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What is Cosmetic Dentistry and is it right for me?

September 7, 2012

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry improves the appearance of a patient’s teeth, gums and smile, and cosmetic dentists are held in the highest regard for their extensive training, education and experience in improving the esthetics of one’s oral appearance. Cosmetic  dentistry is different from general or restorative dentistry in that a patient chooses to have the procedure rather than it being required, just as any other cosmetic procedure for the body. It usually adds a dimension of art as well as utilizing the oral health benefits – finally giving the patient the smile they have always wanted.

New advancements and technology allow cosmetic dentists to combine materials – such as procelain or composite materials – that are both durable and esthetically pleasing that remarkably resemble the look and feel of your original teeth. This allows for a natural appearance, giving a patient confidence and self-assurance on their oral appearance.

Cosmetic dentistry also now allows less invasive techniques that conserve as much natural tooth as possible. These practices combined with advancements in natural-looking, tooth-colored dental materials make today’s cosmetic dental treatments more durable and predictable than in years past. In addition to these advancements many cosmetic dentists are available to perform many procedures in-office that used to require referrals to other specialists. The need for patients to see multiple dental care providers and experience multiple trips has been replaced by more convenient and advanced procedures and has reduced recovery time.

Types of Cosmetic Dental Procedures:


1. Dental Implants – Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth in a natural look and feel. Dental implants are long-term replacements that your cosmetic dentist surgically places in the jawbone, and are a healthy solution, except for children, that are a good alternative to dentures or partials.

2. Tooth BondingBonding is the application of a tooth-colored material using adhesives. Typically bonding is used to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth, close spaces between teeth, and/or make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth. It is also a way of protecting a portion of the tooth’s root that may be exposed when gums recede.

3. Dentures – Dentures are removable teeth that allow a patient to take them out and put back into their mouth.  Dentures are either complete sets or partials, that are designed for patients who suffer from tooth loss, without having to suffer the negative effects of not having teeth. They allow for the patient to eat and drink most foods and remove the sagging facial appearance that occurs with missing teeth.

4. Invisalign – Invisalign is a clear tooth aliner that mimicks braces without the large metal pieces connecting the teeth. Because of this, Invisalign has become the most popular aliner by cosmetic dentists and orthodontists.  Patients prefer Invisalign because it allows them to straighten their teeth while maintaining a professional appearance. The aligners fit comfortably over the teeth and gradually straighten them the same way braces do.

5. Teeth Whitening – Whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry procedure thanks to its ability in significantly improving the appearance of your teeth at much less cost and inconvenience than other techniques. There are various types of teeth whitening treatments available ranging from in-office bleaching to take-home kits that take a few weeks. Each method has its pros and cons and you can learn more by contacting our office.

6. Veneers – Dental veneers are custom-made ultra-thin shells of tooth colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. They can remedy the look of teeth that are chipped, discolored, misaligned, uneven, worn down, or abnormally spaced. The result of a dental veneer treatment is teeth that are bright and beautifully aligned and look and feel completely natural.

If you would like more information on any of the above or other dental procedures, please contact our office at 412-281-3955 or! Dr. Hayner looks forward to improving your smile!

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