Dental practices offering cosmetic treatments will usually offer a range of specialities including: tooth whitening, veneers and lumineers to replacing dark fillings for white ones. Cosmetic dentistry is a term used to describe a range of treatments that can be used to give you a smile makeover. What one person may require to give them a perfect smile may be completely different to another, so each patient is treated individually and will be recommended those cosmetic treatments that are right for them.
Despite having the title of ‘cosmetic dentistry’, the treatments received can be very reliable and long-lasting, so investing in a healthy and natural smile can actually be very rewarding! Lets take a look at some of the most common cosmetic dental treatment used today:
Lumineers are similar to veneers but they are an ultra-thin version (approximately 0.2 mm) and highly translucent when compared with more solid looking veneers. Some say they have the more natural appearance regular tooth enamel. They are cemented to the surface of your natural teeth but because they are so thin, hardly any natural tooth reduction is necessary. Lumineers are very durable with a life expectancy of 20 years if looked after properly.
Veneers are usually made of a porcelain. A veneer is a very thin layer of ceramic material cemented onto the tooth surface. It is usually matched in colour to your existing teeth so it gives a more natural look. This is important if you are only having one or two veneers done rather than a whole set. It improves the appearance of a chipped or badly discoloured tooth or is applied to protect a damaged or worn tooth. Veneers are also used to close up gaps between teeth to improve the appearance, or for better alignment of crooked teeth.
People choose to have tooth whitening treatments to improve the colour of their natural teeth. If you have a good set of natural, undamaged teeth then you can have them whitened without having to resort to corrective treatments such as fillings or veneers. Dentists can offer different types of whitening processes, such as bleaching or laser whitening, and they are perfectly safe and the results can last a long time.
Be aware though that should you already have some dental materials present, such as crowns, veneers or fillings, these will not be affected by your whitening treatment so their colour will remain the same. It would be worth considering having some follow up treatment to correct this should it be of concern to you.