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The 5 Best Cosmetic Dental Treatments

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. This is why many people are constantly looking for ways to obtain the perfect smile. Cosmetic dentistry can restore teeth that are missing, decayed, or damaged while also improving the overall aesthetics of your smile. 

There is a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments that can also address concerns such as stained, unevenly shaped, improperly spaced, or misaligned teeth. The cosmetic dental treatment that is right for you is ultimately the treatment that will address your cosmetic concerns. 

Because there is such a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments, many people don’t even know where to start when considering cosmetic dentistry. To help you decide what the best cosmetic dental treatment is for you, here is a list of the 5 most popular cosmetic dental treatments: 

Composite Fillings: 

A composite filling is a dental filling made from composite resin. Composite resin can be color matched to the shade of your natural teeth, so the filling will blend in with your natural teeth. To place a composite filling, the decayed tissue will first be removed and the remaining tooth structure may be reshaped. Then the composite resin will be layered on until the cavity has been filled. The final layer will be shaped and polished to blend with the tooth. Composite fillings last about 5-7 years. 

Before and after pictures of teeth whitening

Teeth Whitening: 

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic treatment used to remove stains from discolored teeth. It works by removing both internal and external stains, lengthening teeth by 5-10 shades in a single appointment. Teeth whitening procedures start with a teeth cleaning to remove any plaque or debris. Then a whitening agent is brushed onto the teeth. In some cases, an activation light or whitening trays may be used. Once the whitening agent is applied, it will remain on the teeth for 30-60 minutes before being rinsed. The whitening agent will continue to lighten the teeth for the first 24 hours after application and the effects of whitening will last about a year depending on your oral hygiene and eating habits. There are many benefits to teeth whitening. Read “5 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Teeth Whitened” to find out what they are.

Dental Crown: 

Dental crowns completely encapsulate the tooth in order to improve its shape, size, and color, as well as to restore damaged or decay. Although they can be made from many materials, porcelain crowns are most popular for cosmetic treatments because of their natural appearance. Dental crowns are placed by first reducing the tooth in size so that it can properly accommodate the crown. The permanent crown is then cemented over the natural tooth. Dental crowns can last anywhere from 5-15 years depending on how well they are maintained. For more information about dental crowns, please see our Dental Crown & Bridges page.

Dental implant with abutment and dental crown

Dental Implant: 

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the jawbone to act as an anchor for a dental prosthetic such as a crown, bridge, or denture. Dental implants are a popular choice for restoring missing teeth because they are extremely durable and have a natural appearance. To place a dental implant, two appointments about 3-6 months apart are usually required. This type of cosmetic dental treatment requires a longer recovery than other treatments. For more information on the recovery process, read “What is Recovery From Dental Implants Like?” Once in place, dental implants can last 10-15 years, and some can even last up to 20 years. 

Veneers: 

Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment used to correct misaligned, improperly spaced, stained, or unevenly shaped teeth. They are made from porcelain, but can also be made from dental composite resin. Porcelain veneers require that a small amount of enamel be removed for their placement, however they last for 10-15 years. Composite veneers can usually be placed without removing enamel, however they only last for 5-7 years. For more information about dental veneers, see our Veneers and Laminates page.

Dr. Deborah Tabb Portrait

Dr. Deborah Tabb graduated in the upper 5% of her class, from the Medical College of Virginia in 1982, where she was honored to receive advanced awards for outstanding performance in endodontics, periodontics, and oral surgery. These prestigious awards validated her clinical talent, which she is recognized for today. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Southern Maryland Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry and the Potomac Valley Dental Study Club.

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