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Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures: The Key to a Better, Brighter Smile

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures: The Key to a Better, Brighter Smile

Most of the time, people tend to only visit the dentist when their toothaches or for tooth extraction. But nowadays, one of the reasons people visit the dentist is to try cosmetic dentistry or known as ‘aesthetic dentistry.’ But what are the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures that people try?

Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental work that focuses on creating an improvement to the overall appearance of your teeth, mouth, and your smile. Its aim is to aesthetically change your dental color, shape or size, position or alignment, and the appearance of your smile.

There are two dental specialties that primarily focus on dental aesthetics: Prosthodontics and Orthodontics. Prosthodontics focuses on dental prostheses, while orthodontics is all about the diagnosis and correction of the misplaced teeth and jaws or misaligned bite patterns. There’s also What are the different cosmetic dentistry procedures?

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

There are different cosmetic dentistry procedures that you can undergo to improve the appearance of your teeth.

Fitting of Dental Braces

Perhaps this is the most well-known procedure that is used for correcting misaligned teeth or jaws and/or adjusting crooked or crowded teeth.

Dental braces are a device that is usually associated with teenagers because this is the time when there are enough teeth to work with and uneven or crooked teeth are noticed.

Though adults may also get fitted with braces, they may have to wear them a little longer than younger people. It is because adult facial bones no longer grow, but they will still produce the same results.

Braces can be made out of metal wires, ceramic or plastic. They are designed for comfort but you may experience soreness for the first few days of treatment. Your mouth will adapt to your braces after a few days’ time. The treatment will last depending on the adjustment your teeth needs. It can take a few months to two-and-a-half years.

Dental braces are not only for aesthetic purposes. It improves the overall health of your mouth, also the way you chew, bite and speak. Although, this is a very safe procedure that has positive results, wearing braces can have some risks:

  • Cavities and gum disease
  • White stains on teeth due to loss of minerals of the outer enamel
  • Shorter lengths of the tooth root

Applying Dental Veneers

A veneer is a fine layer of material molded to fit over the visible part of your tooth. It can improve the shape, color, and position of our teeth. Veneers can make your teeth look healthy. It can lighten a discolored tooth to match the rest of your teeth. It can make cracked teeth appear to be whole again. Veneers can also fill in the gaps between teeth when braces are unsuitable for the patient.

Depending on which type you will be getting, the teeth are prepared for the veneers by:

  • Removing a small amount of shiny outer enamel from the tooth to help adhere the veneers in place. The enamel removed will be the same thickness as the veneer to ensure that it will all be in the same sizes.
  • Sometimes a local anesthetic will be administered.
  • Once the teeth are prepped, the dental team will take an impression or mold.
  • After two visits; one for teeth preparation and one for fitting, you’re good to go.

Dental veneers can last for years, though it can chip and crack just like your natural teeth. It can be repaired easily or fitted with new ones if needed.

Tooth Whitening Procedures

Over the years, your white teeth become a few shades darker and more yellow. What you eat and drink, your age, if you are smoking cigarettes, if you’re taking medications or had trauma, could be factors that made your teeth gradually lose their white color. Some people choose a teeth whitening procedure for a quicker means to make changes to their smile. Teeth whitening procedures can help restore or enhance your teeth color. Some of the procedures your dentist may perform are:

  • Your dentist may prescribe a stain-removal toothpaste. This whitening toothpaste is effective for stain removal. Though it cannot change the color of your teeth like bleaches, just polish the teeth surface.
  • Your dentist may use the chairside bleaching procedure where the teeth are applied with bleach. It usually takes one appointment to complete.
  • Your dentist may also provide you with custom materials and instructions to do the teeth bleaching at home.
  • There is a selection of over-the-counter bleaches that you can buy online or your local drugstores or grocery shops. You may check with your dentist before using these products.

Improper or overuse of these whitening products may cause teeth sensitivity or damage your gums or tooth enamels. Make sure to follow instructions carefully and consult your dentist.

cosmetic dentistry procedures

Clear Aligners

This device is a form of dental braces to adjust and align teeth. It is an alternative solution for people who prefer to straighten their teeth undetected. Invisalign contains no metal, are custom-made for your teeth, and nearly invisible.

Every two weeks you will receive a tray gradually repositioning your teeth into place. It works like a metal dental brace fixing and correcting gaps and crowded teeth but without the uncomfortable and painful irritation from the brackets of the wire braces.

The retainer is also removable so you can clean your teeth and eat normally as you would without braces. Consult your dentist first for proper application and treatment.

Dental Implants

Dental implant surgery is a procedure where the root of your tooth is replaced by metal and your teeth are replaced by an artificial one that functions and appears like a real tooth.

It can be an alternative to dentures that don’t fit properly or tooth replacements for gaps that will allow dentures or bridgeworks to be applied. Before the surgery, you will undergo a thorough dental checkup, a review of any medical conditions or medications you are currently taking, and planning your treatment. Dental implant is done in stages to allow healing time between procedures. The procedures are:

  • Removal of the damaged tooth
  • Grafting or preparing the jawbone (when required)
  • Dental implant placement
  • Healing time that allows the bones to grow
  • Abutment placement
  • Artificial tooth placement

The procedure may take months to complete depending on how fast you heal after each process. you may experience swelling of your gums or face, your skin and gums may also bruise, the implant site may become painful and minor bleeding. But if you follow your instructions from your dentist and the implant fused with your bones properly, you will have successful results.

Key Takeaways

Cosmetic Dentistry may change the appearance of your teeth and affect your facial structures and how it functions. However, like any cosmetic procedure, you have to follow your doctor strictly for good results.

Some of these treatments cost a hefty sum and require a few appointments that need time and effort. But making a few dental changes may boost your confidence and remove and enhance unwanted features for perfect teeth and smile.

Learn more about Cosmetic Dentistry here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Cosmetic Treatment | Oral Health Foundation, https://www.dentalhealth.org/cosmetic-treatment, Accessed February 12, 2021

Dental Braces – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/braces/about/pac-20384607, Accessed February 12, 2021

Veneers | Oral Health Foundation, https://www.dentalhealth.org/veneers, Accessed February 12, 2021

Tooth Whitening – From MouthHealthy.org, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening, Accessed February 12, 2021

Dental Implant Surgery – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dental-implant-surgery/about/pac-20384622, Accessed February 12, 2021

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Written by Lhay Ann Boctoy Updated Jun 10, 2021
Medically reviewed by Grazielle Millo-Paderes, DDM, MSc