What is cosmetic dentistry?
Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth, as it was for many years. Nowadays many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or ‘aesthetic dentistry', as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. The treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth. Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges, tooth-coloured fillings, implants and tooth whitening
What is a veneer?
Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of your front teeth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail.
Can I have white fillings?
For over 150 years standard fillings have been made out of a silvery-grey material called ‘amalgam'. This is considered one of the strongest and longest-lasting materials for fillings. However, many people find it unattractive and some are concerned about possible health risks.
White fillings are now a popular alternative to amalgam fillings. The new dental materials mean it is much easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling. Sometimes white filling material can be used to cover unsightly marks on teeth, in a similar way to veneers.
My tooth is badly broken - what can I do?
When a tooth is badly broken or heavily filled, the dentist may need to crown or ‘cap' it to restore its appearance and strength.
What happens to my teeth while the crown is being made?
While your crown is being made, the prepared tooth can be protected with a temporary crown. This is easily removed just before fitting the permanent one. In most cases, the temporary crown is in place for about two weeks.
Can I lighten the colour of my teeth?
Tooth whitening can be a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it should lighten the existing shade.
What is tooth jewellery?
Tooth jewellery involves sticking small jewels onto the teeth using dental cement. They should be fitted by a dentist, who can easily remove them if necessary. It is important to keep the area around the jewel clean, as plaque can easily build up around it and you will be more likely to get tooth decay.