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What You Might Be Wondering About Cosmetic Dentistry

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Cosmetic dentistry, or dentistry that is done for the sake of appearance rather than for the overall health of your teeth and mouth, is more common today than ever before. The procedures used for cosmetic dentistry are typically more affordable than ever, and many of these procedures can be done in one visit, without anesthesia and with little discomfort. If you're thinking about a cosmetic dental procedures, note a few questions you might have and then discuss these with your dentist.

1. What is the difference between bonding and veneers?

Bonding is done with a type of paste that is applied to the teeth and which is often activated with a light source to cause it to dry and harden. This paste adheres to the teeth and can help to build up small teeth, make crooked teeth look straight, and cover stains.

Porcelain veneers are very similar but slightly different; the porcelain used in veneers is actually stronger and covers up stains better. Porcelain veneers are also less likely to hold stains themselves, so they may look fresh and white for longer than bonded teeth.

2. Which should be done first, a facelift or dental work?

Dental work can sometimes change the overall shape of your face, depending on the work itself. You might have several teeth bonded and notice that this fills out your cheeks just slightly or changes the shape of your jaw. This is one reason to have dental work done before a facelift or other such cosmetic procedure, as you want to ensure you will still need your facelift. You also don't want the dental work to interfere with the work of the cosmetic surgeon by changing the shape he or she worked hard to create for your face. Having teeth replaced or bonded can also give added support to the muscles of the face, so they can better support facial cosmetic work.

3. Can a crown or implant that looks fake be fixed?

A crown or implant that looks fake may have discolored over the years, or your own teeth may have discolored and the crown or implant now stands out. Your face may have also changed shape and your other teeth may have adjusted, whereas your false tooth may not have shifted and moved so readily. Whatever the reason for this "fake" look, it can usually be addressed by a cosmetic dentist. You may need a new crown put on or a new implant, or these may simply need some painting to cover stains or a bit of reshaping so they look more natural.