What You Need to Know About Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is often chosen to improve the overall appearance of a person's smile and their teeth, but it can also serve a number of purposes when it comes to oral health and the protection of your mouth. Today's cosmetic dentistry procedures are varied and much simpler and can often be performed in just one visit to your dentist's office. Note a few things you might need to know about cosmetic dentistry and then discuss your options with your dentist if you need more information about your choices.

How long do cosmetic procedures last?

Many cosmetic procedures last for years if not for the rest of your life; for example, if you get a dental implant, which is a false tooth that is actually screwed into the gum line of your mouth, this may last a lifetime. Other procedures, such as bonding or having a crown put over a tooth, will depend on the quality of the work and your own lifestyle. A crown that is put over a tooth should last indefinitely, but if you get hit in the face with an impact that would break a real tooth, it might break the crown. 

Smoking, acidic foods and other such factors may also affect the longevity of a procedure. Ask your dentist if you're concerned about having a procedure done again and again, and note his or her personal recommendations for making it last as long as possible.

Can I use cosmetic procedures to fix a crooked tooth?

This depends on the tooth and your overall jaw line. Cosmetic procedures don't fix a jaw line that is out of alignment, so if teeth are so crooked that they are not providing proper support to the jaw or are at risk of breaking, cosmetic dentistry may not be the right choice. However, putting a crown or bonding over a crooked tooth can make it simply look straight.

Is there drilling with cosmetic dentistry?

Sometimes teeth need to be drilled down so that a crown or bonding can be placed over them without seeming too large, or you may need some type of treatment to the gums before you can have a dental implant procedure done. However, if you're afraid of the pain or even the noise of the dental drill, note that many cosmetic dentists use lasers for this work now instead of an actual drill or scalpel. This can make the procedure less painful and less uncomfortable overall.