Monday, October 1, 2007

Cosmetic Dentistry - An Overview

Teeth Whitening

Generally speaking, teeth whitening/bleaching can be achieved in a variety of ways. It is used to correct discoloration of he teeth and a number of techniques can be used for this procedure including: chemical whitening, mild acid whitening, abrasive teeth brightening and the newest technique, laser teeth whitening. A basic teeth whitening procedure can be done in the surgery or at home, with the patient being given materials and instructions to complete the procedure themselves. Either way, you will find good results from both in surgery and at home techniques.


If your teeth are cracked, chipped, broken and showing signs of staining, then bonding (resin fillings) is a very good procedure to consider. With bonding, tooth colored materials are bonded to the tooth surface. It does a similar thing to porcelain veneers but is cheaper and does not take as long. However, resin is not as strong as porcelain and requires repairs within a few years. Also, over time, resin can discolor.

Enamel Shaping

This process normally combined with bonding involves modifying teeth by removing or contouring enamel. This is a very quick procedure and has immediate effects.


Veneers are like custom made shells that are used to cover the front side of the tooth. They are made from tooth colored materials in most cases porcelain and are used on chipped, worn, permanently stained, poorly shaped or crooked teeth. The dentist uses a wafer like piece of porcelain that is placed over the tooth for repair as well as cosmetic appearance. If you are after the look of that "Hollywood smile" then veneers are what you need. They are expensive though and a full procedure will cost many thousands of dollars.

Tooth Shaping

In this procedure, a small amount of the enamel on the tooth is removed. Tooth shaping can shorten and round off teeth, creating a nice even contour. The procedure is very quick and painless, being done within half an hour. The cost can be upwards of $100 per tooth.


Braces are used not only on children, but adults as well. They are used to straighten crooked and crowded teeth and also if your teeth do not meet properly. You will be referred to an orthodontist for this type of procedure.

Gum Lifts

This procedure involves the removal of gum to make teeth appear longer and to make the gum line appear more even. The dentist will numb the region and remove the excess gum.

Greg Culver is the owner of the website: a website dedicated to providing quality information, resources and news on cosmetic dentistry.

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