Improving Patients' Smiles

Published Online: Monday, September 1, 2003

    More and more people are visiting the dentist for the sole purpose of a ?smile makeover.? The most popular cosmetic dental procedures include bonding, whitening the teeth, and tooth-colored fillings. Individuals wanting their teeth perfectly uniform and dazzling white can choose from a number of cosmetic procedures, depending on what they need to have done. Problems that can be addressed include the following:

? Stained or discolored teeth. The enamel that covers the teeth is not resistant to stains, and the underlying tooth structure often yellows over time. As long as the teeth are healthy, dentists can remove stains by using a bleaching agent.

? Chips or rough spots. These spots can be filled using composite (toothcolored material).Patients can choose the color of the composite so that it matches the color of their teeth. After the dentist smooths and polishes the material, it is hard to distinguish it from the surrounding area.

? Uneven teeth. Although it is not uncommon for a tooth to be slightly longer or have a different shape than the surrounding teeth, dentists can perform a procedure called recontouring to reshape the tooth. For more information about cosmetic dentistry, visit

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