Cosmetic dentistry aims to create a positive change to your teeth and your smile, offering a “dental facelift” to correct discoloring, misshapenness, and chipping. Everyone wants a bright, beautiful smile, and various cosmetic procedures can work together to help you feel more confident about your teeth.
By Judith Nembhard
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Whitening: Discoloration is most often the result of food, beverage (coffee, tea, soda), or tobacco stains. Two kinds of whitening treatment are available to restore brightness to the teeth: one done in the office, the other done with a kit at home. In-office whitening is preferred—it can be done in a single office visit, and has faster, better results (up to 10 shades in an hour) with no risk of damage. The best whitening systems use a gel buffered at a near-neutral pH value to protect enamel from damage caused by acidity.
Veneers: Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain placed over the front of teeth to change their color or the shape of the teeth. They can give you a dazzling smile and are a great option for teeth that have uneven surfaces or are chipped, crooked, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced, or internally discolored.
Gum Lifts: Also called gingivectomy, this procedure involves removal of the gum to make the teeth appear longer and the gum-line even. Gum lifts are often done for people with excess gum covering their teeth and/or an upper lip that comes up higher when they smile. A gingivectomy can also be necessary when the gums have pulled away from the teeth, creating pockets that can lead to plaque build-up and gum disease.