There was a time, not so long ago when a bad smile was a simple case of bad luck. It wasn’t something you could change. You would need to live with it and the self-consciousness of a broad grin when talking to a stranger. 

Those times, thankfully, have changed. Dental solutions have evolved and can wave a magic wand on many appearance worries. In this guide, we’ll explain six of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. Read on to learn which one is perfect for you. 

1. Professional Teeth Whitening

There are many trendy at-home products for teeth whitening. But none of these compares to the results you’ll get from professional teeth whitening at the dentist. 

Teeth whitening is hugely popular because it’s an instant makeover and non-invasive. It’s also necessary for many people with modern diets that include lots of coffee, red wine, and certain medications.

During a teeth whitening treatment, the dentist will safely add a bleaching agent to your teeth. That’s usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These agents help remove the stains on the teeth and produce a lighter shade of enamel. 

This simple procedure takes little time, and you can return to normal activities as soon as you leave the dental office.

It is also low maintenance, though you will need to keep the teeth clean. Dentists always recommend regular teeth whitening treatments to maintain that bright appearance. 

2. Veneers

Veneers can enhance any smile, whether a patient has teeth discoloration, cracks, chips, or decay. Veneers can also close gaps between teeth.

During a veneer treatment, the dentist will apply a thin layer to the front surface of the teeth. These layers are custom-made to fit the original tooth’s shape but with a neater and more uniform appearance.

You’ll typically choose between porcelain and composite resin. Porcelain is more robust and will last longer but more expensive.

During a veneer treatment, the dentist will take a mold of your teeth to help create the custom fit. Before adding the veneers, they will remove a layer of enamel to help achieve a slim fit in the mouth. 

In many cases, veneers last for 10-15 years and are strong and durable.

However, you will need to care for them with good dental hygiene. And though they are stain-resistant, it’s a good idea not to overdo it with dark drinks like coffee or tobacco products. 

3. Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the best cosmetic solutions for a missing or badly damaged tooth. They are functional and look like natural teeth. 

During an implant procedure, the dental team inserts a titanium post into your jawbone, which acts as the root of the implant.

This technique is a highly effective solution because, over time, that post will merge with the jawbone, giving the implant as much strength as a natural tooth. 

That’s the first stage of the procedure. The second stage is the crown or the visible part of the tooth. A lab will produce a custom tooth that fits your mouth and looks natural when set against the rest of your teeth, including the shade. 

Implants don’t require changes to the surrounding teeth, so they are a better solution than dentures and bridges. They also preserve more of the original teeth. 

4. Clear Aligners

There are several types of clear aligners, but the most well-known is the Invisalign brand. This is the modern way of straightening teeth without traditional metal braces. 

Aligners are a clear plastic that fits snugly over the teeth. These are always custom-made to a patient’s teeth after the dentist has taken a mold.

Over a series of months, the patient will change aligners so that they gradually move the teeth a millimeter at a time. The treatment length will depend on your teeth; crooked teeth will need more months of treatments than those requiring minor adjustments.

Since these aligners are clear and fit so tight, they are often invisible and perfect for adults who want a more discreet way of straightening their teeth. 

5. Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a popular alternative to veneers. It can help create a more even, whiter appearance for teeth with imperfections. 

During a bonding treatment, the dentist applies a type of resin to the teeth. This resin hardens under a special light, allowing the dentist to add a layer to a discolored and damaged tooth or fix an unsightly chip or crack.

Bonding is also helpful in achieving a more even shape in teeth, allowing patients to achieve the sort of Hollywood-style smile that was traditionally only possible with veneers.

Bonding treatment is less invasive than veneers because the dentist doesn’t remove a layer of enamel from the teeth. Plus, it’s a straightforward procedure. It can be completed in a single visit and doesn’t require anesthetics. 

6. Gum Contouring

Gum contouring is one of the most modern and cutting-edge cosmetic treatments available for teeth. You may also see it listed as a gum-reshaping treatment.

During this procedure, the dental team will alter the gumline, reshaping it around the teeth using a laser or scalpel. 

There are several reasons why a patient may want gum contouring. They may feel their gums are too high or too low, and reshaping them can change the appearance of the tooth without any invasive treatment to that actual tooth. 

This treatment is more straightforward than it sounds. Most gum contouring can occur during a single dentist visit. You will need local anesthesia during the treatment, but there is no lasting discomfort afterward.

Like other dental cosmetics, good oral hygiene is essential to keep the appearance perfect. 

The Most Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Thanks to advances in techniques and technology, there have never been more ways to achieve that perfect smile. Now that you know about the most popular cosmetic dental procedures, it’s time to take the next step and decide on the one that’s right for you. 

You can do that now by booking a consultation with our trusted dental team. Sloan Dental takes a personal approach to teeth, so we look beyond the smile and at the patient. So you are always in safe hands.