Cosmetic dentistry is any procedure that makes a tooth or a whole smile look beautiful. It is the process of making teeth look better and healthier. Procedures used in cosmetic dentistry can include teeth whitening, straightening, or replacing missing teeth. Some patients may require only one procedure, while other patients may require more than one procedure to fix their problem.
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If a patient has a stain on their tooth that bothers them, there are several options available. We can cover it with a white filling, or cover it using a procedure like porcelain veneers, which can also cover chipped teeth. We take the broken teeth and restore them to their original beauty, and even sometimes enhance what was there before with cosmetic options like crowns or bridges which make teeth white and pretty again. Using cosmetic dentistry, we can make over an entire smile, or make over one or two teeth to match everything else.
Treatment time varies for each procedure. There are same day procedures, which can treat something simple like a chipped tooth. And there are more complicated procedures that involve a consultation, and then having a laboratory involved to create the restorations. Generally, something like a porcelain veneer that needs to go to a laboratory would take two to three weeks. This means the impressions and images of the teeth that are taken at the dental office are sent to the laboratory where they create the restorations according to those specifications. During the time the laboratory is working on creating these restorations, the patient will receive a temporary crown, bridge, or veneer to wear while the permanent one is being made. And once the permanent restoration is made and sent back to the dental office, the patient comes in again and has it fitted in place.
We also do complete smile makeovers in cosmetic dentistry. A smile makeover essentially revamps a patient's smile by straightening, whitening, or replacing missing teeth. This involves the patient coming in for a consultation and working together beforehand to create a treatment plan. Once our treatment plan is in place, the dentist has to compile all the information. An exam is performed on the patient. Images and impressions are taken of the affected teeth as well as the entire mouth, and then sent to the laboratory if new restorations are necessary. Finally, the dentist will carry out the procedure(s) on the patient. More complicated procedures take more time, and can vary from several weeks to months depending on how complex the problems are and how extensive the makeover.
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