The Specialist

Benefits of cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is that branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of your smile. A great smile is an important way to show who you are to the world. Your smile expresses your emotions like happiness, love, and contentment. It is also a window of communication into your soul expressing confidence, openness, friendship, and approval. A welcoming smile can enhance your personal and professional life and inspire others.

There are various options available to enhance your smile through cosmetic dentistry.

The most common cosmetic dental treatment includes teeth whitening, dental bonding, crowns and veneers, gum contouring and Fastbraces. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance and aesthetics of your smile.

Many people benefit from cosmetic dentistry when the following conditions exist:

• Chipped or cracked teeth

• Small gaps or spaces between your teeth

• Severe staining of your teeth

• Misshapen teeth

• Misaligned or crooked

Healthy teeth and gums are the only pre-requisite to pursue cosmetic dental treatments. If you have extensive cavities and gum disease your dentist will want to address those conditions first. Once your smile is healthy again, you can decide which cosmetic treatments you want to explore.

Cosmetic dentistry aims to create a more balanced, symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing smile.

Professional teeth whitening can safely lighten the shade of your teeth and brighten your smile. The results in many occasions can be quite dramatic. Over time, dark-colored foods and drinks (like coffee, tea and berries) can stain your teeth. Many dentists offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening. In-office whitening takes about one hour to complete. At-home whitening usually takes a couple of weeks.

Dental bonding involves the application of tooth-colored composite resin directly on the tooth. Your dentist uses this special material to cover up cracks, discoloration and other cosmetic challenges. Dental bonding can change the shape of a tooth to make it lighter, longer, wider and more uniformed.

Porcelain veneers are made with ceramic material. Porcelain veneers are thin, strong shells (like false finger-nails) that are glued to the front surfaces of your teeth. Like dental bonding, veneers can eliminate a wide range of cosmetic flaws, including chips, cracks and discoloration.

Gum contouring is very effective for people with excess gum tissue and have a “gummy smile”. During gum contouring, we would use a specialized laser to remove excess gum tissue and reshape your gum line for a more symmetrical and attractive appearance.

Minimally invasive orthodontics with Fastbraces allows for faster than normal teeth movement to straighten your teeth and enhance your appearance while also strengthening your bone. A natural benefit is a greater ability to clean difficult to reach areas thereby reducing the chances of gingivitis and periodontitis.

If you are self-conscious or embarrassed about your chipped, cracked, crooked or discolored teeth then talk to your dentist about the various options in cosmetic dentistry. There are several ways to improve the appearance of your smile. Your dentist can talk with you about your cosmetic goals and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

In the meantime, you should continue to visit your dentist for routine care, dental check-ups and cleanings. Practicing good oral habits between visits will go a long way toward keeping your teeth and body stable and healthy.

• Dr. Kendal V. O. Major is the founder and CEO of Center for Specialized Dentistry, which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in Nassau and Freeport. He is the first Bahamian specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He also is a certified Fastbraces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, Nassau at (242)325-5165 or

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