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What Common Procedures Does a Cosmetic Dentist Offer?
A cosmetic dentist has a background in general dentistry but focuses their efforts on procedures outside the realm of routine care, such as on the form of the mouth, including how the teeth and/or gums appear. Although there is a common misconception that cosmetic dentists only care about looks, they do ensure full functionality too. Continue reading to learn more about the procedures that a cosmetic dentist can perform.
Procedures from a cosmetic dentist
Outlined here are a few procedures that a cosmetic dentist offers. Reviewing this information may be helpful to patients considering different options.
One of the most common procedures performed by a cosmetic dentist is teeth whitening. In general dentistry, teeth whitening can be done a couple of ways, depending on the practice, the patient's needs, and the dentist's discretion. In-office teeth whitening is the most popular because it produces the best results with a short time commitment. Take-home trays are another option that cosmetic dentists offer, though this requires the patient to perform the treatment independently at home. Additionally, it usually takes a few weeks and applications to get the desired results.
Another popular procedure performed by a cosmetic dentist is dental veneer placement. Veneers are thin plastic shells that go directly over the front teeth to cover imperfections or to address abnormalities. Cosmetic dentists recommend them when there are chips, cracks, severe stains, or teeth that are oddly shaped. Veneers are custom created and color matched, which means they cannot be whitened later. In most cases, the procedure can be performed in one appointment, though it does depend on how many veneers are being placed.
Dental veneers can be re-done later, but it is usually not recommended for at least a few years. That is why it is necessary to take proper care of the veneers. A few ways to maintain them include brushing and flossing every day and avoiding heavily dyed foods, such as wine, coffee, beets, and teas. Avoiding extremely tough or sticky foods is also recommended, as these can cause the veneers to become damaged, resulting in the need for repair.
Just like with veneers, dental bonding is done to address minor to moderate imperfections or abnormalities. However, the procedure is quicker and does not require any custom fabrication. Instead, a resin material is placed over the teeth, smoothed out carefully, and then hardened by a special curing light. The entire procedure can usually be performed in one appointment.
Dental bonding may need to be repeated every couple of years, depending on the patient and the goal. Those who want to maintain white teeth can utilize dental bonding. However, to avoid the need for it to be repeated sooner rather than later, it is ideal to avoid foods and beverages that may stain the teeth.
More advanced procedures
Cosmetic dentists offer more advanced procedures that may require multiple appointments or months of follow-up care. For example, they can replace missing teeth with dental implants or administer teeth-straightening treatment with clear aligners. Both of these will require a long-term commitment in order to get the most desirable results.
Regarding tooth replacement, the entire process can take up to a year, depending on the number of teeth that are missing and the treatment route. Dental implants take time to fuse with the bone, which can be months. Utilizing dentures is quicker because those are custom made in a lab.
Teeth-straightening treatment from a cosmetic dentist can also take up to a year or even more, depending on the severity of the issue. Patients with crooked or crowded teeth may need to undergo treatment for longer, whereas minor issues may only take a few months.
Other procedures include the following:
- Grafting to address receding gums
- Contouring to get rid of excess gum tissue
- Placing dental crowns to cover imperfections, such as severe stains or chips and cracks
- Placing inlays and onlays, which can also address cracks and chips
Get started with a cosmetic dentist
If you are considering any of the procedures above, it is worth consulting with a cosmetic dentist first. Any of your questions or concerns can be appropriately addressed, and an evaluation can be done to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Reach out today to find out more or to get scheduled for an appointment. We would be happy to address any concerns that you may have or answer any questions. Call us at your earliest convenience.
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