Beauty, aesthetics and improving the appearance of our teeth all fall into the field of cosmetic dentistry. Although cosmetic dental procedures are not considered essential they are a very important part of our overall well being and can help boost our confidence and help us feel better about how we look. Cosmetic dentistry differs from general dentistry in that the latter is more concerned with cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions or similar procedures and less in creating beautiful smiles, white teeth, veneers, aligned teeth (orthodontics) and the likes. Which ever you case, we have a specialized dentist ready to assist you with your treatment.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth, as it was for many years. Nowadays, many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or ‘aesthetic dentistry’, as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. The treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth. Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges and tooth-coloured fillings.
What is a veneer?
Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of front teeth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail.
Why might I have a veneer?
Veneers are an ideal way of treating discoloured or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks.
How are veneers made?
They are made by a dental technician, using impressions taken by the dentist. The veneers are made in the laboratory and bonded to the tooth to form a strong and natural-looking repair. Sometimes a natural colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain. Composite veneers can be completed in one visit and involve bonding tooth-coloured filling material to the front of the tooth. Although these veneers are slightly more prone to staining and have a shorter life, they are easily replaced.
Can I use veneers to close the gaps between my front teeth?
Yes. Again, using tooth-coloured material or porcelain, the dentist can change the shape or size of the tooth very slightly, closing the gap between the teeth.
Can I have white fillings?
For over 150 years standard fillings have been made out of a silvery-grey material called ‘amalgam’. This is still one of the strongest and longest-lasting materials available for fillings. However, many people find it unattractive and some are concerned about possible health risks. White fillings are now becoming a popular alternative to amalgam fillings. The new dental materials mean it is much easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling.