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Young man smiling while having his teeth color compared to dental veneers that will be placed.

If you’re looking to brighten your smile or improve the look of it, cosmetic dentistry is for you. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on customized dental treatments to enhance how your teeth and gums look. Some cosmetic dentistry treatments include teeth whitening, dental implants and porcelain veneers, which are all used to improve the color, shape and size of your teeth. These treatments are natural-looking and create a brighter and more confident smile. Find out how each of these procedures work and how they can help create the smile that you’ve been wanting with this guide!


General vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

When it comes to your teeth, you want to make sure that your smile is healthy, happy and brilliant. To achieve these three things, there are different forms of dentistry that fulfill specific roles to get you the smile that you want. To begin, general dentistry focuses on the health of your teeth and gums (i.e. teeth cleanings, root canals, fillings, etc.). Nearly everyone has had a general dentistry experience as they make up the majority of dental visits. Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, focuses on customized dental treatments that improve how your teeth and gums look. Cosmetic dentistry changes the shape, size, color and position of your overall teeth and gums to improve and beautify them. Whereas general dentistry treatments are necessary, cosmetic dentistry treatments are elective, meaning they’re a nicety but aren’t essential. In some cases, certain cosmetic dentistry treatments are helpful for restorative purposes, but these are few and far between. If you’re in good health and want to beautify the look of your smile, cosmetic dentistry may be for you. There are many different options that you can choose from to fit your wants, and even alternatives if what you want is outside of your budget.


What Treatments Are Included In Cosmetic Dentistry?Dentist putting dental veneers on a female patient's teeth.

Most patients who have cosmetic dental procedures done want to change the color, size or shape of their teeth. To do this, the most common procedures include veneers, dental implants, teeth whitening and orthodontic care with Invisalign. To begin, veneers are custom shells that are placed onto teeth to cover damages or stains. Veneers are typically made of porcelain, and they can be used to fill gaps between teeth, as well. Dental implants are inserted whenever you’re missing one or more teeth, and they effectively bridge gaps while providing the same strength and durability that a natural tooth does when speaking and eating. However, implants are more invasive than other cosmetic procedures as tiny anchors are embedded into the bone beneath your gums to secure the implant. Once placed, though, they mirror natural teeth and can last for years. Next, teeth whitening (or teeth bleaching) is one of the most common cosmetic procedures out there. This process typically involves an in-office treatment where whitening trays are inserted into the mouth to lighten teeth 5-10 shades whiter than they were before. There are also at-home trays available to give your smile a boost, but these treatments aren’t typically as effective as those performed in-office. Lastly, while many people straighten their teeth with traditional braces, Invisalign is a cosmetic procedure used to align teeth without the look of metal wires and brackets. Invisalign uses clear, removable aligners that are custom-fit to your mouth and function by gradually moving your teeth over time. This option is preferable for those patients who don’t want the look of metal mouth but still need to straighten their teeth. They can be removed when eating, playing a sport or a musical instrument, so they give patients freedom and the choice to do as they please.


How You Can Keep Your Teeth Healthy and Beautiful

Whichever cosmetic procedure you decide to undertake, none of it will matter if you don’t take care of your teeth. Even after these treatments are performed, teeth are still susceptible to tooth decay, which means you’ll be spending more money to treat cavities and pay for fillings. To ensure that your newly-restored teeth last for years to come, make sure that you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss between your teeth to remove any food particles or plaque that may be stuck there. Additionally, schedule regular dental checkups so that your dentist can review your cosmetic restorations for signs of damage and give your teeth a good deep cleaning. These visits are geared to maintain the structural integrity and durability of your restorations and make sure that other underlying oral conditions, like oral cancer, haven’t developed. If you can, quit smoking or chewing tobacco as these will not only increase your chances of experiencing oral cancer but will stain newly-whitened teeth and can cause problems with how well dental implants function in the mouth. Make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet, as well, to get the proper nutrition that your teeth and gums needs to combat decay and stay healthy.


Improve The Look of Your Smile With Our Help!

If you’re looking to transform your smile, call Stonebrook Family Dental at (303) 872-7907! Dr. Varley and his staff have years of experience performing cosmetic dental procedures and helping patients create the smile of their dreams. Don’t let your smile get you down-call our office today to schedule a consultation and get the beautiful smile that you’ve been waiting for!

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