Dental care is important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Luckily, there are many general dental cosmetic and restorative procedures that can improve your smile. If you would like to know more, keep reading.
1. Teeth Whitening
Many people have tried over-the-counter teeth whitening products, but professional dental whitening is the most effective. You can dramatically change the shade of your teeth by removing extrinsic stains, such as stains caused by:
- Red wine
If you want to save a little money, ask about at-home professional whitening. The process takes longer, but you still get professional results.
If you have a cavity, you'll need a filling. In the past, most fillings were made from metal. Metal makes good fillings because it is strong and durable. However, they are usually considered "unattractive" as they make teeth look discolored.
More and more patients are choosing tooth-colored fillings. These aren't as durable, but they look like natural tooth tissue, and the material bonds to teeth.
3. Dental Bonding
The material used for tooth-colored fillings can also be used for dental bonding. Dental bonding is a great choice if you need to repair a chipped tooth, but it can also be used to change the shape and appearance of teeth. In turn, dental bonding can correct:
- Short crowns
- Mild crowding/gapping
- Stubborn discoloration
- Cracks in enamel
4. Porcelain Veneers
If you want a more attractive way to boost your smile, consider porcelain veneers. They correct many of the same cosmetic issues as dental bonding. However, because they are made from porcelain, they look more natural and are more durable. They are more expensive than dental bonding, but when done correctly, they look like natural teeth.
5. Dental Crown
Dental crowns are used to strengthen weakened teeth. Weak teeth are prone to future damage from pressure, and teeth become weak from severe decay and major restoration treatments like root canals.
The right type of dental crown depends on your needs, wants, and the location of the tooth. Dental crowns are often made from:
- Composite resin
- Porcelain and metal
Metal crowns are the least attractive, and they may cause more irritation to the gums. However, they are the strongest option. Composite resin crowns are made from the same material used for dental bonding, making them attractive, but they aren't as strong as metal crowns.
Porcelain crowns, like veneers, look the most like natural tooth tissue, and they are a great choice for front teeth. For back teeth, however, you want more durability, so your dentist may recommend porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
If you are unhappy with your smile, you're not alone. Luckily, there are many procedures to restore your smile and oral health. If you would like to know more, contact a general dentist, like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.