If you want to improve your smile, then you are probably interested in cosmetic dentistry. However, there are quite a few different procedures that fall into this category, so you might not know which is best for you. To help you out, this is an overview of the most common cosmetic dental procedures:
- Crowns - Crowns aren't always used to treat cosmetic problems, and are more commonly associated with repairing damaged teeth. Crowns are essentially caps that cover teeth which are missing part of their structure, either due to decay, damage, or surgery. However, crowns are also extremely good at improving the aesthetic of a tooth. With a crown, you can restore a tooth to its original pristine appearance. Depending on the type of material, a crown might stain fairly easily, as is the case with porcelain.
- Whitenings - You might be familiar with teeth whitening products that you can use at home, but dentists have access to much more potent materials. Professional teeth whitenings are extremely thorough and can restore the color of your teeth in a few short sessions. With whitenings, it is important that you continue to be vigilant with the appearance of your teeth. If you do not clean regularly and avoid foods that stain, you can end up needing another whitening in short order.
- Bonding - Dental bonding involves the application of a protective resin to the tooth. This is a much less permanent solution than something like a crown, but bondings are also much easier to install. They can easily be done in a single visit and will protect your teeth for quite a while. On the other hand, bondings don't last as long as other options, so you might need to get the process done again in a few years.
- Veneers - Veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures and are usually used to improve aesthetics. Veneers are quite expensive, but they are incredibly effective at improving your smile. Veneers don't offer much protection against decay since they only cover the front of the tooth. However, they can conceal and protect damage on the front of the tooth.
This should give you a general idea of what each of these procedures is for. However, you should talk to your dentist to see which option is best for you. Different factors, such as tooth shape, may make some procedures more desirable than others.