The Truth About Dental Implants

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Cosmetic Dentistry - Three Ways To Recreate Your Best Smile

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Dentistry can be divided into two primary methodologies. The first methodology is the general welfare and hygiene of the mouth. This can be seen as all necessary procedures. The second methodology is the extra or selective method. This is known as cosmetic dentistry. The second type of methodology also repairs the appearance and function of teeth, such as elective forms of reconstructive surgery. Read on to learn about three specific types of cosmetic surgery that will recreate your best smile.

Dental Implants

One of the most important tools in the cosmetic dentistry tool bag is the dental implant. This procedure will be used in order to replace badly damaged or missing teeth with a new artificial tooth. The price range for this procedure can vary greatly. On average the cost of a dental implant, including the crown, will be around $4250. However, the cost can vary between $1500 and $10000 dollars, even more. This variance is due to the type of extra procedures needed during the process, such as tooth extraction, and the type of materials used for the implant. A few common materials are zirconium and porcelain fused to metal.

The dental implant procedure is a staged process over multiple visits. There will be a period of discussion that may require multiple visits with your dentist before surgical visits start. There are three stages in the surgical process.

  1. The dentist will implant the first component, the base, on the first surgical visit. The base is a screw-shaped object that replicates the function of a natural tooth's root by anchoring the implant within the jawbone.
  2. The second surgical visit will occur after a period of healing has occurred. The base must fuse completely with the bone, and all surrounding tissue will need to have healed completely before this step can begin. Once you are ready, the dentist will implant the second component, the abutment. The abutment is a connecting rod or cone is designed to connect the base to the crown.
  3. Once the gums have healed from the second stage, the third stage will begin. In this stage there will be no surgical procedure performed. The dentist will simply attach and fit the chosen crown. The crown is the component of the artificial tooth visible to the naked eye. It is made to look like a real tooth and high-grade crowns will not be noticeable by casual observers.

Professional Tooth Whitening

The most common cosmetic dentistry procedure performed today is simple tooth whitening. During this process the dentist will apply and monitor a high-grade and heavily concentrated bleaching gel rapidly bleaches your teeth. This method is considered to be the fastest and safest form of tooth whitening available. The process costs roughly $650 on average during an office visit. Take-home trays are around $400. Over-the-counter options are around $100. 

Tooth whitening is most suitable for people with simple stains or yellowing from age. Coffee and tobacco stains are a typical type of stain that can be removed with bleaching. Unfortunately, teeth that have begun to become transparent with age are not suited to being bleached. This issue is most prominent in the front teeth because they are naturally thinner than the other teeth.

Dental Veneers

Veneer placement is a type of cosmetic procedure that can rapidly replace your smile. Veneers are bonded to the teeth placed in order to hide cracked, badly stained, and worn teeth. There are several types of veneer materials used but the most common are a composite material and porcelain. Composite material veneers last for five to seven years and cost between $250 and $1500 per tooth. Porcelain veneers are more expensive but last roughly twice as long, 10 to 15 years on average. They cost $925 to $2500 per tooth.

The veneer placement process happens in two stages. The first stage is a lengthy discussion and assessment visit will allow the dentist to determine exactly what needs to be done. During this phase the choice of veneer material will be made. During the second stage the veneer will be placed.

If composite materials were chosen they will be crafted and placed directly on the second visit. If porcelain veneers were chosen the dentist will take an imprint of your teeth, known as a bite, during the initial visit. Porcelain veneers that fit your bite mold will be crafted and sent to your dentist in order to be used when you come back for the actual procedure.