How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Enhance Your Smile

A smile with crooked, chipped, broken, or discolored teeth can affect your self-esteem and confidence. A cosmetic dentist can help you overcome these problems through treatment options like dental crowns, composite bonding, or dental veneers.


Unlike restorative dentistry, which repairs teeth to improve function and health, cosmetic procedures are elective. However, they do offer significant benefits in terms of oral health.

Composite fillings

Composite fillings are tooth-colored resin materials that bond and harden in the mouth, creating a natural appearance. They are most commonly used to repair cavities but can be used for cosmetic enhancements as well. These restorations are often less noticeable than traditional silver (amalgam) fillings and can be sculpted to blend in with the surrounding teeth. While not as durable as crowns or dental implants, composite fillings can last for years with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.

The procedure for getting a composite filling is fairly simple. Your dentist will start by numbing the area with a shot of anesthetic. Then they will remove any decay and prep the tooth for a new filling. This might include shaving off a bit of the tooth to make sure that the new material will adhere properly.

Once the decay is removed, the dentist will begin adding the composite resin to the tooth in layers. A curing light is used after each application to help the material set up and harden. The dentist will then sculpt the composite and shape it to look like the natural tooth. It is normal to have some sensitivity after getting a composite filling but this will disappear once the anesthetic wears off.

Cosmetic fillings are an excellent solution for repairing minor cavities. They are less expensive than other dental options and can make a big difference in the appearance of your smile.

Dental implants

Dental implants are a permanent way to replace missing teeth. They are specifically designed to join with bone and serve as a base for long term replacement teeth. They look, feel and function like natural teeth. In addition to cosmetic benefits, they also help stimulate and maintain bone health, preventing deterioration of the jawline.

A consultation with a dentist, oral surgeon or periodontist is needed to evaluate your dental health and determine whether an implant is right for you. A thorough examination includes X-rays and a CT scan to ensure that there is enough bone volume and spacing to support the implant. During the procedure, patients may experience mild to moderate pain and swelling. Depending on your comfort level, you can opt for local anesthesia or sedation dentistry.

Once the implant has healed, a small connector post will be attached to the tooth. A new replacement tooth or teeth will then be fabricated using the model of your bite. The replacement tooth is typically shaped and colored to match the surrounding teeth and to create a uniform appearance.

Composite bonding is another common cosmetic dentistry procedure. It involves the repair of damaged or decayed teeth with a material that closely resembles tooth enamel color. To perform the procedure, your dentist drills out the tooth decay or chipped teeth, applies the bonding material, sculpts it and then cures it with a high-intensity light. Composite bonding is inexpensive and one of the least invasive cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Dental bonding

Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that can correct chipped teeth, cracks, discoloration, or even close gaps between teeth. During this procedure, the dentist uses a composite resin that is color matched to your natural tooth and then molded into place over the defected surface of the tooth. It is then hardened with a high intensity light, allowing it to look and feel like your natural tooth.

The bonding process can usually be completed in a single visit to the dentist. The dentist will discuss your goals for your smile and take X-rays to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure. If you have other dental health issues, they may need to be treated before you undergo dental bonding.

Before the procedure begins, the dentist will prepare the tooth by roughening it and applying a conditioning liquid to help the composite material adhere. Once the bonding material has been applied, the dentist will mold it to the tooth and then trim it and polish it to match the sheen of your surrounding natural teeth.

While dental bonding does not last as long as veneers, it is an inexpensive solution to correct minor cosmetic problems in your smile. Bonding does not require much care, but you should still brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist for regular checkups, and avoid chewing on hard objects that could damage the resin.

Dental veneers

Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. They can be used to correct tooth discoloration or chips, change the shape of a single tooth, or fix gaps between teeth. Dental veneers are typically made of porcelain or resin composite, with porcelain veneers offering a more natural-looking result. They are also more resistant to staining than composite resin veneers.

Before applying the veneers, your dentist will clean and reshape the teeth. They may need to trim about a half-millimeter of enamel to ensure the veneers fit well and look natural. Your dentist will then take X-rays and make an impression of the teeth. The impressions are sent to a lab to construct the veneers, which will be sent back to the dentist in a few weeks. During the next appointment, the dentist will test the color and fit of the veneers. Once the veneers are a good fit, they will be bonded to the teeth with a special cement.

Once the veneers are in place, patients can eat and drink as normal. However, they are not recommended for people who grind or clench their teeth because the pressure can crack or chip the veneers. In these cases, your dentist may recommend wearing a night guard to protect the teeth from excessive pressure while you sleep.