Not so long ago, patients had very few choices in correcting their imperfect smiles. Orthodontic treatment could correct crooked teeth, but not much could be done about teeth that were chipped, oddly shaped or discolored other than covering them with crowns, a procedure that requires a significant reduction of healthy tooth structure. Today, there are several effective, fast and minimally invasive options for improving the appearance of teeth.
What Dental Treatments Are Considered Cosmetic?
All cosmetic dentistry treatments improve the appearance of an individual’s teeth. Some can also restore function and/or improve oral health as well.
Cosmetic dentistry treatments include:
Teeth Whitening — A relatively inexpensive way to brighten your smile, whitening teeth can be accomplished at home or in the dentist’s chair. There are many products and methods from which to choose. Read more about Teeth Whitening.
Composite Bonding — A tooth-colored composite resin attached to the teeth can improve the appearance and strength of chipped teeth. These procedures require very little preparation (drilling) of the tooth. Read more about Teeth Bonding.
Porcelain & Composite Veneers — Designed to substitute for tooth enamel, veneers are hard, thin shells of tooth-colored material that can mask a variety of dental imperfections. Read more about Porcelain Veneers.
Porcelain Crowns — Heavily damaged teeth can be covered with natural-looking porcelain crowns, which replace more natural tooth structure than veneers.
Porcelain Bridgework — A missing tooth can be replaced with porcelain bridgework that is attached to the natural teeth on either side of the space. Read more about Dental Bridges.
Dental Implants — Usually made of titanium, an implant is used to replace the root portion of a missing tooth. The implant is fitted with a crown to create a natural-looking replacement for the entire tooth. Read more about Dental Implants.
Inlays & Onlays — In certain cases, fillings can be fabricated from porcelain or composite materials in a dental laboratory to more closely match the color of a tooth. When applied to the inside of the tooth, they are referred to as “inlays.” Attached to the biting surface, they are known as “inlays.”
Tooth-Colored Fillings — Gone are the days when a filling has to be obvious and unsightly. Tooth-colored fillings are barely noticeable. Read more about Tooth Colored Fillings.
Clear Orthodontic Aligners — Many adults, as well as some teenagers, are opting for clear orthodontic aligners, instead of metal braces, to straighten their teeth. Read more about Clear Orthodontic Aligners.
Cosmetic Gum Surgery — Minor surgery can reshape gum tissue to give it a more leveled appearance.
Tooth Contouring & Reshaping — Cosmetic dentists can use a drill or laser to smooth out or reshape teeth.