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  Cosmetic Procedures
 

In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence. Thanks to advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless, and surprisingly affordable treatments.

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  Cosmetic dental treatments can:
  •Change the size, shape, and alignment of certain teeth
•Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth
•Improve or correct bites
•Lighten or brighten the color of teeth
•Repair decayed, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth
•Replace missing teeth
•Replace old, unattractive dental treatments
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  Teeth whitening:
  Teeth whitening is perhaps the most commonly recommended cosmetic dentistry procedure. Teeth are often stained from smoking, food, drink (coffee, tea, red and white wine), and/or poor oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth can enhance the appearance of your smile. During a typical bleaching process, oxygen peroxide is applied to the teeth with a laser-like device, making the teeth lighter with no harmful effects to the enamel. At-home care for the newly whitened smile will keep teeth at their brightest and healthiest. (Note that, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the term “bleaching” is permitted to be used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. This applies strictly to products that contain bleaching agents—typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The term “whitening,” on the other hand, refers to restoring a tooth's surface color by removing dirt and debris. So any product that cleans (like a toothpaste) is considered a whitener. Of course, the term whitening sounds better than bleaching, so it is more frequently used—even when describing products that contain bleach.)
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  Bonding:
  In cosmetic dentistry, bonding can be used to repair chips, fill gaps between the teeth, remove stains, and generally create a more uniform smile. During the bonding process, dental materials like composites are attached to the teeth and sculpted into shape. Bonded materials become part of the tooth mechanically and molecularly, strengthening and protecting the tooth. White/tooth-colored fillings can also cover metal fillings that are deemed cosmetically unattractive today.
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  Inlays/Onlays:
 

Inlays and onlays can be a popular choice for cosmetic dentistry because they do not discolor over time as tooth-colored resin direct fillings often do. Whereas dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays (sometimes called indirect fillings) are fabricated indirectly in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth.

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  Veneers:
 

Veneers (sometimes called facings) are very thin pieces of durable, tooth-shaped material (usually porcelain) that are custom-made by a professional dental laboratory and bonded onto the front of teeth. Dental veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create a bright, white smile with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. Extremely little if any tooth reduction is required prior to placing the veneers. The procedure is recommended for teeth that are stained and/or misaligned, and to close gaps between teeth.

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