If we talk about dental aesthetics, the most common in the vast majority of cases is to think of treatments such as the following veneers or the tooth whitening. They are indeed the 'front line' of this speciality, being the most requested and performed treatments in dental clinics all over the world, due to their effectiveness, success rate and results.
However, they are not the only ones beauty treatments that we can carry out to improve your smile, as there are many others that the vast majority of patients are unaware of until we bring them up in the consultation room and that may be of interest to you, who are reading these lines.
These are the most common and the ones I do on a day-to-day basis in my work. Vélez and Lozano:
Closure of the loopholes
Sometimes the gingival papillae, those small, tiny, little gum triangles that can be seen between tooth and tooth can be lost. Either due to the progression of diseases such as periodontitis or simply after orthodontic treatment. This creates black spaces between the teeth that age the smile and give an external appearance of 'long teeth' or sharp teeth.
However, these black spaces can easily be closed in a single appointment in the dental office, using a filling technique we call '...'.locking of loopholesIt basically consists of using composite (the same material we use for fillings) to reshape the tooth to close these spaces.
A quick treatment but one that generates a lot of satisfaction in patients because of how much it can change a smile.
An endodontically treated tooth runs the risk of becoming darker due to the loss of vitality caused by the removal of the nerve or pulp of the tooth. When this happens in teeth that we show when we smile, or anterior teeth, the patient will normally think about using a crown. And indeed, in many cases a crown is indicated for this type of teeth, but in many other cases a crown is not the only option. internal bleaching will achieve the same function but without the need to alter the tooth itself by covering it with any kind of sheath.
To perform internal bleaching, a chemical agent must be applied to the inside of the tooth to be bleached, usually hydrogen peroxide (as in 'ordinary' bleaching). This product must be applied an average of 3-4 times at different appointments to achieve the desired effectiveness. Thus, little by little, appointment by appointment, the colour of the tooth will lighten until the original shade is achieved.
Patients often come to the clinic with problems of symmetry between consecutive teeth, i.e. the edges of their teeth do not follow the same line. In the most serious cases (or if there are more factors at play), the treatment of choice to solve this problem is veneers, but sometimes the difference is slight and with a counturing incisal can be solved.
Incisal counturing (or dental contouring) basically consists of using a polishing disc to even out and regularise each edge until the desired symmetry is achieved. Contrary to what most patients believe, this process does not require anaesthesia and is completely painless. Nor does it generate sensitivity, as the amount of enamel that is 'polished' is minimal.
Although it is more common to associate this treatment with periodontitis, sometimes these interventions can be performed for aesthetic reasons. The clearest example is that of a patient who, in line with a patient who needs incisal counturing because their teeth are asymmetrical, has gingival margins at different heights from each other, which causes the teeth to look smaller than the corresponding teeth on the opposite side. For this reason, the problem can sometimes be solved by performing a small gingivectomy in which, using an electric scalpel, the patient's gingival margins can be aligned, thus restoring symmetry to their teeth and restoring harmony to their smile.
It is a procedure that, unlike its dental counterpart (contouring), does require local anaesthesia.
As you have seen, dental aesthetics is a wide world, with a great variety of treatment options that have a common goal: to make you smile again. Knowing each one of them will help you to understand that any problem has a solution, and often simpler than it seems.