Cosmetic Dentistry

by John R. Treinen, DDS

What are Common Procedures Associated with Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a wide field of practice with many different procedures that are designed to both correct damage and restore a person's smile. A few of the most common procedures associated with cosmetic dentistry includes porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges, composite fillings, teeth whitening systems, orthodontic devices, and smile makeovers. Cosmetic dentistry options are designed to help a person restore the original look of their teeth. This includes repairing any chips or cracks, removing stains and discolorations, and aligning the teeth so they are more visually appealing.

Do Teeth Whitening Systems Have Side Effects?

For the most part, teeth whitening systems do not have "side effects." A person may be mildly sensitive to the whitening agents used in the system itself, but other than that most people have no residual effects that cause them discomfort or pain. The one thing that dentists will often discuss with their patients who plan on using a teeth whitening system (toothpaste that claim to whiten teeth) is to use one that is minimally abrasive. Some systems contain harsh abrasives that may damage the delicate enamel that covers the teeth. Once the enamel is damaged, it cannot be repaired. If there are any questions about a system, it is important to discuss it with the dentist first.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are small coverings that are made in the shape of the front of the tooth and then bonded directly to the tooth to create a new surface. Veneers are used for several reasons. They can be used to improve the shape of abnormally small or imperfect teeth. Veneers can also be used to close gaps and cover up any broken or damaged teeth. Porcelain veneers can be made bright white, or they can be mixed with color combinations to make them look exactly like the teeth that will be surrounding them. Veneers can be used to lighten discolorations and eliminate harsh stains that may not be able to be whitened through other teeth whitening systems.

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