Any good dentist can take care of your general cleanings, exams, and routine checkups. But many people still wonder, what is a cosmetic dentist? What is a veneer? What is an implant? Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about cosmetic dentistry that may help steer you in the right direction.
- “What is a cosmetic dentist?”
Simply put, a cosmetic dentist is a dental professional whose primary concern is the appearance of your teeth. They specialize in whitening procedures (chemical and laser-assisted), crowns, veneers, and occasionally more advanced prosthodontic procedures such as dental implants.
- “How is laser teeth whitening different from regular teeth whitening?”
Regular chemical whitening uses a peroxide-based solution to oxidize stains and discolorations away from the enamel of your teeth. Laser whitening includes the same chemical solution, but uses a low-energy carbon laser to activate the solution, which dramatically shortens the length of treatment.
- “What is a veneer?”
Dental veneers are thin shells (usually porcelain or composite resin) that are placed over the front surface of your teeth, instantly restoring your smile to its former glory. The shells are custom designed to your exact specifications, and can cover one, some, or all of your existing teeth.
- “What are dental implants?”
Implants are small, metal pegs (usually made of lightweight aluminum) that are surgically inserted into the jawbone. These pegs act as replacements for dental roots that can no longer provide solid anchors for your teeth. New, synthetic teeth can be attached securely to the implant, whether individual teeth or entire dental plates.
Behind all of these questions is the big question: “How do I know if a cosmetic dentist is really what I need?” The best person to ask is your local dentist. They know your mouth better than anyone — maybe even better than you do. If they think you might benefit from a service that they themselves can’t provide, they’re happy to recommend you to a cosmetic dentist who can get the job done. Research more like this.