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Improve Your Smile: Cosmetic Dentistry 101

Improve Your Smile: Cosmetic Dentistry 101

Let’s face it. Not everyone is born with a perfect smile. Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, however, it’s now possible for almost anyone to achieve straighter, whiter and brighter teeth. Cosmetic dentistry covers a broad range of procedures that can help patients transform their existing smiles through everything from professional tooth whitening to permanent improvements to the shape and positioning of the teeth. Let’s take a closer look at the various types of cosmetic dentistry that are currently available through your Dallas dentist.


Everyday activities, such as drinking coffee, taking certain medications, smoking and consuming certain foods can result in the teeth becoming stained or discolored. One of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures, particularly in Dallas, TX, is professional teeth whitening, through which the dentist applies a bleaching gel that is designed to get teeth several times whiter. The procedure is painless and can be completed in just a couple of hours. Depending on the degree of staining, more than one visit may be recommended.


Dental bonding is a type of cosmetic dentistry used to reshape or restore the teeth to a more visually appealing look. In this type of procedure, the dentist applies a special composite material to the tooth’s surface. That material is then bonded to the tooth using a special light. Bonding is most often used to:

  • Correct gaps between the teeth
  • Protect exposed roots
  • Repair cracks or chips
  • Improve discolored tooth surface
  • Lengthen or reshape a tooth

This procedure typically requires just a single office visit, but the results can last for several years. Bonding is among the more minor types of cosmetic dentistry procedures. For more significant improvements, your dentist may recommend veneers or dental implants.

Shaping and Contouring

Tooth reshaping and contouring is a type of cosmetic dentistry used to correct crooked, chipped, irregularly shaped or overlapping teeth. This procedure is commonly used to alter the shape, length and/or position of the teeth and may also be effective in addressing slight problems with bite. Shaping and contouring is ideal for patients who have normal, healthy teeth but desire a more aesthetically pleasing smile. The dentist will need to determine whether there is adequate bone between the teeth before pursuing this option.


Another cosmetic dentistry procedure that is gaining popularity among patients in the Dallas Texas area is veneers. This type of procedure is usually recommended for those in need of more permanent or significant reshaping. Veneers are typically constructed of porcelain, though some are made from durable plastic. A tooth impression is taken and the custom-made veneer is then cemented directly onto the tooth’s surface. A light beam is then used to harden it. Veneers are used to address teeth that are:

  • Permanently stained
  • Oddly shaped
  • Unevenly spaced
  • Significantly gapped
  • Chipped or severely worn
  • Severely crooked

Applying veneers can require several visits to ensure the perfect fit and final look. They are longer lasting and have better color stability than bonding.


Crowns – also sometimes called caps – are used to cover a tooth in order to restore it to its natural appearance (i.e. color, shape, etc.). Crowns may be constructed of a variety of materials, including metal, resin, ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. They are typically used to address the following situations:

  • Covering a discolored or misshapen tooth
  • Restoring a worn or broken tooth
  • Protecting a weak tooth
  • Holding a dental bridge in place

In terms of cosmetic dentistry cost, crowns are among the higher end, which is why many prefer to pursue veneers as a less expensive alternative. In some instances, however, other procedures may not be effective and the patient has no choice but to go with crowns. Thankfully, crowns tend to last the longest out of all other cosmetic dentistry procedures, so it’s a worthy investment.

Which procedure is right for you?

If you’re interested in possibly pursuing one or more types of cosmetic dentistry to correct your own smile, the first step is making an appointment with a dentist who can evaluate your unique situation and provide a professional recommendation. At Elite Dental and Orthodontics, we specialize in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. We are conveniently located on McKinney Ave in Dallas. Feel free to contact us and let’s discuss how we can help give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of!