If you have ever seen someone who just had a smile makeover, your first thought might be, "wow, that must have hurt." Dentistry gets the reputation of being unpleasant, so most people assume that procedures that change the smile so dramatically must certainly be painful. But this is rarely the case at all! Most of the time, the cosmetic dental procedures used to perfect a smile aren't painful or unpleasant. Here are four such procedures your dentist might use.
If you have a chipped or cracked tooth that's ruining your smile, your dentist may recommend a procedure called bonding. It's similar to having a cavity filled. The same, tooth-colored composite material is used. Your dentist inserts it into the chipped or cracked area, and then smooths it out with a drill.
Your dentist will usually numb your mouth before proceeding with the bonding procedure. This way, when they roughen up the tooth surface to ensure the composite sticks well, you won't feel a thing (other than some vibrating). After the bonding, it might take you a little while to get used to the way your tongue feels when running over your repaired tooth, but you should not have any pain or discomfort.
It's amazing how much better your teeth can look when they are whiter. Imperfections like slight crookedness and chips become less obvious when your teeth are white and bright. So, this is a good cosmetic dental procedure to start with. Decide after whitening whether or not you really need other procedures to further improve your smile.
Professional whitening in your dentist's office will usually take about an hour. Your dentist applies a special bleach product to your teeth, and then a laser light is shined into your mouth to "activate" the bleach. If your teeth are badly stained, you may need to have the procedure repeated a second time.
Crowns are often seen as a treatment for weak and badly decayed teeth. They're like caps, made to cover the tooth completely. But while crowns are usually used for health reasons, they can also be a cosmetic option. If you have a tooth that's too badly stained, badly chipped, or too small for your mouth, your dentist may cover it in a tooth-colored crown to improve its appearance.
Applying a crown usually takes two appointments. During the first appointment, your dentist will numb your mouth, prepare the tooth, and make molds of your tooth to send to a lab where a crown will be made. During the second appointment, they will cement the crown into place.
If multiple teeth need improvement and you want a smile that looks absolutely perfect, veneers might be a good choice. These are like little caps that fit over only the fronts of your teeth. Nobody looking at them will know they are seeing veneers and not your actual teeth. You can eat and drink like normal with veneers in place.
There are two types of veneers: porcelain and composite. Porcelain veneers do require that a little enamel is removed from the tooth before they are applied, so your teeth may be a little sensitive afterwards. This will subside shortly. Composite veneers can be applied without removing any enamel -- and they are less expensive than porcelain veneers -- but their downfall is that they're not quite as durable and can be prone to staining. Your dentist can help you choose the right option.
If you want a perfect smile, don't worry about the pain or discomfort involved -- there's really not much at all! Talk to a cosmetic dentist to learn more about each of these procedures.Share