Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

December 13, 2023
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Most people are aware of the fact that the purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to restore the appearance of your teeth or to make your smile look more attractive than ever before. However, very few people are aware of how many types of cosmetic dentistry there are. 

In this article, we’ll detail a few of the most popular cosmetic dentistry options and explain the situations in which they are suitable. Read on to learn about the many amazing services that the world of cosmetic dentistry can offer you. 

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Teeth Whitening

Cosmetic teeth whitening is one of the most common and well-known cosmetic dentistry. Over time, the teeth in our mouths will naturally become more yellow due to various reasons, including smoking, drinking coffee, and the natural tooth aging process. 

Many people are unwilling to have a smile full of yellow teeth, which is why whitening services have become so popular. Fortunately, the process for making your teeth whiter is simple and entirely non-invasive. 

The most common method for teeth whitening involves having your dentist create a mold of your teeth. From that mold, your dentist will create a set of trays that include a unique whitening solution. By wearing those trays for a set amount of time per day, you can gradually whiten your smile. 

Since teeth whitening only works on natural enamel, this process will not help to whiten any false teeth you have in your mouth. However, if you still have a set of natural teeth that have become a bit discolored over the years, teeth whitening is the best cosmetic dentistry service for you. 

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After tooth discoloration, misaligned teeth are one of the most prevalent cosmetic dental concerns that many patients have. Fortunately, orthodontics provides many ways to straighten your teeth to make your smile and bite become perfectly aligned. 

If your teeth are crooked, overlapping, or have gaps between them, a skilled orthodontist can help you. There are many treatments an orthodontist may suggest for you, including braces, retainers, and more. 

Overall, the process of realigning your teeth through the use of orthodontics can take some time. However, for those who are unhappy with the alignment of their teeth, the results of orthodontic treatment are often worth the wait. 

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Dental Implants

Dental implants provide an excellent way to replace broken, damaged, or missing teeth. When you are in need of a dental implant, your dentist will essentially replace the root of your tooth with a small metal post. Once implanted, that post can support an artificial tooth that looks and functions just like a natural tooth. 

Although the results of a successful dental implant are incredible, you should know that this procedure is somewhat invasive, as your dentist will need to cut into your gums to secure the implant. This can result in a relatively long recovery time. 

Still, for many, dental implants are worth the effort of surgery since they are such a beneficial alternative compared to dentures. Unlike dentures, dental implants essentially restore the full functionality of your teeth, allowing you to eat and drink normally. They also look just like a natural tooth when the process is complete. 

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Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a popular option for anyone who has a tooth that looks less than perfect but does not necessarily need to be removed. In such cases, the main concern of the patient is that their tooth appears cracked, damaged, or otherwise unattractive. 

To remedy that concern, a dental veneer acts as a custom-made shell that covers the front surface of your tooth. Once attached, your tooth’s damage will be entirely concealed behind a material that matches the natural color of the teeth next to it. 

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Dental Crowns

A dental crown is another common type of artificial tooth that is somewhat similar to a dental veneer. The main difference here is that a dental crown covers the entirety of your tooth while a veneer only covers the front. 

Think of a dental crown as a small cap that covers a decaying or damaged tooth. Attaching a crown is also a common final step after receiving a dental implant. 

Once your dental crown is in place, it will function just like a normal tooth. Again, your dentist will also go to great lengths to ensure your crown has a custom fit and looks as natural as possible compared to the other teeth in your mouth. 

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Enamel Reshaping

While many of the cosmetic dentistry approaches we have mentioned so far provide major changes to the appearance of your smile, there are plenty of options for those who want a more subtle change in the look of their teeth. One such example is enamel reshaping. 

Enamel is the term that dentists use to refer to the outer layer of your tooth. Through enamel reshaping, a dentist can alter the shape of your tooth to remove imperfections. While these changes are mild, they can go a long way toward creating a smile you’ll love. 

Enamel reshaping is often the perfect option for someone who wants to make their front teeth look a bit more even or for those who want to remove small chips and cracks. The good news is this procedure is relatively quick and painless as well. Compared to other cosmetic dentistry interventions, enamel reshaping also proves to be highly cost-effective. 

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Composite Tooth Bonding

Like enamel reshaping, composite tooth bonding is another way to make smaller changes to the appearance of your smile. The main difference here is that while enamel reshaping involves removing tooth material, bonding requires a dentist to add a composite material to your tooth. 

By adding this special tooth-colored material, your dentist can make chips disappear. Tooth bonding can also help to lessen the severity of any gaps in your teeth. 

Another great aspect of tooth bonding is that it does not require a significant commitment on the part of the dental patient. While many cosmetic dentistry treatments are non-reversible, tooth bonding is something you can have removed at any time. 

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Inlays and Onlays

The final cosmetic dentistry options we’ll present to you in this article are dental inlays and onlays. These two cosmetic options are quite similar to one another, but they have some subtle differences that are worth noting. 

Inlays and onlays are both types of fillings that dentists will use to treat a cavity. These fillings are usually made of porcelain to match the color of your tooth, and they can last for several decades. 

To understand the difference between inlays and onlays, you need to know what a tooth cusp is. Tooth cusps are the small peaks that appear on your molars. While inlays fill the spaces between the cusps, an onlay will cover the cusps entirely. 

Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentistry Option for You

Knowing the many types of cosmetic dentistry is reassuring to many who are unhappy with the state of their smiles. However, no matter which cosmetic dentistry option appeals to you most, it is important to find a dentistry team that you can trust. 

At Cottonwood Dental Group, we provide premier dental services to the Highlands Ranch, CO area. If you are interested in our cosmetic dentistry or any of our other dental services, reach out to us today!