Cosmetic dentistry uses a number of ways to enhance the appearance of your teeth.
Treatments are available to make crooked teeth look straighter, to improve the appearance of teeth and to make discolored teeth look whiter.
Cosmetic treatments tend to look better and last longer if you have healthy teeth and gums. If you have tooth decay or gum disease, this should be treated before any cosmetic dentistry is started.
Cosmetic dentistry changes shape, size and color of teeth. When teeth are not aligned, they should be aligned first with braces, after that the smile can be enhanced by doing cosmetic work, if needed.
If a front tooth is chipped, damaged or discolored, a thin layer (veneer) of ceramic material, e.g. porcelain, can be made to fit over it, or tooth-colored composite material can be placed on the tooth. In some cases, if you have one or more teeth that are crooked, veneers of varying thicknesses can be fitted to help them appear straighter.
However, it is always advisable to invest your time and money to straighten crooked teeth with braces. After the teeth are straightened, one may not need any artificial material on the teeth.
If the teeth are chipped or hypoplastic (brown in color or rough surfaces due to developmental defects), then the cosmetic build up would be advised. On the first visit, you may have a local anesthetic injection to numb the tooth, but this isn't always necessary. The surface of the tooth may be filed down slightly to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. The dentist will also take a mould of the tooth in a putty-like material. This is sent to a laboratory where the veneer is made. The laboratory's work often takes a week or two so, while the veneer is being made, you may have a slightly roughened, sensitive tooth.
On the second visit, the dentist cements the veneer onto the front of the tooth.
Veneers can last for several years but they can be damaged just like normal teeth due to an accident or break. The edge of the veneer may break or chip, as it maybe fragile. Patient should not try to bite nails or cut a sticky tape with the teeth.