Any dental procedure that has an impact on the way that your teeth look can be considered a cosmetic procedure. If you are trying to get a brighter smile there are a number of cosmetic procedures that can help you achieve that goal. These procedures range from simple to extensive and have the potential to brighten many smiles that may seem beyond repair. Five cosmetic dental procedures that can give you a brighter smile include professional whitening, dark filling replacement, porcelain veneers, porcelain onlays, and porcelain crowns. The best option for you depends on the condition of your teeth now and your goals for your future smile.
Professional teeth whitening
In-office, professional teeth whitening can remove many stubborn surface stains that do not respond to your normal brushing routine. Every day you likely eat or drink food that can cause stains on your teeth. Over time those stains can become darker and more difficult to remove. If you want to try and whiten your teeth at home there are a number of options that may provide some success including whitening tooth paste, mouthwash, and strips. However, you will get quicker and more effective results if you choose to have your teeth whitened in the dental office because your dentist has access to whitening options that are more powerful than the ones you find on the grocery store shelf.
Replacement of dark fillings
Many adults have dark fillings from cavities they developed during childhood or adolescence. Improvements in technology now make it possible to effectively fill cavities with a material that closely matches the color of your teeth. If the way your dark colored fillings look bothers you, you can have them replaced with tooth colored fillings to brighten your smile.
Porcelain veneers are a minimally invasive cosmetic dental procedure that can brighten your smile and transform it in a number of other ways. Veneers are attached to your teeth and can provide you with maximum whiteness and other benefits such as closing spaces between teeth, covering damage, and adding length. No-tooth-preparation Lumineers by Cerinate are a type of porcelain veneer that does not require any tooth grinding and can be done in as little as two visits.
Porcelain crowns can brighten your smile by completely covering the damage to your current teeth. Crowns completely encase your natural teeth and hide any discoloration or damage that you do not want to look at anymore. There is a significant amount of preparation required to get your teeth ready for porcelain crowns. They can transform the look of your smile but should be considered after you have explored other less-invasive teeth brightening options.
All of the cosmetic procedures mentioned above have the ability to provide you with a brighter smile. You may benefit from one or a combination of these procedures depending on your situation. You can learn more about these procedures and which will work for you by scheduling an in-person consultation.
Julie C Berger, DDS, MA, FACP is a local Gettysburg dentist and a board certified prosthodontist specialist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.