Cosmetic dentistry is an area of dentistry that is used to improve the appearance of the teeth. Sometimes, when receiving cosmetic dentistry procedures, it can also improve the teeth’ function, such as in the case of orthodontics. There are several different options for cosmetic dentistry, and it is best to discuss with your dentist which options are available to you for the results you are expecting.
Whitening is the process of brightening the internal shade of your teeth through using a whitening agent. Whitening can be in the form of take-home whitening trays or in-office whitening. Both of these options will brighten your teeth’ internal shade when the whitening agent (usually hydrogen peroxide) travels through the microscopic channels in your teeth to brighten from the inside.
Dental bonding is the process of applying a thin layer of tooth-coloured filling material to the front surfaces of some of your upper teeth. Bonding is a less expensive version of veneers and can help change your front teeth’ size, shape, and shade. Although bonding is less expensive than veneers, it can chip/ crack and require replacement more frequently.
Veneers are more expensive than bonding because they are a more permanent and resilient option for improving your front teeth’ aesthetic. They are thin, shell-like coverings fabricated in a lab specifically for your teeth that get bonded to your teeth’ front surface. If properly cared for, veneers have a life span of 10-20 years.
Crowns help improve your teeth’ aesthetic, much like veneers but offer full coverage, so they will often be used for back teeth. A crown is also fabricated in a lab specifically for your teeth and can also change the tooth’s size, shape, and shade. Dental crowns would be recommended for teeth that need full support, such as previous large cavities, enamel deformities and root canals. Dental crowns can also be used for front teeth.
Orthodontics helps to improve the aesthetic of your teeth and smile by straitening them and aligning the bite. Straight teeth also help make it easier to keep them clean. You may have several options for orthodontics, including bands and brackets, aligners or lingual braces.