A less-than-attractive smile can make a person feel self-conscious and insecure, and very few people are born with a set of perfect pearly whites. Because the quality of the smile is such an important aspect of a patient’s appearance, many patients who are dissatisfied with their smiles turn to a cosmetic dentist for help in achieving the look they want.
A cosmetic dentist relies on a variety of procedures to improve a smile’s appearance. For some patients, tooth whitening alone will suffice. In tooth whitening, a highly concentrated bleaching gel is placed on the teeth to make the teeth whiter, often by several shades. In some cases, the bleaching gel is activated by lasers, providing results in as little as one hour. Other patients wear the gel overnight in trays custom-designed to fit their unique mouth structures.
If teeth are crooked, misshapen, chipped or otherwise damaged, procedures beyond tooth whitening will be necessary to achieve the patient’s aesthetic goals. Veneers are often used to restore chipped or broken teeth, and they can even straighten teeth with a minor misalignment. Veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are placed atop the natural tooth to reshape it. Veneers are also useful for teeth that are too dramatically stained to respond to whitening alone. Similarly, a crown—an artificial tooth-shaped cap—can be used to correct problems with the shape of a particular tooth.
Even the gums can be a focus of cosmetic dentistry. The gumline can have a negative effect on the smile’s appearance if it is too uneven or so low as to make the gums prominent in the smile. Tissue resculpting, also known as a “gum lift” can address concerns with the appearance of the gums.
If you would like to improve your smile’s appearance, consult with Dr. Kozlow, a Dallas cosmetic dentist, to see which procedures will be the most beneficial in your case. You’ll also want to discuss an oral hygiene routine that will help you maintain your new smile for as long as possible.