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What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

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General dentistry focuses on restorative and preventative care, such as removing plaque, filling cavities and treating gum disease. Cosmetic dentistry offers a range of non-essential dental treatments with the aim of improving the appearance of your smile. You may seek out cosmetic dentistry treatments if you have tooth discolouration, chipped teeth, gaps between your teeth or misaligned teeth. In order to have a cosmetic treatment carried out, you will typically need to have good oral health, so it may be necessary to have some general dentistry work carried out before scheduling a cosmetic procedure. This is to ensure the cosmetic treatment goes as well as possible and to minimise the risk of post-procedure problems, such as infection. Here's an overview of three common cosmetic dentistry treatments:

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a cosmetic treatment that can be used to conceal imperfections, such as cracks. It can also be used to change the size and shape of a tooth. This treatment involves your dentist applying a composite resin to the surface of the teeth you are having treated. The composite resin will be made to match the colour of your teeth, so it will be very difficult to notice any difference in the colour of the treated teeth.

Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening involves the use of a bleaching agent that's stronger than the whitening treatments you can buy over the counter. It's considered safe for your enamel and the treatment involves your dentist applying the whitening agent to your teeth and using an ultraviolet light to enhance the performance of the bleaching agent. In-office teeth whitening can usually be completed during your lunch break, and the results can last for several years if you follow your dentist's oral hygiene guidelines.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are used to cover any cosmetic flaws that don't affect tooth health. They are thin porcelain shells that are made to replicate the appearance of your natural teeth and are fixed onto the front of your teeth with a dental adhesive. In order for the adhesive to stick well, your dentist will need to sand away a fine layer of your tooth enamel, but enough enamel is left in place to continue protecting your teeth from bacteria. Porcelain veneers can last for many years, and you can opt to have them removed at any time.

If you're not happy with the appearance of your smile, or if you're simply interested in hearing how cosmetic dentistry could improve the appearance of your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist for more information.