3 Common Cosmetic Procedures a General Dentist Can Perform
A general dentistsspends a fair share of their time performing preventative and restorative treatments, but they also perform treatments that are primarily aimed at improving the way that the teeth look. Cosmetic procedures and restorations focus on improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, but some, like crowns, also provide restorative benefits.
Cosmetic treatments that a general dentist can perform
Wondering what cosmetic procedures a patient can get during their next visit to a general dentist? Here are three popular ones.
1. Teeth whitening
Teeth whitening treatment is a fast way to enhance the color of a patient’s teeth. The procedure involves coating the patient’s teeth with a bleaching product that contains hydrogen peroxide or hydrogen carbamide as its active ingredient.
The solution is typically applied to the patient’s teeth using a customized mouthguard that they bite down on for 60 to 90 minutes. The bleaching agents used by dentists are significantly more concentrated than over-the-counter alternatives, so patients get faster results. A single teeth whitening session provided by a dentist can improve the color of a person’s teeth by up to eight shades.
Laser whitening is another popular treatment performed by dentists. It involves coating the patient’s teeth with a bleaching paste and using a laser to speed up the reaction between stains on teeth and the bleaching agent.
2. Composite bonding
Composite bonding is an affordable treatment that can be used to fix a variety of issues, from broken teeth to deformed teeth. The process is completely reversible, and it involves rebuilding teeth with a composite mixture of plastics and glass that is color-matched with the patient’s teeth.
Teeth are prepared for composite bonding by applying phosphoric acid to them to roughen their exterior. This leads to a better bond with the composite when it is applied. The semi-solid material is applied to teeth in layers and hardened with ultraviolet light. It is polished to give it a natural shine like real teeth.
Crowns are one of the most popular restorations used by general dentists. Also called caps, these restorations can be used to cover up cosmetic issues like badly decayed teeth, discoloration, or deformities. Crowns also restore the function of damaged teeth. These restorations do not require special care and can last up to 25 years.
Installing a crown requires the removal of enamel from all four sides of a tooth. This creates a better fit for the crown, but it is an irreversible process. The tooth will always need a crown to protect it from that point on.
Once the patient’s tooth has been prepared for a crown, the dentist will take an impression of their teeth. The impression will be sent to a lab where restorations are made, and it should get back to the dentist within a couple of weeks. The patient gets a temporary crown while they wait for their customized restoration.
Improve the way your teeth look
Not happy with the appearance of some of your teeth? Schedule a consultation with our dentist and explore your options.
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