People choose cosmetic dental procedures/surgery for various reasons: to repair a defect such as a malformed bite or crooked teeth, treat an injury, or just improve their overall appearance. Whatever the reason, the ultimate goal is to restore a beautiful smile. For these and many other reasons, cosmetic dentistry has become an important part of the dental profession.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Over the years, the processes and procedures that fall under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry have changed. Involving more than just teeth whitening or replacing a broken tooth, cosmetic dentistry involves a myriad of treatments, from veneers and fillings to gum lifts and more.
Common cosmetic dental procedures can be performed to correct misshaped, discolored, chipped or missing teeth. They also can be used to change the overall shape of teeth-from teeth that are too long or short, have gaps, or simply need to be reshaped. Some treatments and procedures add or take away gum tissue in order to even out the smile’s appearance and make it look more natural.
Some of the more common procedures involve:
A procedure in which tooth-colored material is used to close gaps or change tooth color. Dental bonding is helpful when you have discolored teeth due to medical issues, smoking, or other health factors which have changed the color of the teeth.
Contouring and reshaping
A procedure that straightens crooked, chipped, cracked, or overlapping teeth.
Synthetic caps, often made of porcelain, that are placed on top of the tooth in order to restore function and appearance.
A procedure in which ultra-thin coatings are placed over the front teeth. Veneers can change the color or shape of your teeth. For example, veneers have been used to correct unevenly spaced, crooked, chipped, oddly shaped, or discolored teeth.
Teeth whitening and bleaching
As the term implies, teeth whitening and bleaching are used to make teeth whiter. These procedures are rapidly becoming more popular. In our Crestwood office we also offer Laser Teeth Whitening.
Which techniques should be used to improve your smile? A dental exam will take many factors into consideration, including your overall oral health. A dentist performing an exam to determine what cosmetic dentistry treatments will work for you may look at X-rays, perform a general exam of your teeth, locate the space where missing teeth should be (if applicable) and ask questions about your health and lifestyle. When you set up your appointment, it is important to come prepared with questions to ask will allow you to gauge if the dentist’s experience with cosmetic dentistry meets your expectations.
Working with an experienced cosmetic dentist increases your self-esteem and confidence following your procedure because the appearance of your teeth and overall smile improves. The St. Louis dentists at Crestwood Dental Group are dedicated to improving the appearance and health of teeth which goes beyond teeth whitening and other services traditionally associated with cosmetic procedures. When you visit our office, you receive individualized treatment that is tailored to your needs.
Restoring the look of your teeth is within reach. For more information on cosmetic dentistry treatments in the St. Louis and Crestwood, MO area, contact Crestwood Dental Group today!
Lost Gum Tissue Replacement
Replacing lost gum tissue can restore the natural contour of your smile.
Gum tissue can change or even shrink. There are many reasons for this, including receding gums (from gingivitis or periodontal disease), and loss of one or more teeth (which causes tooth-less gum tissue to shrink).
Gum tissue can be augmented or replaced by a variety of means, including soft tissue grafts, which are small pieces of tissue taken from other areas such as the palate and surgically implanted in the affected area. Gum augmentation procedures can also be used to cover painful, exposed tooth roots.
Excessive or Uneven Gums
Many people inherit the problem of excessive or uneven gums. A cosmetic surgical procedure called a gum lift can be used to correct this problem.
Some abnormalities, as well as advanced gum disease that cannot be treated periodontically or non-surgically, may require application of soft tissue grafts. Such procedures can be used to cover an exposed root or correct uneven gum lines.
Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry aimed at creating a positive change to your teeth and smile.
How do I know whether a cosmetic dentist is good or not?
It is important to do your research when looking for a cosmetic dentist. Patients should read referrals, reviews, and rely on their experience with the doctor.
Will my dental insurance pay for my new smile?
All plans are different, but most only cover necessary dental work. If your teeth require fillings and crowns due to fracture, decay, or existing fillings, most insurances will cover the procedure.
What cosmetic dentistry procedures are available for people who are missing teeth?
Procedures to replace teeth include crowns and bridges, implants, partials, and dentures.
What is bonding? How is it different from other cosmetic dental procedures?
Bonding is using composite (white) filling material to cover part of a tooth. It can be very esthetic but not as strong as crowns or veneers.
Does teeth whitening hurt?
Teeth whitening can cause some sensitivity depending on the strength of the whitening gel and how sensitive someone’s teeth are. There are many whitening options available for patients based on their specific needs.
How are veneers different from crowns?
Veneers typically only cover the front surface of the teeth and only partially on the back. They are made from porcelain and are not as strong as crowns, which will cover your entire tooth above the gum line. Veneers can be more esthetic and natural looking than crowns. However, most insurances will not cover veneers.
Do veneers make teeth sensitive?
Veneers can cause post-operative sensitivity depending on how much of the tooth was prepared.
How many visits will it take to fix and improve my smile?
The number of dental visit it may take to fix and improve your smile depends on the treatment necessary. It could require only one visit. However, more extensive work could require many visits to complete.
Can children or teenagers have cosmetic dentistry?
Yes, but normally to repair broken or chipped teeth. Orthodontics is more common in children/teens to improve the smile. Sometimes cosmetic work, such as bonding or veneers, is then needed to help with orthodontic outcomes.