Advances in Technology Improve Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry not only makes us look good on the outside, it makes us feel good on the inside as well. Studies show that people with a beautiful, healthy smile have more self-esteem and confidence. This has a major impact on one’s overall mood and lifestyle, as self-esteem and confidence are two major components of successful people.
The cosmetic dentistry industry continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Advances in CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing) dentistry have led to finely crafted and well-fitting prosthetic dental restorations. This technology allows dentists to restore teeth in one dental visit, as opposed to the traditional route where the patient has to wait several weeks for the piece to be ready. This is possible because the manufacturing process can be done right in the dentist’s office, eliminating the need to wait for an off-site lab to prepare the prosthesis. Crowns, bridges, veneers, and inlays/onlays can all be created using CAD/CAM technology. Studies show that CAD/CAM restorations are even stronger than those created in the traditional method, making them far more helpful to the patient. In addition to CAD/CAM technology, advances in material and techniques have greatly benefited the cosmetic dentistry industry. Take a look at some of the top trends in cosmetic dentistry:
- Teeth Whitening. Teeth whitening is simple and non-invasive, which is probably one reason it has become such a popular cosmetic procedure. As we age, our teeth become stained and discolored for various reasons, such as smoking and poor oral hygiene, or from certain foods we consume. Bleaching the teeth creates a whiter, more youthful smile.
- Dental Veneers. Veneers are corrective composite or porcelain laminates that are bonded with adhesive directly to the surface of your tooth. These laminates help to fix cracks, chips, and discoloration. Veneers are an option for people who haven’t had success with whitening treatments.
- Composite Bonding. Another option for teeth that are chipped, broken, or discolored is composite bonding. Unlike veneers, composite bonding consists of a material that is applied to the tooth, then sculpted in the necessary way. The material is then hardened with a high-intensity light.
- Inlays/Onlays. These are known as “indirect” fillings. They are not molded onto the tooth like a traditional filling–they are created with CAD/CAM technology or in a laboratory and then fitted and applied to the tooth with adhesive.
- Dental Implants. Dental implants are a way to permanently replace missing teeth to prevent jaw bone loss. These artificial tooth roots are used to support restorations. This procedure is lengthy and requires several visits with your dentist and oral surgeon.
- Smile Makeover. A smile makeover is just that–a makeover for your mouth. This makeover begins with a comprehensive assessment of your mouth, determining what adjustments need to be made to improve the overall appearance of your smile. This will usually require a combination of treatments–veneers, whitening, implants, etc.–before the process is complete.
- Full mouth reconstruction. Full mouth reconstruction is different from a smile makeover in that it may be necessary to correct underlying conditions in the mouth that could cause functional problems. This procedure would go beyond basic cosmetics and address problems with bite, muscles, and teeth and bone structure.
Advances in the cosmetic dentistry industry have improved these procedures drastically over the years. Dentists are now able to use more conservative approaches to the traditional procedures, which means they can save more of the natural tooth structure. This results in a stronger base for prostheses, which means less breakage in the underlying tooth and longer lasting crowns and bridges. Continued advances in technology, material, and procedures will pave the way for less invasive, quicker, and more efficient cosmetic improvements. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about cosmetic dentistry.Return to Blog