, or contouring natural teeth to improve their overall appearance. When teeth are slightly crowded or uneven, or when eye teeth appear too long, enamel shaping may be used to correct the flaw.
Porcelain Laminate Veneers are coating crafted out of porcelain that are bonded to the front surface of a tooth. These veneers greatly enhance the look of your smile with as little discomfort as possible. These veneers are made to suit the patient’s individual needs and are indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Veneers can be used to provide an aesthetic solution in many situations:
1. Spaces between teeth.
2. Discolored teeth.
3. Malpositioned or slightly crooked teeth.
4. Odd shaped; cracked or chipped teeth.
5. Fractured teeth with a fair amount of tooth structure left.
6. Teeth with multiple fillings which have compromised the aesthetics of the smile.
7. Unsatisfactory shape, size and form of teeth.
8. To provide a “White Smile” in persons with naturally dark teeth.
Veneers can be placed on teeth with minimal tooth preparation. They look feeling completely natural. A beautiful result is achieved in just a few days time, and can last for many years. The texture and finish of porcelain veneers make them highly resistant to external staining. Due to their durability, looks and comfort, veneers have become one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments available today. Veneers today are widely used by people in the entertainment field and show business to obtain a beautiful smile.
The process of having a veneer made for your tooth involves a few short visits to your Dentist. The Procedure is simple and relatively painless.
1. Your Dentist will first analyze your smile to determine which teeth require veneers.
2. Depending on how much tooth shaping is required, you may or may not require anesthesia.
3. Minimal shaping of your teeth is then done and an impression is taken.
Ceramic veneers take between 1-2 weeks to be made. During that period, your teeth may be fitted with temporary veneers to prevent sensitivity.
Ceramic veneers are bonded to his teeth using special adhesives. Once fixed, these veneers are exceptionally strong. It takes only a day or two to get used to them.
Look after your veneers well. Brush and floss as you regularly do. Use non abrasive toothpaste to help maintain the shine and gloss of your veneers. Normal diet will not harm your veneers. Avoid any shearing force on these teeth [like biting sugarcane].
Regular checkups will ensure your veneers are in excellent shape. Well maintained veneers should last you for many years and give you a long lasting and beautiful smile.
A Crown, often called a “cap” covers the entire tooth, unlike a veneer which covers only the front surface of a tooth. A crown requires more shaping of the tooth structure and is often used to strengthen a weak or broken tooth. Crowns are extremely durable, aesthetic and are commonly used in the front and the back of the mouth.
While a crown is often used for its functional properties, like veneers these too can be used to bring about excellent aesthetic modifications in a smile. The common indications for a crown are:
1. To restore badly decayed teeth, with large fillings or teeth which are root canal treated.
2. To protect fractured teeth where little tooth structure is left.
3. When the position, shape, size or color of the teeth have to be dramatically altered.
4. To improve the bite.
5. To strengthen worn down or mobile teeth.
6. As part of a bridge to support a tooth replacement.
7. To be placed over an implant.
Crowns can be made of acrylic, metal, ceramic or a combination of any of these. The ceramic crowns are great for aesthetics and durability.
Tooth Shaping: Your Dentist will reshape the tooth, to create space all around it for the crown.
Impressioning: A measurement of the prepared tooth and of the surrounding and opposing teeth is taken. Your measurements are then sent to a dental laboratory for processing of the crown.
Temporary Crown: Meanwhile, a temporary crown may be placed. Take care of your temporary crown by avoiding sticky and hard foods and be sure to clean around it.
Cementation: Soon, your Dentist replaces your temporary crown with a permanent one. The crown is adjusted, making sure you are comfortable with it. It is then cemented or bonded to the prepared tooth.
1. Treat your crowned tooth like normal tooth.
2. Brush and floss thoroughly.
3. In the unlikely event of your crown or veneer coming off, keep it safely and contact your Dentist immediately. These can generally be refixed.
People from all walks of life can greatly benefit from the improved confidence a better smile can give. With proper care, Veneers and Crowns will enhance your dental health and beauty for a long time to come.
Teeth can discolour due to a variety of reasons.
1. The commonest discoloration is due to smoking or tobacco.
2. Food and beverages such as tea, coffee, colas and red wine can be the culprit.
3. Age can cause a natural darkening of teeth.
4. Certain medications such as tetracycline, taken at a very young age.
5. Increased exposure to fluoridated water.
6. Dental infection, faulty or old fillings, and dental treatment such as root canal treatment.