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Popular Bonding and Cosmetic Dentists Terms
Not long ago, the only alternative for tooth replacement were bridges or dentures. Though still a popular alternative for those who've lost their teeth, many other, more advanced cosmetic dentistry options such as dental implants and the like are now available. In order to have a better, more comprehensive understanding of the terminology associated with cosmetic dentistry, we must first understand the terms associated with this profession. Below are several terms one should familiarize oneself with when researching family or cosmetic dentists.
Periodontal - Of or pertaining to the gums and supporting soft and hard tissues retaining the natural teeth. Good oral hygiene can prevent periodontal disease which negatively affects to the gums and supporting tissues.
Veneer - A plastic or porcelain facing bonded directly to a tooth to improve its appearance. Typically, veneers are usually used for repairing chipped, cracked, or worn teeth though, some patients opt for them in order to aesthetically improve tooth appearance.
Bridge - Usually a fixed dental appliance used to replace missing teeth. Typically, the appliance is cemented or bonded to supporting teeth or implants adjacent to the space.
Dentures - A removable partial or complete set of artificial teeth.
Extraction - The removal of a tooth. This may or may not require the patient be fully sedated.
Nitrous Oxide - An odorless inhalation agent that produces a state of relaxation. Commonly called laughing gas, it reduces anxiety and relaxes anxious or nervous patients.
Sinusitis - Inflammation of the sinuses that may mimic dental pain.
Local Anesthetic - An injection that causes either partial or complete elimination of pain sensation. This type of anesthesia does not sedate the patient.
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of one’s smile instead of promoting good oral hygiene like other dental procedures. There are options to make your teeth more aesthetically pleasing, many of which do not require patients to be sedated or the consultation of a surgeon. One of the simplest is tooth whitening. This can be done at home with an over-the-counter kit. If the staining on the enamel is excessive, another choice is custom veneers. Made of composite or porcelain, these are bonded to the enamel.
Periodontal disease affects the gum and the bones supporting the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. If the disease is caught early, a filling may be enough to correct any damage. One way to replace any lost teeth is to fill the gap with dental bridges. These false teeth are attached to crowns, which are bonded to the real teeth on either side. Another option is tooth implants. This process uses titanium root-shaped pieces implanted into the jaw to replace the missing teeth. If the tooth decay or loss is massive, dentures may be suggested. Dentures are custom-made to fit securely inside one’s mouth and work just as regular teeth would.
For crooked teeth, braces are commonly chosen, especially for children. Dental contouring can be used for uneven teeth. While not all processes require patients to be sedated, you may still experience some pain during or after the procedure. Because the focus is to restore the appearance of your smile, most insurance plans do not cover cosmetic dental procedures. The best way to avoid out-of-pocket costs on cosmetic dentistry is to teach the importance of oral hygiene to your family. While many dental problems can be fixed by modern techniques, it is best to take care of your teeth.