What does cosmetic dentistry mean? Skip to main content

What does cosmetic dentistry mean?

Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental procedures that focus on improving the appearance of your teeth and mouth rather than restorative care.

The most common techniques used to improve the look of your smile range from a simple trip to your dentist to a complex outpatient operation with an oral surgeon.

Teeth whitening

Excessive consumption of coffee and tea, smoking, certain foods, medications and time can cause teeth discoloration. One of the simplest procedures is to have your dentist bleach away stains or discoloration. This can be achieved either in the office or with the use of a special mouthpiece at home.

Filling in gaps with bonding

Chips, cracks, stains and even some broken teeth can be repaired with bonding. A composite resin and colorant are applied to the problem area to improve appearance, protect an exposed root or fill a small cavity. Bonding is generally seen as a temporary solution as the resin will wear down or chip within three to five years.


A more permanent solution than bonding, a plastic or porcelain veneer can correct crooked, worn or misshapen teeth and eliminate gaps. Veneers are custom-made for each patient. Prior to installation, your dentist will prepare your natural teeth to fit the veneers.

Put a crown on it

Sometimes called a cap, a dental crown completely covers an old tooth to restore its original form. Crowns can be used to cover a tooth that’s had a root canal, protect a weak tooth, repair a broken or worn tooth or cover a large filling. Crowns are also fitted over dental implants as a permanent solution to replace a missing tooth.

Dental implants as a permanent solution

An excellent alternative to traditional dental bridges, a dental implant involves the placement of a titanium rod in the jawbone to act in place of your natural root. Widely seen as the longest lasting tooth replacement solution, an implant will allow you to chew, eat and brush as if the implant and crown were your natural tooth.

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