Cosmetic Dentistry

If you’re reading this blog, we think it’s safe to assume you’re considering cosmetic dental work, or at the very least are curious at what exactly that may entail. For starters, cosmetic dentistry is the branch of dentistry that aims to create a positive change to both your teeth, and your overall smile. The appearance of your smile can be improved on in many ways, including color, position, shape, size, and alignment. (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 2023)

Cosmetic dentistry can mistakenly be looked down upon by some who are under the impression that cosmetic dental procedures are for those who are only concerned about their appearance. This misconception could not be further from the truth, many cosmetic dental procedures are also highly important to an individual’s overall oral and dental health. For example, someone may need a dental implant, and not because they simply only care about their looks, but because if they do not replace a missing tooth, they are at great risk for deterioration of their jawbone, causing more issues down the line. At Spokane Dental, we also realize how much your smile can impact other areas of your life. The lack of confidence or functionality someone may suffer from their smile can take a huge toll on their overall mental health, affecting their day to day life.

So if you’re here to learn about cosmetic dentistry, what the procedures may entail, or decide if a cosmetic dental procedure is right for you, stick around. As experts in our field, we love sharing our knowledge to help patients feel confident and competent in their decisions.

Types of Cosmetic Dental Services

At Spokane Dental, we offer a wide array of services, from orthodontic procedures, to pediatric dental services, to yep, you guessed it, cosmetic dental procedures. Some of our cosmetic dental procedures include teeth whitening, fillings, crowns, dentures, implants, and more.

Teeth Whitening

Let’s start with a cosmetic dental procedure most people are at least fairly familiar with: teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is also commonly referred to as teeth bleaching, and what it does (besides the obvious making your teeth whiter), is it utilizes a bleaching agent to remove stains from the tooth enamel. Everyone’s teeth become stained over time from normal ‘life’ activities, it’s normal for teeth to naturally yellow over the years, and if smoke or perhaps drink certain beverages such as wine, coffee, or tea, your teeth are even more likely to stain and yellow.

One important thing to note in regards to teeth whitening is that the teeth whitening procedure will not effect your crowns, or tooth implants. That being said, if you are planning on doing multiple cosmetic dental treatments, we suggest teeth whitening to be your first treatment. That way your restorations can be made to match the color of your teeth after your whitening, not before. Here at Spokane Dental, we ensure you are a good candidate for whitening and then proceed to make custom whitening trays. The custom fit allows for the whitening agent to spread evenly on your teeth, as well as avoiding your gums so not to cause any irritation.

Fillings & Crowns

Fillings and crowns are both considered to be restorative treatments as well. (See, we told you cosmetic dentistry isn’t solely focused on appearances)! A dental filling is used to restore the shape and the structure of a tooth that is lost due to dental decay or a similar problem such as trauma or accidents. This is considered a cosmetic dental procedure when it comes to composite resin fillings. Composite resin fillings are tooth colored, and are therefore extremely esthetic. If you were to receive a gold or silver dental filling, it would be much more obvious every time you spoke or opened your moth. Where as a composite filled tooth is so similar in appearance to your natural tooth that it’s nearly impossible to tell!

A crown is a restorative treatment because its main purpose is to aid a tooth in functionality once it has been damaged. However, it is also considered a cosmetic procedure because it restores the shape, feel, and look of a broken or cracked tooth. Essentially, a dental crown is a cap like prosthesis that is multipurpose. It strengthens a weak tooth, restores the shape of a broken or decayed tooth, protects a tooth treated from a root canal, or is utilized to mask the discoloration of a tooth.

Dental Implants

At Spokane Dental, we utilize quality dental implants that provide tooth root replacements that create a solid foundation for permanent or removable natural-looking artificial teeth. If an individual is suffering from tooth loss, dental implants are a great option that will provide improved stability, appearance and functionality. Dental Implants are fused to bone, meaning they can last a lifetime while also looking, feeling, and functioning like your real teeth. Another great benefit of implants is that they can be used to support dentures. They hold the dental plate in the proper position which helps resolve issues loose fitting dentures often cause such as mumbling and slurred speech.

Dentures & Partial Dentures

Dentures are essentially artificial teeth that are either completely or partially removable depending on the amount of missing teeth an individual has. They are typically in a plastic or plastic and metal base that rests directly on the gums.

A removable partial denture is made up of replacement teeth that are attached to a plastic base that matches the coloring of one’s gums to look more natural, and they are connected by a metal framework that attaches to the remaining teeth in the mouth via clasps on the framework.

A full denture is a replacement set of teeth for an entire arch. It also attaches to a gum-colored plastic base, but the difference here is that it rests on the bony ridge of the upper or lower jaw. To give both partials and dentures more stability and functionality, we often seat them on dental implants.

Cosmetic Dentistry at Spokane Dental

We hope this quick little overview of cosmetic dentistry was helpful. We know it’s a lot of information to take in and can make your decision more difficult. If you have any questions about our cosmetic dental procedures or would like to know if you’re a good candidate, give us a call or schedule a consultation today!