If you often find yourself worrying about the appearance of your smile, it may be time to consider cosmetic dentistry. Even minor concerns such as teeth discoloration can make you anxious during social settings because they toy with your self-esteem. Fretting over the appearance of your teeth is one of the critical signs that you need a dental makeover. At the Washington Dental, we pride ourselves in giving our clients in Lomita, CA, a VIP experience as they begin their quest to achieve healthy and glamorous smiles. We can design a treatment plan fashioned to help you achieve the desired outcome.
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on enhancing the appearance of your gums, teeth, and smile. Through procedures like teeth whitening and the installation of veneers, implants, or fillings, we can help you restore confidence in your smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Defined
Cosmetic Dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth. It is crucial to note that treatments may not necessarily aim at enhancing your dental health. Unlike orthodontic treatments, the majorities of cosmetic dentistry procedures are not health-related but could help you restore confidence in the appearance of your smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Vs. Orthodontics
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, you’re likely to battle between seeing a cosmetic dentist and an orthodontist. Both experts are smile specialists, and they work on perfecting the appearance of smiles. However, their fields of specialty are different in more ways than one.
The main difference between these two fields of dentistry is that cosmetic dentistry focuses on using the latest technology to improve smiles by addressing surface issues. Orthodontics focuses on tackling the structural aspects of your mouth that may make your smile unappealing.
If you have teeth and jaw irregularities, you should see an orthodontist. Even though orthodontic treatment plans may stretch for about two years or more, they yield long-lasting results and more significant health benefits. On the other hand, a cosmetic dentist would be ideal for you if your teeth, gums, and jaws are in a relatively good state, but you want to enhance the looks of your smile quickly.
We have a solid team of experts who specialize in different fields of dentistry. Let us assess your needs and goals during a consultation and advise you on the best way forward.
The Most Common Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments
Cosmetic dentistry is highly sought after because procedures can help you improve your teeth’ color, shape, size, and alignment in just a few appointments. The best part is that most procedures are painless, making treatments ideal for those with dental phobia.
If you require highly invasive treatments such as implants, the expert will offer sedation to make perfecting your smile anxiety-free and painless. During a smile makeover, a cosmetic dentist may:
- Spruce up the appearance of your teeth and gum structures
- Use dental prosthetics to give you a more symmetric smile
- Remove teeth discoloration and stains
Here are some of the most common cosmetic dentistry treatments:
Professional Dental Cleaning
One of the simplest ways to achieve a beautiful smile is to ensure proper oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing are not enough, and it is crucial to schedule professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
A cosmetic dentist will seek to restore your teeth’ clean, lustrous and glamorous looks during the procedure. A professional cleaning will also alleviate bad breath and keep concerns like tooth decay at bay. For the best results, schedule a professional dental cleaning at least twice annually.
Cosmetic dentists are highly sought after for tooth whitening procedures. Technology has advanced tremendously over the recent past, making it fast and easy for specialists to remove tooth discoloration and stains.
Sometimes, your smile may not look as beautiful as it should because of dental imperfections, including:
- Cracked, chipped, or fractured teeth
- An imperfectly shaped dental
- Dental stains and discoloration
- Small teeth
- Gaps or improper spacing between teeth
- Minor orthodontic concerns
Cosmetic dentists focus on using minimally invasive procedures to spruce up smiles. Your specialist may use lumineers, which are thin shells of patented porcelain to cover the surface of imperfect teeth. Ideally, the lumineer used will match the color of your teeth, giving you a beautiful, natural-looking smile.
If your teeth don’t appear symmetric or smooth, your cosmetic dentist could help. The expert can reshape impacted teeth and remove rough spots and chipped ends.
Compared to most cosmetic procedures, crown lengthening is a highly invasive procedure. It involves surgically removing excess gum tissue to make your teeth appear longer. A periodontist can also perform this procedure.
Another invasive procedure is the installation of dental implants. This treatment offers lasting solutions for missing teeth. Dental implants can help you restore the appearance and functions of a missing tooth.
During treatment, the specialist will surgically install a titanium screw into your jaw. This will act as the tooth root. An abutment or connector will then be used to hold the dental prosthetic in place.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays are also referred to as indirect fillings. If you have a tooth with considerable decay, what is left may not be enough to support standard fillings. A cosmetic dentist can use indirect fillings as long as the tooth’s cusp is still in a pristine state. The inlay is used to cover the damaged tooth’s surface, restoring its appearance and functions.
If the cusp is damaged or a significant part of the tooth is decayed, the dentist may recommend Onlays. Unlike inlays which only cover the area with a cavity, Onlays cover a tooth’s entire surface.
Traditional Onlays and inlays were made of gold, while modern varieties are made using a composite of ceramic or porcelain material. Your dentist can create these indirect fillings in a laboratory and use dental cement to keep them in place. Inlays and Onlays help to strengthen teeth with cavities, restore their appearance and prevent further deterioration.
Another common procedure is composite bonding. It involves repairing discolored, decayed, or damaged teeth using a unique material that looks like the tooth’s enamel. After drilling out the decayed part, your dentist will then apply the composite to its surface and restore your tooth’s natural shape. A high-intensity light is then used to cure the composite and ensure it remains firmly in place.
This is one of the most cost-effective cosmetic dentistry procedures. It is ideal for addressing various dental concerns, including chipped, cracked, and decayed teeth. A cosmetic dentist can also use composite bonding to smooth out worn-down edges of the teeth.
Dental crowns come in handy when you want to restore the alignment, shape, or color of a damaged tooth. These tooth-shaped caps are made from porcelain or ceramic and can be custom-designed to match the color of your needs and cosmetic dentistry goals.
Up to 30% of people lose at least one tooth before they turn 40 years. People lose their natural teeth for various reasons, including damage, decay, or old age. If a missing tooth is negatively impacting your appearance or the functions of your teeth, a cosmetic dentist may recommend the installation of bridges.
Dental bridges are made of one or more pontics (artificial teeth) and feature dental crowns on one or both ends. The pontics replace the missing tooth, and the crowns are fitted on the teeth adjacent to the gap to provide proper support and anchoring.
We provide comprehensive cosmetic dentistry services to help repair damaged teeth and enhance your smile. The proper procedures for you will highly depend on your budget, preferences, and goals. Visit us today for a no-obligation consultation.
Compelling Reasons to Invest In Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry procedures are mainly non-essential. Most people keep shelving their plans to schedule treatments that can enhance the aesthetics of their smiles. Here are good reasons not to postpone your plans any longer:
Treatments Are Not As Expensive As Many Assume
A good number of advanced dental treatments may not be kind to your wallet. However, cosmetic procedures are often more affordable than most people think. Your dental insurance policy may even cover treatments that provide restorative benefits.
A lot has advanced in dentistry, and most treatments today use advanced technology for increased efficiency and affordability. Talk to us about your needs, goals, and budgets, and let us help you choose a suitable set of cosmetic dentistry services.
Cosmetic Dentistry Can Enhance Your Oral Health
Even though cosmetic dentistry procedures are mainly elective, they could offer restorative benefits and help you maintain good oral health. For instance, professional teeth cleaning can remove plaque and tartar and prevent tooth decay. Fixing cavities will also help you restore the structural integrity of damaged teeth and prevent concerns arising from missing teeth.
Most Procedures Are Painless
If you have dental phobia, highly invasive orthodontic procedures may not be ideal for you. However, you can still enhance your smile through cosmetic dentistry procedures that are virtually painless. Treatments like professional teeth cleaning or whitening leave you with a brighter smile, yet the processes are pain-free.
Thanks to sedation dentistry, you don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable even if you choose more intensive procedures such as dental implant installation. Your specialist will administer anesthesia before a treatment session and also provide numbing cream to keep you comfortable and pain-free as you heal.
Your Smile Will Have a Natural-Look
You don’t have to worry about having a plastic or fake-looking smile after treatment. Cosmetic dentists customize dental implants, crowns, and veneers to ensure they match your natural teeth’ color, size, and shape. You can expect the new devices to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, that nobody will realize they are artificial.
Treatments Can Improve Your Quality Of Life
Cosmetic dentistry can give you a significant confidence and self-esteem boost. Feeling good about your appearance can improve your life in more ways than one. For instance, fixing chipped, discolored, damaged, or decayed teeth will restore your smile, making you feel more comfortable in professional and social settings.
If your unsightly dental work makes you shy away from smiling or speaking, this could rob you of showcasing your skills, knowledge, humor and good interpersonal skills during social or professional settings. When you feel secure about the appearance of your teeth, your confidence will be evident, making it easier for you to make new friends and grasp new career growth opportunities.
You, Will, Look Fantastic!
One of the prime reasons to schedule for cosmetic dentistry is because you will look fabulous. Yellow stains on your teeth, chipped or broken edges could make your smile appear unsightly. A competent cosmetic dentist can address these concerns through quick, effective, and affordable treatments. With just a few appointments, you could be on your way to enjoying the perks of having a beautiful smile.
Telltale Signs That You Require Cosmetic Dentistry
Your smile is one of the first things people notice when they meet you. While an appealing smile makes an excellent first impression, an unsightly one with imperfections such as teeth discoloration, rough edges, and gaps may make a bad impression. If you want your smile to introduce you as a confident, personable, and enjoyable individual, it may be necessary to schedule cosmetic dentistry.
Here are some unmistakable signs that you should schedule an appointment:
You Are Embarrassed To Smile
Even if you have pearl white teeth, you may feel embarrassed to smile if you have other dental imperfections. Fortunately, a cosmetic dentist can fix a range of dental issues, including:
- Chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Dental discoloration
- Dental irregularities ( small, pointy, or fanged teeth)
- Gaps, etc
During your first appointment, you can discuss your needs and objectives. The specialist will then put you into a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve the desired smile.
Your Face Shape Has Changed
Dental issues can affect the shape and functions of your jaw. Problems like chipped or missing teeth are notorious for making notable changes in the face structure. It is crucial to schedule treatments as soon as possible to prevent a concern from going from bad to worse.
You Suffer From Dental Phobia
The majority of cosmetic dentistry procedures are painless. Your specialist can also administer an anesthetic or use sedation dentistry during procedures known to cause pain or discomfort. Cosmetic dentistry is ideal for those who have dental phobia because treatments are designed to offer fast yet practical solutions.
You Have Bad Breath
Cosmetic dentists are smile specialists. While bad breath may not be an aesthetic issue, it could hinder you from smiling as often as you may like. This concern arises when bacteria are allowed to colonize your mouth. Plaque and tartar build-up are often the root causes of bad breath.
One of the primary treatments offered by cosmetic dentists is professional dental cleaning. Experts understand that the first step towards achieving an appealing smile is maintaining high standards of oral hygiene. Treatment can help you get rid of the stink and prevent dental problems, including cavities and gum disease.
You Have Wrinkled Lips
An appealing dental can take a few years off your face. The opposite is also true, and some concerns can make you look older. If you have wrinkled or sunken lips, a cosmetic dentist can offer dental lifts, among other services, to make your lips appear fuller and tighter.
You Know What Needs To Change
If your dental has certain imperfections that you would like to change, you are a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry. It is often easier to achieve your smile makeover goals when you already know what you want to change. A cosmetic dentist can offer a unique set of services to help improve your bite, teeth, and gums.
What to Know Before a Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure
During your first appointment with a cosmetic dentist, the professional will first take you through the smile design process. It involves doing a thorough dental evaluation using advanced 3D imaging technology and X-rays. The high-resolution images allow the expert to have a good idea about your dental and jaw structures, as well as the concerns that require addressing.
After the exams, your cosmetic dentist will explain the unveiled dental concern and the best treatment approaches to consider. The idea is to ensure you have adequate information to make educated choices when selecting a treatment plan.
Choosing a treatment plan is often the most complicated part. Once you know what ought to be accomplished, the dentist will also inform you about the number of appointments required to give you the much-needed smile makeover.
Here are essential questions to ask before treatment begins:
- Does your dental insurance plan cover the procedures?
- Does your cosmetic dentist have a history of success offering the same set of services to other patients?
- Can you see a portfolio of the before and after images of past patients?
- Are the procedures you require painless, or will the expert use sedation dentistry?
- How can you prepare for treatment?
How to Take Care of Your New Smile after Cosmetic Dentistry
A good number of cosmetic dentistry treatments can transform your smile and boost your oral health and self-confidence. After a procedure, you want to ensure that you preserve the outcome of treatment and, by extension, protect your oral health.
Here are essential tips to help you take care of your smile following cosmetic dentistry:
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Practices
As aforementioned, a clean mouth gives a beautiful smile. It is essential to brush and floss for at least 2—minutes, twice daily. This will prevent plaque buildup, remove food stains and keep your teeth and gums in the best possible state. Additionally, you must schedule professional dental cleaning and exams twice yearly.
Rinse Your Mouth After Drinking or Eating
Some foods and beverages can stain your teeth and leave unsightly discoloration marks. For instance, wine, coffee, and tea are notorious for causing dental stains. You can prevent your whitened teeth from staining by brushing or simply rinsing your mouth with quality mouthwash after meals.
Limit Your Intake of Extremely Hard Foods
It is not necessary to have any food restrictions following cosmetic dentistry treatments. However, it is vital to be extra careful when chewing hard foods like almonds and ice cubes if you have just had your smile restored using composite bonding, crowns, or veneers.
The idea is to maintain the restoration devices in a pristine state for as long as possible. Hence, it is also essential to avoid using your teeth as a tool for opening packets or bottles because this could be detrimental to your smile makeover.
Invest In Touch-Ups
Using non-abrasive whitening toothpaste at home to clean your teeth is good. It is even better to schedule touch-up appointments to keep your smile looking pearl white and lustrous. Most importantly, avoid abrasive kinds of toothpaste and brushing with baking soda because this could cause the untimely wear of bonding or veneers.
Use Your Night Guard to Prevent Teeth Grinding
If you clench or grind your teeth at night, this could harm cosmetic dental restoration efforts. You can prevent cracks and damage to bonding, crowns, and veneers by wearing your night guard. Let us know about your teeth grinding problem, and we can provide a night guard that fits your mouth comfortably.
The above are simple, common-sense tips that can help you enjoy your smile makeover for longer. In case something goes amiss, and a restored tooth is damaged, visit us immediately and let us salvage the situation before it gets out of hand.
Find Washington Dental Near Me
Cosmetic dentistry focuses primarily on enhancing the appearance of teeth. Even though procedures are often more elective than essential, most treatments provide both aesthetic and restorative benefits. At Washington Dental, we believe that each client has unique needs and objectives. That is why we deliver tailor-made treatment plans designed to give the anticipated transformations. Our team of specialists has decades of combined experience in providing Lomita, CA residents with smile makeovers. Call us now at 310-326-5183, and let’s help you discover your best smile!