If you've decided to do something to improve your smile, you may be confused about all of the different cosmetic dentistry options on the market today. Whether you're covering up discolored teeth, eliminating a gap between your teeth or replacing a missing tooth, there's a cosmetic dentistry fix that's right for your mouth and your budget.
Which cosmetic dentistry tool is right for you?
1. Veneers. Veneers are thin layers of dental porcelain that fit over the exterior of the teeth and help give your smile a uniform, white appearance. This dental option is ideal for patients with tobacco or coffee-stained teeth or teeth that have developed ridges and ruts. Veneers are much less expensive than replacing an entire row of teeth with dental implants or crowns.
2. Bonding. Bonding is an excellent and affordable fix for tiny imperfections in your smile, such as a chip in a tooth or a broken tooth. This tooth-colored dental resin looks natural and not only fills in the crack or chip, but can actually strengthen your tooth.
3. Crowns. Crowns are porcelain overlays that fit over a filed-down portion of your existing tooth. Crowns are a good solution for severely discolored teeth or a tooth that is broken. A crown replaces more of the tooth structure than does a veneer and can also be used with a bridge to replace a missing tooth.
4. Implants. Implants are the most durable, but also the most expensive, of the many cosmetic dentistry options. With implants, a titanium screw is actually anchored in your jaw by an oral surgeon. After the wound from the surgery heals, a life-like porcelain tooth is attached to this screw. Implants function much like real teeth and allow wearers to eat all of their favorite foods without a problem.
5. Dentures. Dentures, also known as false teeth, are one of the oldest of the cosmetic dentistry tools. (George Washington had wooden dentures back in the 18th century.) Dentures are still useful today and make a affordable alternative to implants for people who have lost a number of teeth due to illness, old age or an accident.
Cosmetic dentists today have an entire arsenal of tools to help improve their patients' smiles. There's no one option that right for every patient. The one you choose will depend on your oral health, your budget and what type of issue you need to have corrected.