Changing the appearance of your teeth can have a great impact on your overall appearance. In fact, for some people, having a few alterations to their teeth can be just what they needed to improve their self-esteem and confidence level.

Cosmetic dentists use various procedures to achieve this improved physical and psychological state for their clients. With the advancement of technology, there may be plenty more procedures on the way, but here are some of the more common ones currently available.


This is a common procedure and quite non-invasive. The aim is to whiten teeth that have been discoloured by age, medication, food, drinks or cigarette smoking. The procedure is so simple that, with proper instructions and supervision, you can do it yourself right in the comfort of your home. However, this may take you up to a month to achieve your desired results while at the dentist's office, you will be done in just about an hour.

A custom mouthpiece is created for you to ensure that the right amount of whitening solution is used. The solution's active ingredient is often hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which, when broken down, releases oxygen into the enamel, thereby whitening the teeth. This procedure is only effective on natural teeth; crowns, dentures and bridges will not show any changes in colour.


Bonding refers to a material used to fill in gaps within the teeth or change their colour. For instance, if you have a chipped tooth, the bonded resin can be applied to give your tooth a normal appearance.

The resin is usually the same colour as your teeth to make it appear as natural as possible. It is also used in filling small cavities or close caps between teeth. The only issue with bonding is that it is more susceptible to staining and chipping than other cosmetic dental procedures.


These are pieces of porcelain or plastic placed as covers over the front of teeth. They provide an improvement in the appearance of the teeth, particularly in their colour and shape, much like bonding does. The only difference is that veneers last longer and will take a while to turn colour.

The dentist will take an impression of your teeth. Your teeth may then be buffed lightly to ensure that the veneers don't appear thicker than normal teeth would. The veneers are then cemented onto your teeth and a light beam is shone over them to harden the cement between the veneers and your teeth.


These are simply caps that cover a tooth in order to give it a normal appearance in both shape and colour. They are quite expensive perhaps due to the fact that they are the longest lasting of all the dental cosmetic procedures.

If you are thinking of having any of these procedures done, it is important to check with your regular dentist first to assess the need and get recommendations for good cosmetic dentists.