Cosmetic dentistry is a popular term describing a myriad of dental procedures involving the front teeth to enhance the smile. Over time, teeth show signs of wear and tear. After all, teeth are used multiple times per day for a lifetime, and when an adult reaches middle-age the teeth have been used for literally thousands of hours of chewing and drinking. These everyday activities result in staining, discoloration, and even chips and fractures.
In addition to normal wear and tear, teeth are worn down even faster through unnatural excessive forces such as clenching and grinding during the day or at night (i.e. Bruxism). These types of forces have the effect of shortening teeth and simultaneously making the face appear older due to decreased facial length and wrinkles. Furthermore, when the front teeth become shorter, the back teeth receive more force than their designed to withstand and this leads to chips, fractures, and in some instances tooth loss due to catastrophic failure.
Besides functional and non-functional forces, teeth are also damaged by trauma through such things as car accidents and sporting injuries. Damage to the front teeth can sometimes cause other complications affecting speech which can be evidenced with a lisp that was not present before the accident. Clearly, these types of injuries can affect not only one’s appearance, but also self-confidence.
Thankfully, the problems described above can be treated with cosmetic dentistry. Again, cosmetic dentistry is just a blanket term describing any procedure on the front teeth enhancing their appearance and function. One of the more popular and least invasive cosmetic procedures is whitening- which can be done in-office or take-home with trays. Other cosmetic procedures include veneers, crowns, composite restorations (fillings), and composite veneers. Of course orthodontics including braces and Invisalign falls into the category of cosmetic dentistry as well.
When the time comes that you have cosmetic concerns with your teeth, we are happy to schedule a consultation appointment to discuss all available options and answer questions.