Cosmetic dentistry is the area of dentistry that’s focused on helping patients get the beautiful, healthy-looking smiles of their dreams through an array of procedures and treatments designed to enhance the appearance of the teeth and gums. Cosmetic dentistry encompasses a wide variety of treatments, including:
Some patients can achieve the look they want with a single procedure while others can benefit from a carefully-crafted, multi-step program of care featuring several procedures in what’s often referred to as a smile makeover.
A veneer is a very thin cover placed on the front surface of a tooth to provide aesthetic enhancement and address an array of cosmetic problems, including:
Veneer application typically requires two visits. Since a veneer rests on top of the tooth, a small portion of the tooth surface material must be removed during the first appointment to ensure the new veneer doesn’t “stick out” or extend over the surfaces of the neighboring teeth. An impression will be taken and sent to the lab where the veneer will be fabricated and tinted to match neighboring teeth. A temporary veneer can be applied during this visit to protect the tooth while the permanent veneer is being made. At the second visit, the tooth surface is carefully cleaned and the veneer is applied using a strong adhesive and then gently shaped for a comfortable fit.
Cosmetic bonding is a dental cosmetic procedure that uses tooth-colored materials to cover a tooth that’s discolored, badly damaged or otherwise defective. Unlike veneers that are made in a lab, bonding is performed in the office. While cosmetic bonding is durable, the materials are not as strong as those used in a dental veneer.
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