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Can't Smile Without You

Today, cosmetic dental procedures are all the rage because reality programmes like Extreme Makeover give us all the gory-and miraculous-details. We believe getting the right smile can lift us into the same stratosphere as the hollywood celebrities (or at least on track to have such a lovely hanging off your arm, dazzled by your smile).

License To Smile

Cosmetic dentistry offers you the chance to whiten teeth stained by smoking or a coffee habit, close the gaps between your teeth, fix on porcelain veneers and crowns for chipped teeth or even insert dental implants. Here are some of the latest and popular cosmetic dental procedures that could solve all your teething (pardon the pun) problems.

Teeth Whitening/Bleaching

Whitening or bleaching helps to remove stains on your teeth and reduce discoloration. The level of whiteness depends on each individual but, usually, the difference is about two shades. Whitening is suitable for those who are heavy users of cigarettes or coffee, the twin terrors of staining.

There are many types of teeth whitening, including chemical whitening, mild acid whitening, abrasive brightening and laser whitening.  The latter is the latest and most popular technique because it requires just a day visit to the dentist.

According to dental surgeons, "Laser teeth whitening has picked up quite a momentum among locals due to its dramatic and immediate results." Although it is effective and immediate, some might suffer sore gums for a short while after whitening or bleaching teeth.


If you think your teeth resembled the jagged skyline of a mountain range, veneers are a good choice. They are thin, specifically shaped shells that come in usually either plastic or porcelain, which are glued to the front of a tooth. They are used to correct chipped, slightly misaligned teeth or to close the gaps between teeth.

Porcelain veneers last longer than plastic ones, about 10 to 15 years, and the very latest porcelain veneer is made of Cerinate porcelain, which is absolutely wafer-thin. You're likely to experience some minor discomfort, especially in speech, but it will wear off after a week.


Bonding is like attending a sculpture lesson at the dental clinic. It involves painting a thin layer of durable resin on the front surface of a damaged tooth, and then applying an enamel-like bonding material that is then sculpted to a "perfect" shape and color. High intensity light is used to harden the shape. Finally, it is polished to a high shine. Bonding is best for those with tooth decay or cracked teeth.

Dental Implants

Once, when those teeth had parted with your jaws, dentures and bridges were the only solution. Now, dental implants provide a more practical solution. They are tiny titanium fixtures with a crown at one end, which are screwed to the jaw bone and bond with it, so that they can stay in place for a long time. There is some risk involved, and you need to have enough bone in the area of the missing tooth. There might be slight swelling after the procedure but it should go away in a few days.

Smile Your Way To Success

People are taking the phrase almost too literally today. The right kind of smile is important to project the right image and positive vibes, especially in the workplace. As Dr Daniel, a dental surgeon explains,

"An increasing number of patients carry out cosmetic procedures to further their careers, usually done prior to photo shoots or job interviews. "Another major client group? Brides- and grooms-to-be. Dr Daniel says, "We have a significant number of couples requesting for aesthetic makeovers prior to their bridal photo shoots, or even for the actual wedding day itself."

lthough there are still more women going for cosmetic dental procedures than men, the guys are starting to catch up and "more are aware of aesthetic dentistry", says Dr Daniel. He explains, "Let's face it. Which woman wants to date a man who looks like Bugs Bunny?"

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