Are you currently unhappy with the way your smile looks? Are your teeth stained or oddly shaped? Do you wish you could fix damaged teeth or replace missing teeth? If this sounds like you, then you should consider cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dentistry restores the function of your teeth while also improving the look of your smile. There are a variety of cosmetic dental treatments available to help with all sorts of cosmetic concerns such as unevenly sized teeth, misshapen teeth, discolorations, broken teeth, and teeth with gaps between them. No matter what you want to fix with your smile, chances are that there is a cosmetic treatment out there for you.
Due to the variety of treatments available, however, it may be helpful to consider a few things before choosing which treatment to do. Some things you will want to consider are the things you want to fix about your smile, how long you are willing to devote to treatment, and what your budget is. In the meantime, it may help to familiarize yourself with some of the best cosmetic dental procedures:
Out of all the various cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening is one of the most popular. During a teeth whitening procedure, a whitening gel is applied to the surface of the teeth and left in place for about 30-60 minutes. In some cases, a special light may also be used to activate the whitening gel. This whitening gel is absorbed by the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth where it will break down colored molecules. The end result are teeth that average about 5-10 shades whiter than their initial color. In most cases, you can expect the results of the whitening procedure to last about one year.
Another highly popular cosmetic dental treatment are dental veneers. Veneers are thin shells that are usually made from porcelain. They are applied to the front side of visible teeth after a small amount of enamel has been removed. One main reason for the popularity of veneers is the fact that they are highly versatile and can fix a number of cosmetic concerns all at once. Veneers can correct teeth that are broken, unevenly shaped, improperly sized, overlapping, or that have gaps between them. Once applied, porcelain veneers tend to last about 10-15 years due to the fact that porcelain is resistant to both stains and damage.
In cases where a tooth is severely damaged, decayed, or discolored, a porcelain crown may be placed. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that can fit over an entire existing tooth or it can be used in coordination with a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. To place a dental crown, the tooth must be prepared by removing and reshaping the natural tooth structure so that the crown can be placed on the tooth. Just like porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns are stain resistant and durable. They last an average of 10-15 years.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jawbone. They are used to replace one or more missing teeth by acting as an anchor for a crown, bridge, or denture. A minor oral surgery is required to place a dental implant, however once in place dental implants can last up to 20 years. Additionally, dental implants offer the strongest and most aesthetic option for replacing missing teeth.
Composite fillings are used to restore teeth with small to medium areas of decay. They are made from composite resin, which is a dental material that can be color-matched to the surrounding tooth structure. To place a composite filling, the decayed tissue must first be removed. Then the composite resin will be applied and hardened one layer at a time with the final layer being shaped and polished. When completed, composite fillings can last about 5-7 years.
Dr. Victor Bustos graduated from Florida International University with an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Biology and then continued on to obtain his DMD from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. He strives to always stay current on the newest techniques and continuously attends dental continuing education courses and workshops to further his knowledge and hone his skills. Dr Bustos’ greatest satisfaction comes from helping patients achieve their dental goals.