Visiting a cosmetic dentist is not just a privilege reserved for the rich and famous, as many of today's cosmetic dentistry procedures are very affordable and may be faster and more comfortable than you realize. A cosmetic dentist can also fix a wide range of dental issues, so you can have a beautiful smile in very little time, even within just one visit! If you're thinking about having your teeth fixed, note a few factors to consider about cosmetic dentistry so you know if this professional offers the right services for you.
Alignment versus cosmetic fixes
If you're wondering about the difference between a cosmetic dentist and an orthodontist, note that an orthodontist can fix problems related to how the teeth are actually growing. An orthodontist might install braces or prescribe dental trays that actually nudge teeth into place.
A cosmetic dentist, however, simply changes the appearance of teeth, not how they're actually growing. This doesn't mean that a cosmetic dentist cannot address crooked teeth, but he or she might cover teeth with a bonding agent or veneers, meaning artificial covers, that make teeth look straight. A cosmetic dentist can also file or drill down teeth that jut out somewhat, so they appear to be properly aligned.
Bleaching or painting
If your teeth are yellow or discoloured, it's not good to try to bleach them at home, as many products you buy from the pharmacy are either very harsh on your teeth, or they may be so gentle that they don't even work! The stains on your teeth may also be so severe and so deep that bleach alone won't fix the problem.
If you've already tried to bleach teeth at home and notice that your mouth seems sore, or that the bleach doesn't change the colour of your teeth, it's good to see a cosmetic dentist. He or she will use gentle but effective bleaching agents, and ensure those chemicals are removed properly so that teeth aren't damaged and the skin inside your mouth doesn't get irritated.
For severely stained teeth, a cosmetic dentist may even outright paint them. A special tooth paint is used by cosmetic dentists when they add a bonding agent or veneers over teeth, as these materials need to be painted to match the other teeth in your mouth. This same paint can cover aged or yellowed teeth so that bleach isn't even needed, and your teeth look their best without the risk of being damaged.