Cosmetic dentistry is used to improve smiles for aesthetic reasons and also to boost function and good health. People use cosmetic dentistry for veneers, whitening and dentures and also for long term maintenance of an attractive smile.
Veneers, either porcelain or resin, are used for improving the appearance of the teeth. They are applied to the front of the teeth and fill gaps, making crooked teeth appear straighter and covering discolored teeth. Porcelain veneers are more natural looking and stain-resistant than resin but resin veneers are thinner. A cosmetic dentist can help the patient choose the best one for her particular smile.
Tooth whitening is very popular and there are many ways to do it. It is important to have a thorough dental exam and consultation before choosing a product or procedure for whitening. Bleaching products containing hydrogen peroxide are sometimes used with special lights or lasers to make them work faster. These remove stains that are on the surface of the tooth as well as deeper stains. Non-bleaching whiteners work on surface stains only.
Dentures or dental implants act as replacements for teeth that are missing or too damaged for repair. Dentures are a set of artificial teeth that are removed daily for cleaning. Implants are permanent. Instead of the roots of a tooth, implants are little titanium screws surgically implanted into the gums to hold crowns. The dentist can place one or several. Implants, like dentures, help to chew food and hold the shape of the face that would otherwise appear sunken.
A healthy, attractive smile is important to make us feel good but also to promote good physical and mental health. A healthy mouth contributes to the ability to eat more nutritious food, sleep better and be free of pain from gum disease and tooth decay. In addition, according to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, a healthy mouth may also be a factor in retaining good memory and math skills.