Cosmetic Dentistry – What You Should Know

The term “cosmetic” usually brings to mind images of make-up, beauty salons, or plastic surgery.  “Cosmetic,” when applied to dentistry, is not so elective as these other terms may imply.  Implants are cosmetic, as well as veneers, all-porcelain crowns, whitening, and even some gum surgeries.  For many patients, cosmetic dentistry is not optional; it is a necessary treatment that also improves the quality of life.

Missing a Tooth?

Consider that you have a tooth missing and you wish to replace that tooth.  A bridge may be too aggressive if the adjacent teeth have not had large cavities or fillings.  An implant, however, may be the ideal solution.  An implant is placed surgically and painlessly into the area of the missing tooth.  After this area has healed, your dentist places the crown.  Implants are easy to maintain and do not require frequent replacement as a bridge may.  Many insurance companies will pay for implant placement.  The aesthetic value of an implant speaks for itself.  Implants look much more natural than a bridge.

Veneers are usually chosen for their aesthetic value rather than as a necessary treatment.  However, veneers may be recommended instead of crowns during larger restorations.  For example, a large filling on a front tooth may be a candidate for the more conservative veneer rather than a more aggressive crown treatment.  A discolored front tooth that underwent a root canal may also be an ideal candidate for a veneer.  Veneers are an excellent treatment for teeth that are slightly misaligned, misshapen, or stained.  Veneers offer a uniform, beautifully aligned, and bright smile that can do wonders for your confidence.

All-porcelain crowns are a great alternative to older technologies such as metal and porcelain fused to metal crowns.  Porcelain fused to metal often leaves a gray tint showing through the crown and a metal line around the gums. All-porcelain crowns offer a natural-looking, beautiful alternative to these other materials and are very versatile.

Have Discolored Teeth?

Teeth whitening is also an essential part of cosmetic dentistry.  Whitening is the perfect solution for yellow, stained, and darkened teeth.  Even if your teeth are only slightly dark, whitening can give your teeth a total makeover.  When professionally monitored by your dentist, whitening is a safe, cost-effective way to boost your confidence!  If you consider getting veneers, fillings, or crowns on your front teeth, you should seriously consider whitening your teeth first because they cannot change color once they are placed.

Your smile is often the first and last impression people have of you.  When you look into the mirror and smile, do you smile halfway or keep your lips closed?  Do you often reach up to cover your mouth when laughing or smiling in public?  These can be a sign of insecurity of your teeth. Cosmetic dentistry today is more advanced and popular than ever.  Why not ask your dentists about your best options and obtain a beautiful, confident smile!

About Thu-Nga Ortega, DDS, MAGD

General, cosmetic and geriatric dentist in Fairfax, Virginia. I believe in providing the most conservative dental care in the most comfortable setting. My care for my patients is my utmost importance. I have been a dentist for over 24 years and was the founder and CEO of Dental Cosmetix. Here conservative dentistry yields the most beautiful and health smiles. I have been awarded the FAGD (Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry in 2007) and then the MAGD ( Master of the Academy of General Dentistry in 2017). I am skilled in providing all facets of dentistry so patients can have all procedures done in one office without being sent to other office for other treatments.
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