Cosmetic dentistry is a form of dentistry aimed at creating a positive change to your teeth and improving your smile. Cosmetic dentistry procedures complement your overall oral and general health. Cosmetic dentistry mainly aims at improving the appearance of your mouth, your teeth, and, finally, your mouth. Traditional dentistry aims at improving the oral hygiene of a person and also diagnosing and treating oral disease. Therefore, while conventional dentistry aims at improving the functionality of your mouth, cosmetic dentistry focuses on aesthetics.  If you are seeking to improve the appearance of your teeth, Northridge Dentist Center can assist. 

Understanding Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

In addition to improving the appearance of your teeth, cosmetic dental procedures may offer restorative benefits. For instance, if you have decayed teeth, you do not have to rely on traditional dental fillings. Conventional dental fillings comprise of materials like amalgam or gold and tend to leave visible dark spots on the teeth. With the development in cosmetic dentistry, you can take advantage of modern fillings made from porcelain or composite material. Porcelain and composite filling material closely match the color of your teeth. Most people with conventional dental fillings prefer to replace them with modern porcelain fillings to help improve their appearance. 

If you have stained teeth or if your teeth are broken, worn, misaligned, chipped, or discolored, you do not have to worry. Modern cosmetic dentistry can help to restore your teeth and give you a better smile.  Using several cosmetic dental procedures, a dentist can give you a smile makeover. Before initiating the treatment, you work with a cosmetic dentist, and together you come up with a treatment plan.  With the advancement in dentistry, cosmetic dental procedures vary from simple color corrections to replacing any of your missing teeth, among other procedures. Some of the leading cosmetic dental procedures include:

 Inlays/ Onlays

Inlays and Onlays refer to indirect teeth fillings made from composite materials or porcelain. The fillings offer a perfect dental filling solution because they are not only aesthetically appealing but also long-lasting. The fillings can come in handy if you are suffering from tooth decay or other structural damage on your teeth.  What is the main difference between inlays/Onlays and the conventional dental fillings? A dentist molds and places the conventional dental fillings into your mouth at the time of the dental visit. This is not the case with dental inlays/Onlays; the experts have to prepare them in the laboratory before the dental visit. When you visit the dentist, the dentist fits and adhesively bonds the inlays/Onlays in place.

Inlays and onlays are ideal if a tooth has mild to moderate decay. The indirect fillings are also ideal if you do not have enough tooth structure to support a dental filling. The dentist places the indirect filling directly on your tooth surface, provided there is no damage to the tooth cusps. However, when the tooth cusp or a greater portion of the tooth is damaged, a dentist may use an onlay to cover the tooth's entire surface.  Indirect fillings provide support and strengthen teeth. They also help to restore the shape of the teeth and prevent further decay or deterioration of the teeth. 

The indirect filling is an inlay if the dentist bonds the material with the center of a tooth. The filling is an onlay if the dentist uses it to cover the tooth, including the biting surface of the tooth. The indirect fillings help to preserve healthy teeth as much as possible. The indirect fillings offer a perfect alternative to dental crowns. 

Composite Bonding

Through composite bonding, a dentist can effectively correct chipped, decayed, discolored, or broken teeth and improve their appearance.  A dental composite consists of a material that resembles the look of enamel and dentin. A dentist applies the material onto the surface of the teeth.  The dental expert then sculpts the material into shape, contours it and hardens it with a high-intensity light.  Composite bonding offers a tooth restoration that blends in well with the neighboring teeth structure. Composite bondings complement your natural teeth and help to create a healthy and bright smile. 

When carrying out the composite bonding procedure, your dentist may extract and remove the damages or the decayed part of your tooth.  He/she will then proceed to apply the composite material on your tooth. The procedure helps to cover the damage to the tooth and gives a tooth the appearance of a healthy tooth. Composite bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic dental procedures available for patients with tooth decay, cracked, or chipped teeth. Composite bonding is a good alternative to silver or amalgam fillings.

Teeth Whitening

One of the most popular and the most commonly recommended cosmetic dental procedure is teeth whitening.  You may get stained teeth due to several factors. Common causes of stained teeth include beverages like red wine, coffee, or tea. Smoking and consuming certain foods may also lead to stained teeth. You may also get stained teeth due to poor dental hygiene.  You can improve the appearance of your smile and restore your confidence and self-esteem through teeth whitening. 

Teeth are prone to get stains after a long or extended period. At times, you may not be able to prevent tooth discoloration, especially if the discoloration arises from your diet. The teeth whitening procedure is basic and easy to carry out. When carrying out the whitening procedure, your dentist will start by removing plaque and tartar from your teeth. Some people rely on over-the-counter teeth whitening products. However, it is advisable to have a professional dentist carry out the procedure. Besides having the necessary technical know-how, a dentist will also use genuine teeth whitening products. 

You do need to have stained teeth to seek teeth whitening services. You may undergo teeth whitening to achieve an even lighter shade than the original color of your teeth.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers consist of composite or porcelain laminates. A dentist bonds the dental veneers to the surface of a tooth to help correct and repair chips and cracks on the tooth. Dental veneers also help to improve the worn appearance and severe discoloration of the teeth.  If you have attempted to whiten your teeth to no avail, you may opt for dental veneers. Veneers may also come in handy if you have gaps in your teeth. 

Dental veneers are often custom made using resin or porcelain. They are effective in covering the front part of decayed, damaged, or cracked teeth. Dental veneers are popular because they resemble the natural look of your teeth. When placing dental veneers, your dentist will first remove the enamel of your tooth. To aid in the application of dental veneer to the surface of your tooth, your dentist will use a dental adhesive while bonding the veneer to the damaged tooth.

Dental veneers, the wafer-thin, custom –made shells of resin or porcelain, also go by the name Hollywood teeth. Given their natural and appealing appearance, dental veneers live up to this name.

Dental Implants

Dental implants refer to artificial tooth replacements that form part of prosthetic dentistry. They are a great remedy for tooth loss. Dental implants help to mimic your natural tooth roots and offer support for replacement teeth. Dental implants help to improve your appearance and give you a youthful look.  Missing teeth may make your face collapse and make you look older than you are. With dental implants, you can help to restore the shape of your face.

The best thing about dental implants is their natural appearance. People will hardly notice that you have replacement teeth. You will not need to remove the replacement teeth to clean them. Dental implants are strong; they will hold the replacement teeth intact. You can brush and floss the implants just like your natural teeth. You will be free to eat your favorite food. You will also be comfortable to smile and talk without fearing that the replacement teeth will fall off. 

When fitting dental implants, the dentist inserts a small titanium screw into your jaw at the site of the missing tooth.  The implant will serve as support to the replacement teeth.  Once the bone and supporting tissue fuse with the implant, the implant is almost indistinguishable with the surrounding natural teeth.  During the implant placement period, it is imperative to practice diligent oral hygiene. This will help to ensure that you clean plaque and food particles from the implant area. 

Smile Improvement / Makeover

Have you always desired to have a perfect smile? Cosmetic dentistry can help you achieve the smile you have always desired. When giving you a smile makeover, your cosmetic dentist conducts a comprehensive assessment of the aesthetics of your smile.  The dentist identifies the areas that need improvement to help improve your overall appearance.  A smile makeover may combine several cosmetic dentistry procedures at the same time. Your dentist may employ dental implants, dental veneers, teeth whitening, and gingival sculpting to enhance your smile. 

In the course of seeking improvement in the appearance of your teeth, your dentist may notice other areas that need improvement. This may prompt the dentist to give you a full mouth reconstruction.  You may have functional problems in your bite, bone structure, muscles, and teeth.  Many materials are available in the market today to help your dentist offer you clinically sound and functional treatment options. 

What Should You Expect?

If you are seeking to undergo a cosmetic dental procedure, you may not be sure about what to expect. Your initial consultation with your dentist will help you to understand what the dentist offers. The initial consultation will also allow you to discuss with the dentist what you would like to change about your smile. During the initial consultation that the dentist clarifies any questions, you may have. The dentist also helps you to set realistic expectations about the treatment.  The dentist may have to gather information on your dental and general health. This will help him or her to come up with a unique and specialized treatment option that will satisfy your needs. 

You should expect to undergo a comprehensive oral examination and inspection of any existing dental work. To help understand the anatomy of your mouth and teeth better, your dentist may need to take some intraoral photographs.  The dentist may also take radiographs or x-rays to help understand your anatomy better. 

As you progress with the treatment, the dentist may make models and study casts of your lower and upper teeth. To know exactly what you expect, the dentist may take you through a portfolio of before and after photos of different cosmetic dentistry procedures.  Other details that you may discuss with your dentist include the tooth color and the different shapes and sizes of teeth that appeal to you.  The dentist may help you to review your smile tooth by tooth using a computer monitor. This will enable you to understand what he/she can change in your smile and the procedure involved. 

During the consultation, you may also discuss the convenient payment method for the cosmetic dental procedure. Most dental insurance companies do not cover cosmetic dental procedures. This is mainly because the cosmetic dental procedures are for aesthetic purposes. Most cosmetic dental procedures do not seek to improve your oral health or the functionality of your dental features.  Your dentist may provide you with several in-house payment options for the procedure. In the quest to improve their appearance, some people seek the help of dental loan providers to help meet the costs for cosmetic dentistry. 

Cosmetic Dentistry Trends

There has been a great improvement in natural-looking and teeth-colored dental materials. This has made the current cosmetic dental treatments more predictable and durable than treatments in the past years.  When carrying out cosmetic dentistry, many dentists use conservative techniques to ensure that they preserve your natural tooth structure as much as possible.  The cosmetic dental procedure a dentist adopts will depend on your specific clinical situation. 

Many dentists use modern technology to carry out cosmetic dental procedures.  Many dentists use technologies like lasers to perform specific cosmetic treatments in their dental offices. It is easy to undergo procedures like smile makeovers comfortably and conveniently. With the advanced cosmetic dental procedures, there is a great improvement in the recovery time upon undergoing treatment. 

How to Choose the Right Cosmetic Dentist

There are countless cosmetic dentists available in California. It may be hard to select the right dentist from the many options available. Numerous dentists are offering cosmetic dental procedures, although a recognized cosmetic dentist specialty does not exist. In addition to choosing the right cosmetic dentist, you also have to choose from the numerous cosmetic dentistry options available.  You cannot rely on the referral system or third party insurance administrator because most insurance companies do not cover cosmetic dentistry. 

You can employ various strategies to get the right cosmetic dentist. For instance, you may rely on referrals from your family and friends.  You may also get a referral from your family dentist. If you have undergone several dental examinations and procedures in the past, your general dentist understands the condition of your teeth. 

Before commencing cosmetic treatment, your dentist may refer you to an endodontic, an oral maxillofacial surgeon, or a periodontist. Your dentist may do this if he/she finds that your teeth or your gums require further evaluation. Your dentist may also refer you to an expert if he/she feels that your occlusion or bite needs correction. You may need to undergo treatment for the existing dental conditions before you commence the cosmetic treatment.  If your family, your friends, and other contacts have undergone cosmetic dentistry, you may seek referrals from them. 

It is important to narrow your choices by considering the level of experience a cosmetic dentist possesses before you choose his/her services.  For instance, you should consider if the dentist has experience in conducting several cosmetic dentistry procedures.  For instance, can the dentist in question perform a full mouth reconstruction, or will he or she refer you to other experts in the course of the treatment? You may also consider if the dentist has undergone rigorous study and if he/she is recommended by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.  A cosmetic dentist must undergo rigorous training and adhere to strict ethical standards. 

Other factors that you may consider when choosing a cosmetic dentist include the results of the previous cosmetic procedures the dentist has performed. You may request the dentist to provide you with before, and after photos of various procedures, he/she may have carried out.  What dental procedures does the cosmetic dentist use? Consider if the dentist utilizes intraoral imaging, lasers, and caries detection devices in the course of his or her practice. Emergencies are not common in cosmetic dentistry. However, it is important to find out if the cosmetic dentist offers emergency dental services if the need arises. 

What to Consider During the Consultation

When you plan the first consultation with a cosmetic dentist, you should make some important considerations.  For instance, consider how the practice's ambiance makes you feel. Consider if you feel comfortable with the setting of the dental office.  Consider the responsiveness and the friendliness of the staff. How quick is the staff in responding to your concerns? The cosmetic dental procedures may run for an extended period. It is important to ensure that there is a proper rapport between you and the dental staff. This will enhance your experience while undergoing treatment. 

Feel free to ask questions and seek clarifications during the consultation. For instance, once the cosmetic dentist provides you with the diagnosis, and a treatment plan ensures that you seek more information on the procedures involved.  Ensure that you understand your diagnosis in full and that you understand other viable treatment options.  You should ensure that you are comfortable with the explanations offered to help you make the right decision about the treatment plan.  

You have the right to understand the type of materials that the cosmetic dentist will use to restore the appearance of your teeth. You should also inquire about the durability of the various cosmetic dentistry procedures. For instance, upon fitting the dental implants, how long will the implants last? Ensure that you also seek clarification about the type of maintenance required for different cosmetic dentistry restorations. For example, to enjoy sparkling teeth, you may have to repeat the teeth whitening procedure every three to six months.  This may vary depending on the teeth whitening procedure you choose. In the case of dental veneers, you may have to wear a protective mouthguard while sleeping to help maintain the veneers. 

The cosmetic dentistry procedure entails making dental restorations in a dental laboratory. It is important to ensure that the laboratory involved in certified and meets the set quality standards.  The laboratory technician ought to be a certified dental technician or ceramist. Consider if your cosmetic dentist has worked with the laboratory technician before.  It is important to understand that selecting a cosmetic dentist is a personal and crucial choice. The dentist will be responsible for changing the appearance of your teeth and improve your image. In most cases, cosmetic dental procedures are not reversible. It is, therefore, important to ensure that you have faith in your dentist and that you feel comfortable with his or her services.  If you are comfortable with the dentist, chances are high that you will also be comfortable with the results of the dental procedure. 

Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of benefits, including boosting your social appeal. A beautiful smile serves as a great social asset. A beautiful smile helps to enhance your personality and boosts your social appeal. Improving your smile can help to improve your self-esteem and boost your relationships and productivity.  

Cosmetic dentistry will also help you to enjoy optimal physical and dental health. In addition to improving your smile, you will also improve your dental health and your overall health and quality of life. 

Contact a Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

If you do not feel 100% comfortable with your smile and other oral features, it might be the right time to seek cosmetic dentistry treatment.  Northridge Dentist offers a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures aimed at improving your appearance.  Contact us at 818-875-0216 and speak to one of our dentists.