Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental procedures designed to improve the appearance of your teeth.
Cosmetic treatments are very popular these days, and most people don’t even differentiate between regular and cosmetic dentistry. Orthodontic treatments are sought for both functional and cosmetic purposes. For example, if you have a damaged tooth, you have a functional and cosmetic issue to address—you need the tooth capped so nerves aren’t exposed and you can continue to chew and also to improve the appearance.
We offer a range of cosmetic dentistry treatments at Beachside Complete Dental care, but before we go through them, let’s get one question out of the way.
“Am I happy with my smile?”
A combination of factors can lead to teeth that need a little work, such as genetics, socio-economic status (past opportunities to access regular dental checkups for example), poor nutrition, substance use, accidents, or poor dental practices at home. No matter the cause, everyone deserves the opportunity to have dental treatment to improve their confidence.
What are the common cosmetic dental treatments?
At Beachside Complete Dental care and Dental Implant centre, we help you create your most beautiful smile, whilst preserving natural tooth structure and function wherever possible. This comes as part of our Smile Rejuvenation (or Smile Makeover) treatments.
Some common cosmetic treatments are:
- Teeth whitening
- Teeth straightening (orthodontics)
- Bonding, porcelain veneers, crowns (caps)
- The removal of unsightly gum structures
Here’s a rundown of each.
Certain lifestyle choices can impact the appearance of teeth. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea and soft drinks, taking certain medications, and having inadequate nutrition, can all lead to teeth staining.
Teeth whitening is a technique that can brighten up your smile and give you a fresh look. Beachside Complete Dental care can help you with our Zoom Whitening technique.
Zoom uses a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel and a Zoom light to penetrate your teeth, break up stains, and reduce discolouration of the enamel and dentine.
Treatments take about 60-90 minutes and the results can last for up to a year if you follow care guidelines.
See our post on Teeth Whitening for more information on Zoom.
At Beachside Dental we offer a variety of solutions for crooked teeth including orthodontics, Invisalign ®, porcelain veneers and dental crowns to improve the appearance of uneven teeth and gaps between teeth. This kind of treatment can help create a symmetrical look to the smile.
By assessing your teeth and the shape of your jaw, we can determine if you need braces. Before braces, a palatal expander may be used to widen the upper jaw, and a lingual bar to open the lower jaw. Braces are then fitted.
During regular return visits, your braces will be adjusted so they continue to gradually align the teeth. At the end of the entire process, a retainer is fitted, so that the teeth maintain their new position.
Braces come in metal or ceramic (clear braces), and can sit at the front of the teeth,. Most often, braces are recommended at around the age of 10-14, while the jaw is still developing, but adults can opt for them too.
Generally braces are worn for between 18 and 30 months. A retainer is used once your braces are removed.
An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign ® is a treatment that straightens your teeth using clear plastic orthodontic aligners. Because they are transparent, they’re barely noticeable. This makes Invisalign ® an appealing option for those who don’t like the appearance of braces.
Invisalign ® treats overbite, underbite, crossbite, gap teeth, open bite and crowded teeth. They are removable, so you wear them for up to 22 hours per day, and remove them when you eat and drink.
Bonding, porcelain veneers, crowns (caps) gum grafts
Bonding involves the application of a plastic resin to a tooth during a dental procedure, to rectify issues like chipped, fractured or stained teeth, or to fill in the teeth when the patient has receding gums.
The resin bonds to the teeth and can be shaped and polished by the dentist as you sit in the chair. The dentist tries to match the shape and colour of the resin to the adjacent teeth.
Crowns / Caps
Crowns or caps are prosthetics fixed onto a tooth. They are generally required when there’s been damage to a tooth. Crowns hide the appearance of a break, and also serve to strengthen any remaining part of the tooth, and allow the tooth to function as it previously did.
A number of types of crowns may be used for a particular fix, including ceramic crowns (which match well to natural tooth colour), gold and other metal alloys (which are very strong), and porcelain crowns fused to metal (which increase the strength of the crown).
Your choice in bond may be determined by affordability, how long you expect the crown to last, and how you feel about the appearance of the crown (some people may like the appearance of a gold tooth, while others prefer the look of a cap that blends in with the other teeth).
For more information, see our Porcelain crown and bridges page.
Veneers are a good solution for stained or uneven teeth.
- Composite veneers
Composite veneers are resin veneers that are applied in a single dentist visit and last for between 4-8 years if well cared for. For those in need of a quick and affordable solution, composite veneers are a good option.
- Porcelain veneers are made from a thin layer of porcelain which reflects light in the same way as natural tooth enamel, and does not stain. They are a more expensive option than composite veneers but have the advantage of lasting for between 10-25 years. Applying porcelain veneers generally takes place over two dentist visits.
Care for both composite and porcelain veneers includes routine dental examinations and hygiene visits, good oral hygiene and may include the nightly application of an occlusal splint.
Laser gum recontouring
Otherwise known as a gum lift, laser gum recontouring is a cosmetic procedure used to amend the appearance of uneven gum lines or too much gum (a ‘gummy smile’).
A periodontal specialist removes excess gum tissue and uses a laser to reshape the gum.
Laser gum recontouring has a short recovery time, so you can usually return to work the following day.