2 Common Techniques Used In Cosmetic Dentistry

The world of dentistry has been advancing at a rapid pace. And while by and large that's a great thing, it has also made it difficult to keep up with all of the dental techniques used today. If you would like to learn more about the field of cosmetic dentistry, read on. This article will introduce you to three common techniques used to help make your teeth look their best.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a durable and long-lasting way to improve the appearance of your teeth. They consist of a thin shell of porcelain, which is dyed to match the size and color of your tooth. When cared for properly, dental veneers can last as long as 20 years

Dental veneers are a versatile cosmetic option, one which can be used to fix a number of issues, including:

  • discolored teeth
  • worn, chipped, and/or broken teeth
  • malocclusions
  • excessively large gaps between teeth

The entire dental veneer process generally takes place over two or three visits with your dentist. First, you will meet to assess whether veneers are the right option for you. If so, your dentist will schedule another appointment, during which they will prepare the surface of your tooth by removing a thin layer of enamel.

During this second visit, the dentist will also take molds of your teeth. The veneers are then custom created in a dental laboratory using these molds. Finally, during your third visit, your dentist will adhere the veneers to your teeth using a special bonding cement.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns differ from veneers in several key aspects. Whereas veneers are designed to adhere to the front surface of your tooth, a dental crown encases the entire tooth. Unlike veneers, which are usually no thicker than 1mm, crowns often exceed 2mm in thickness. This makes crowns less prone to cracking, chipping, or other types of damage.

This type of durability does have its drawbacks, however. Getting a crown involves having a much greater portion of your tooth removed--a somewhat traumatic process for the tooth itself. Therefore, crowns are more commonly used for cosmetic purposes only in cases where the tooth has already experienced a significant amount of breakage or decay.  

Finally, it is worth noting that dental crowns can be made not only out of porcelain but also out of metallic alloys. Though they are more conspicuous, metal crowns have a lifespan greatly exceeding that of porcelain. Not only that, but metal crowns require less of the tooth to be removed, making them a great option in cases where maintaining a natural appearance is not a huge priority.