Cosmetic DentistryTysons, VA
While general dentistry deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases, cosmetic dentistry has the skills and experience to improve the appearance of the teeth, gums, and overall smile. Simply put, general dentistry provides necessary treatment for dental problems and preventive procedures, while cosmetic dentistry provides optional procedures that improve the smile's aesthetics.
However, cosmetic dentistry treatments can also have restorative effects. Compared to the old fillings materials for tooth decay that left the teeth looking unattractive, dental fillings nowadays are made from materials that closely match the teeth's natural appearance. Patients can opt to replace their old fillings with tooth-colored materials to improve their smile.
Services Available from the Cosmetic Dentistry
Some of the cosmetic dentistry treatments that cosmetic dentistry provides include:
Cosmetic dentistry can recommend composite bonding to repair chipped, fractured, decayed, or stained teeth. The composite resin material is customizable to look like the tooth enamel, and it is applied over the cavity or tooth surface. The dentist will then mold and shape it as desired before hardening it with a high-intensity light. In the end, the affected tooth will look like the rest of the teeth to ensure a natural-looking smile.
It is good to note that general and cosmetic dentistry practitioners can both perform composite bonding. However, cosmetic dentistry specialists may provide better results.
Inlays or Onlays
These are indirect fillings created from porcelain or composite materials to be a conservative yet effective way to restore a tooth with decay or structural impairment. The material used is long-lasting and improves the tooth's aesthetic appeal. Unlike dental fillings, which are formed over the teeth during a dental appointment, inlays and onlays are created with dental impressions in a dental lab. The cosmetic dentistry team will then fit and bond them into place.
This procedure is perhaps the most common procedure handled by cosmetic dentistry. The teeth can become discolored due to poor oral hygiene, aging, smoking, or foods and drinks like coffee or red wine. When handled by a dental professional, teeth whitening is safe and can effectively whiten the teeth by several shades. A cosmetic dentistry practice may also provide at-home whitening kits for those who cannot have it done in the office.
Veneers are composite or porcelain shells that go over the tooth's surface. Dentists typically recommend this procedure to cover imperfections like chips, cracks, worn appearance, or severe tooth stains. Veneers may also be a quick solution for gaps between teeth or as an alternative for those who have tried teeth whitening unsuccessfully. The materials used for this process are customized to blend with the smile or improve the teeth' appearance.
A dental implant is a replacement for a missing tooth. Implants replace the entire root structure down to the root to provide a natural-looking and fully-functional dentition. Using a dental implant as a tooth replacement has several benefits, including the prevention of jawbone deterioration. More often than not, a general dentist or oral surgeon performs dental implant placement. However, cosmetic dentistry practitioners can also recommend the treatment.
A smile makeover is recommended when multiple aspects of the smile need to be improved and usually involves two or more cosmetic procedures. The cosmetic dentistry practitioner will assess the patient's smile and develop a treatment plan that restores the natural cosmetic appeal. The process may include procedures like dental veneers, teeth whitening, gum contouring, and a dental implant.
Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentistry Practice
Patients need to take their time to get to a qualified cosmetic dentistry practice. Since many general dentists offer cosmetic treatments and different options, the choices can be a little overwhelming. Some of the following tips can help when finding a cosmetic dentistry practice:
Talk to the General Dentist
A family dentist or general dentist is the first place to start when seeking cosmetic dental procedures. The general dentist should have an overview of the patient's smile if they have been handling routine dental checkups and exams. The dentist will check the teeth, gums, bite, and supporting oral structures to know the procedures that might be beneficial. The condition of the oral cavity affects the result of cosmetic treatments. The dental professional will make needed recommendations to help patients get their dream smiles.
Consider the Dentist's Expertise
Before choosing any dentist for a cosmetic procedure, patients need to do proper research regarding the dentist's skills and experience in cosmetic dentistry. It might help to ask for before and after pictures of past patients or cases that look similar to assess the dentist's expertise. Patients can also ask if the dentist belongs to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Other criteria could include the dentist's years of practice, technology, techniques used to complete specific procedures, approach to treatment, and the state of the dental office. Patients also need to know if the office has provisions to make the process relaxing and seamless. Although emergencies are rare, it helps to know that the dentist has an emergency protocol in place.
The Consultation Process
A consultation with a cosmetic dentistry team allows patients to interact with the dentist and discuss the aspects they would like to change about their smile. It presents a chance to set realistic expectations for the procedures. The dentist will collect patient information to develop an accurate treatment plan that meets the patient's needs. This process may include imaging, taking impressions, oral examinations, or checking potential smile outcomes.
During the consultation, pay attention to the office setting. It is essential to work with a friendly and welcoming dental team. After providing a treatment plan, the cosmetic dentistry team will discuss the treatment and ensure the patient understands the option or potential alternatives. Patients need to be satisfied with the information provided to make a guided decision about the treatment plan. The cosmetic dentistry practice will also provide information about the materials used in producing the dental restorations. Patients can ask about the results of the process and how durably they are. Some procedures have maintenance requirements to ensure long-lasting results. Teeth whitening, for instance, needs to be repeated every few months to keep the smile looking bright.
Call Us Today
Keep in mind that choosing a cosmetic dentistry practice means working with a dental professional that can transform your appearance by improving certain aspects of your smile. In the hands of a skilled dentist, you can be sure of getting excellent and long-lasting results. Call us today at (703) 828-0613 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
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