Your Torrance dentist might focus on oral hygiene and the prevention and treatment of oral disease, but he also focuses on improving the appearance of your smile. In other words, general dental practices address dental problems that require treatments that are necessary and cosmetic dentistry provides desired treatments. Cosmetic dentistry can also provide other benefits. For instance, fillings are used to treat tooth decay but can be composed of materials that match the color of your teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in the last several years, making cosmetic treatments more durable and predictable than ever before. Smile makeovers are more comfortable and recovery times have been greatly reduced. Here are a few treatments you might want to consider.
Over time, your teeth can become discolored and stained, especially if you smoke, take certain medications or drink a lot of coffee or tea. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment that is safe, quick and relatively inexpensive.
A mouthguard is made to hold the bleach against the teeth. Over the course of a week or two, significant whitening will occur. In fact, your teeth will be more than white, they will be brilliant.
If you have teeth that have excess space between them, are chipped, cracked or otherwise broken, bonding will help the way they look. The tooth is etched very lightly on the surface and a bonding liquid is applied. After this has set, a resin made from plastic is applied and your dentist sculpts it into the right shape. Once the resin is polished, it looks like your natural tooth.
Veneers are custom shells typically made out of porcelain, they cover the front of your teeth and change their appearance and shape. They are less expensive than crowns and last longer than bonding. Veneers are used to improve teeth that are chipped, cracked, permanently stained, poorly shaped or slightly crooked.
Crowns, sometimes called caps, completely cover the tooth, restoring its normal shape and appearance. Crowns can be made from any number of materials including metal, porcelain or resin. Crowns can be used when teeth are broken, worn or weak. They are also used to cover discolored teeth, cover a filling and cover a tooth after a root canal.
People of all ages benefit from the use of braces. Braces not only improve teeth that are crowded or crooked, they also correct jaw positioning, irregular bites and jaw joint disorders.
Many dentists choose clear braces for many reasons. Invisalign uses a series of removable aligners to straighten your teeth without the use of traditional metal wires and brackets. Each set of aligners are worn for about two weeks and can be removed to drink, eat, brush and floss. As each aligner is replaced, your teeth move, little by little, into their final position. The total treatment time can last anywhere from nine to 15 months.
Cosmetic dentistry offers several options for those who are unhappy with their smile. If you are unhappy with your smile, give us a call.