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Cosmetic Dentistry 101: A glossary of procedures to improve your smile

Cosmetic dentistry includes a multitude of procedures that brighten smile, reshape faces, readjust bites, fill gaps, repair cracks and chips, and even reverse time. Read on for a fun list of the more common cosmetic dentistry procedures and how they can work for you.

Braces and Invisalign

Braces are used correct uneven bites and poorly aligned teeth. While the majority of orthodontic work is completed during adolescent years – when the teeth are easier to move – many adults opt to wait until later in life, when they better afford such procedures. Metal braces are the most traditional option, but lingual and ceramic braces are practical alternatives.

Many adults would rather straighten their teeth without the obvious braces treatments. Enter: Invisalign. Unlike braces that grip onto teeth, Invisalign plastic appliances are molded to slide over upper or lower teeth. They do the work without the dietary and social limits or potential embarrassment sometimes associated with their affixed counterparts.

Caps, Crowns, and Bridges

Gaps, chips, cracks, and worn enamel can be easily corrected with proper materials and artistic sculpting. Bonding is one of the quickest and most affordable procedures available for simple aesthetic corrections. Composite materials or dental-grade porcelain care used for more serious issues, such as capping a broken or chipped tooth, creating individual tooth molds (crowns) for missing teeth, or building a permanent bridge to connect up to to three crowns to replace multiple missing teeth.

Dental Implants and Dentures

Almost 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, another 35 million have lost a mouthful. Tooth loss – either singular or extensive – can cause an array of health issues, from simple advanced aging to breathing and eating issues. Cosmetic dentists provide two correctional options for these situations: dental implants or dentures.

Dental implants are crowns placed on titanium or zirconium prostheses which are attached to dental anchors. These anchors are then surgically drilled into the jawline. The procedure is extensive and more expensive than dentures, but the results are permanent fixtures that perform like natural teeth.

Dentures, on the other hand, provide a non-surgical and more affordable solution. As such, 90 percent of those with some degree of toothlessness rely on dentures. These so-called “false teeth” are glued to the gum lines and can be removed, cleaned, and reattached as needed.

Porcelain Veneers and Lumineers

Ever wonder how your favorite celebrities get those red carpet smiles? Nine out of 10 cosmetic dentists agree that veneers or Lumineers are the most common smile secrets in the industry. Veneers and Lumineers are wafer-thin sheets of porcelain that are shaped and applied to existing teeth. These aesthetic cover-ups correct stains, gaps, chips, and irregularities that may detract from the beauty of your smile. Lumineers are cemented directly to the teeth. Veneers are thicker and require removing some of the enamel to affix the shells. With proper care and attention, both options can be long-lasting, or even permanent, smile solutions.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Most visits to cosmetic dentists involve enamel stain removal to improve the brightness and overall condition of the patient’s smile. Even with countless do-it-yourself home kits on the market, professional tooth whitening is the most common request at dental offices. Each visit is tailored to the patient’s needs and tested completely for sensitivity issues. Overseen by a competent professional, you’re guaranteed to leave the office looking and feeling better than you have in years.

All of your cosmetic dentistry needs can be taken care of by the competent professionals at Sachar Dental, located in Midtown Manhattan in the heart of New York City. Contact Dr. Sachar to take the next step toward improving your smile.