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Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments for Brighter Teeth
Patients who are dealing with discolored teeth can benefit from cosmetic dentistry. This branch of dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of a patient’s smile through treatments for the teeth and gums.
Common dental procedures to brighten teeth
Teeth are prone to staining over time, particularly due to certain lifestyle and diet habits. There are many cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be done to whiten teeth and help patients achieve a brighter smile. These are a few of the most common treatments.
Teeth whitening is the most frequent treatment used to brighten smiles. In this procedure, the dentist polishes the teeth to remove plaque on the surface. Next, a barrier is placed to protect the gums. The teeth are coated with a whitening solution that contains hydrogen peroxide. After the application, a light is used to help set the solution, and the teeth are rinsed. The procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.
Dental veneers are tooth-colored shells made from porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the teeth. With this treatment, the dentist will trim the enamel in preparation for the placement of the veneers. An impression of the teeth is then made to ensure a proper fit and is sent to a lab for fabrication, which typically takes a few weeks. When the veneers are ready, the dentist will check that the fit and color match the rest of the teeth; the surface of the teeth is then roughened to ensure proper adhesion. Next, the veneers are bonded to the teeth with a cement, which is hardened with an ultraviolet light. With proper care, they can last for many years.
Dental bonding is another treatment option used for whitening. In this procedure, a tooth-colored composite resin material is used, and the dentist will pick a resin color that closely matches the natural color of the patient’s teeth. The surface of the teeth is roughened, and a conditioning liquid is then applied to help the resin bond properly. The putty-like resin is molded and shaped to properly fit over the teeth, and a light is used to help cement it into place. After the resin has hardened, the dentist will then shape and polish it. Dental bonding is a similar treatment to veneers, with the main difference being the resin is created in the dentist's office and is placed in one visit.
Enamel microabrasion is a treatment option that is similar to teeth whitening. This procedure focuses on the mechanical correction of stained teeth, rather than the use of chemicals, and is less invasive. The treatment involves the scrubbing and removal of the outer layer of enamel with hydrochloric acid and pumice.
Cosmetic dentistry has many treatment options to choose from to help whiten teeth. Regardless of which option is chosen, patients can feel confident in the look of their smiles.
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