Cosmetic dentistry is on the rise. From subtle changes to a smile overhaul, dental patients are looking to improve their smiles. In fact, an estimated 60 percent of new patient requests are cosmetic. Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. However, if you want to set your smile apart, you may want to look into one of these unique cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Do you want to add a little sparkle to your smile? Adding tooth jewelry is a simple, non-invasive procedure that makes your smile unique. Patients can choose from crystals, diamonds, and 24-carat gold jewelry. The tooth jewelry is applied with the following process:
- The tooth is cleaned, dried, and then etched with orthophosphoric acid.
- After the tooth is thoroughly dried, a bonding agent and composite is applied.
- Then, the jewel is set into the composite and a light curing lamp is used to harden the materials.
- It takes about four minutes for the jewel to be firmly in place.
Tooth jewels can last for six months to several years. Removal is easy and shouldn't damage the enamel on your teeth.
Some people get veneers or use braces to close spaces between their teeth. However, gaps between the two front teeth, otherwise known as a midline diastema, have become fashionable. Those who don't have a natural gap can have a procedure where a little bit of enamel is shaved away between your two front teeth.
Tooth tattoos are a new way to express yourself. There are a few ways to have tattoos put on your teeth:
- Temporary tooth tattoos: This is a simple procedure where mild phosphoric acid is placed on the tooth and then the tattoo is put on top. For something even less permanent, you can purchase a tooth decal that lasts for about 24 hours.
- Permanent tooth tattoos: If you need a crown, you can have a tattoo placed on the cap. Typically, the tattoos are put on back teeth. First, your dentist makes an impression of the tooth. Then, at a dental lab, an image is carved into the crown. To make the tattoo permanent, the crown is baked in an oven. Generally, the image should last as long as the life of the crown. If you do decide to remove a tooth tattoo, your dentist will have to grind the image off the crown.
Tooth ornaments like jewels and tattoos can encourage plaque accumulation. Thus, it's a good idea to take a little extra care with any decorated teeth. Talk to your dentist for more information.