Cosmetic dental treatments improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth, gums, bite or smile. There a number of treatments that can enhance appearance but not all treatments are best suited to all patients. Your dentist will be able to advise the most suitable options and may recommend one or more of the following dental treatments.
Veneers are routinely used to fix teeth that are discoloured, worn down, chipped or broken, misaligned, uneven, irregularly shaped, or have gaps between them. Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their colour, shape, size, or length.
Dental veneers can be ‘direct’, made from resin composite materials, or ‘indirect’ made from made from porcelain. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.
Teeth whitening procedures are typically carried out at home by the patient following a consultation with a dentist. Once your dentist has assessed your suitability for whitening he or she will take impressions of your teeth to prepare a custom-made bleaching mouth tray. This tray is used to hold the bleaching gel close to the teeth. Whitening gel is placed in the tray, which is then worn for a short time each day. Within a fortnight you should be able to see visible results, however, your dentist will advise you on how long to use the bleaching tray for a brighter, whiter smile.
Some patients choose to replace their existing dark amalgam (‘metal’) fillings with composite or ‘tooth-coloured’ fillings. This is often done to enhance the aesthetic appearance of a person’s smile. Most amalgam fillings are suitable to be replaced with composite filling material, however, your dentist will advise you of the best option for you.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available – complete and partial dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing.
Flexible partial dentures offer an attractive and comfortable solution with no visible metal clips. Again your dentist will advise you on the most suitable solution for you.