Cosmetic dentistry refers to the field that focuses on improving the aesthetic appearance of one's smile while also preserving the health of the teeth and gums.
What many do not know about cosmetic dentistry is that many general dentists can and do perform these types of procedures. There are, of course, dentists who focus solely on cosmetic dentistry, but there tend to be a lot of crossovers, which is why a general dentist is a great option to utilize. Continue reading to find out more about what procedures are frequently offered by general dentists.
4 Cosmetic dentistry procedures offered by a general dentist
Outlined below are some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures that general dentists commonly offer. This information may be helpful if you are looking into cosmetic dentistry treatments.
1. Dental veneer placement
The placement of dental veneers is very popular in cosmetic dentistry due to their versatility and ability to create a brand-new-looking tooth. It is key to note that veneers are only administered to front teeth as they are thin shells that go directly over the tooth.
General dentists recommend dental veneers for many purposes, including covering imperfections such as stains, chips, and cracks. In addition to cosmetic purposes, they can also be used to restore teeth that are at risk of decay.
Dental veneer procedures do typically require at least two appointments. The first one is for the custom-fitting of the veneer as they are made in a dental lab. A few days later, the patient can return to the dentist's office to have the veneer placed. The tooth is cleaned and etched so that the veneer will be set. Dental cement is laid on the surface and the dental veneer is placed over it. A curing light is then used to set the dental veneer.
2. Teeth whitening
As people age, their teeth can easily become stained. Beverages, in particular, tend to stain the teeth over time. It is highly advised to avoid drinks like coffee, wine, and tea. In the event that they cannot be avoided, general dentists recommend following with water to rinse the teeth. Of course, these efforts may not always work, resulting in the need to undergo a cosmetic dentistry procedure, such as teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening can be done by a general dentist directly in the office, which is highly recommended for severe stains. Additionally, general dentists can administer teeth whitening trays for at-home use. These trays still utilize highly-concentrated solutions that can lift surface stains. Results are typically noticed within a couple of weeks when using at-home trays whereas in-office treatments produce same-day results.
Another cosmetic dentistry procedure that general dentists perform on a regular basis is the application of composite bonding. This procedure is one that can be used for both restorative and cosmetic purposes. Composite bonding can be used to address imperfections such as stains, small cracks, or minor chips on the surface of the teeth.
The procedure is typically pretty quick and painless. The general dentist will apply a thin layer of composite, which is a tooth-colored material. Then, the composite will be shaped to cover the imperfection and make the tooth look brand new. Afterward, a curing light is used to harden the composite and ensure that it sets permanently on the tooth.
4. Teeth straightening
Some general dentists offer teeth straightening treatments to individuals looking to improve their smiles. Commonly, treatments like braces or aligners are offered at a young age to straighten the teeth for the purpose of good oral health. However, as people age, the teeth can shift again, resulting in crookedness. Having the teeth straightened does fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry as it aims to improve form and appearance while ensuring good function, too.
Adult patients may opt for clear aligners as they are more discreet and comfortable, which allows for an easier treatment process. Typically, treatment is required for six months to a year, depending on the severity of the crookedness.
Ready to schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation?
When considering undergoing a cosmetic dentistry procedure, it is recommended to consult with a professional to get started. General dentists are great resources to utilize when wanting any type of dental work done, even some cosmetic procedures as outlined above.
To learn more about cosmetic dentistry treatments offered at our dental clinic, contact us today. Any unanswered questions or concerns can be properly addressed by our dental health team.
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