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If you are fed up using removable dentures or you have unsightly gaps due to missing teeth, then a dental implant could be the ideal solution for you.

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June 12, 2014 by bridgeways

Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth as it was many years ago.
Nowadays, many people turn to cosmetic dentistry as a way of improving their smile and appearance. The impact on self confidence can be staggering as many people are embarrassed by their teeth or smile. The adage of “beauty being in the eye of the beholder” is often very relevant because what is unsightly and devastating to one person is totally irrelevant to the next.

From subtle changes to major repairs, your dentist can do a variety of procedures to improve your smile. Common procedures include teeth whitening (bleaching), crowns, veneers, bridges, orthodontics, bonding of tooth coloured filling materials, reshaping and contouring. Your dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, straighten crooked teeth, restore worn teeth and alter their length. These improvements are not always just cosmetic as many of these treatments improve other oral problems such as your “bite”.

The following will give a very brief insight into these more common procedures:


This is a common and popular chemical process to whiten teeth. Discolouration occurs in the enamel and can be hereditary, caused by coffee, tea, smoking etc, certain medications, or simply due to getting older. This can now only legally be done by your dentist, either in the practice or under dental supervision, at home. Many patients prefer the convenience of the latter.


Crowns, sometimes known as caps, cover the entire tooth to restore it to its normal shape, colour and appearance. Often used when other procedures can not be considered effective or give the desired life expectancy but is a more complex procedure.


These are thin slices of porcelain/ceramic material made to fit over the visible surface of your front teeth, just like a false fingernail fits over a nail. This can be a good way of treating
discoloured or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth or repairing chips and cracks.


There are several ways of filling the gap left when a tooth is lost. It is important to consider replacing any missing teeth to balance the way your jaw bites. As teeth are lost, the remaining
teeth come under increased pressures which can lead to more broken fillings or even jaw problems.

The simplest way is a partial denture but some people find these uncomfortable and then look at alternatives ie. bridges and implants – the subject of a previous article. There are several types of bridge depending on each situation that presents but all are fixed in place unlike dentures that are removeable. Implants are titanium posts that act as artificial roots that are surgically placed in the jawbone to act as anchors for crowns etc.


Teeth can be “straightened” with orthodontic appliances (braces). Although mainly done in childhood when the jaws are growing, it is now becoming much more popular with adults, especially now that there are so many more techniques available that use what are commonly called “invisible” braces which are hardly noticeable.


Tooth coloured materials can be used to fill in small gaps, cover blemishes or change the colour of teeth. However it can be more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restoration.


This may be able to be used to correct chipped or irregularly shaped teeth, or even sometimes, overlapping teeth. It is done judicially and with great care so that nothing detrimental is done to the teeth concerned-a common concern to some people. This procedure can also be used to correct small problems with the bite (the way the teeth meet on closing, clenching, grinding etc)

The condition of your teeth, mouth and your desired result will often dictate the best procedure. With all these things, your dentist will be able to advise as to which treatment/s are most suited to you and your particular situation. Your smile is so important and is for life!

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