September 28, 2017

When it comes to keeping your mouth healthy, you can’t beat the services of a skilled, experienced dentist. But many people don’t realize that making your smile look good is also something your dentist’s office can provide. Cosmetic dentistry is a growing field, one that continues to increase in popularity with patients as more and more adults look for ways to enhance their smile by brightening, shaping, or straightening their teeth.

Here at Scott Edwards DDS, we’re proud to offer a range of cosmetic dentistry procedures for Memphians, ranging from crowns and veneers to whitening and straightening. We’ve put together this guide to Cosmetic Dentistry 101, to inform you of your options when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, what our procedures include, and how to determine what’s right for your own smile.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry includes all elective procedures aimed at improving the appearance of the smile and teeth. These procedures create a positive change to your teeth and your smile. A qualified cosmetic dentist like Dr. Edwards can provide much more than tooth whitening or veneers – our practice has variety of procedures that can improve your appearance, smile, self-esteem, and confidence. Modern cosmetic dentistry has evolved to address both functional and aesthetic concerns. We want your smile to look and feel great!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the procedures our office has to offer.

Teeth whitening

Over time, teeth can become stained or discolored, especially if you’ve ever been a smoker, taken certain medications, or consumed your body weight many times over in beverages like coffee or tea.

Zoom! Whitening is our in-office, chairside whitening system that has the potential to brighten your smile by up to 8 shades within just a couple of hours. It’s a reliable and pain-free alternative to the kind of whitening kits you can grab at the supermarket. While these can produce some noticeable results, they can also cause temporary tooth sensitivity.

Zoom! has adjustable intensity settings to help maximize comfort, and most patients experience very little sensitivity as a result. We do recommend you brush with a sensitive formula toothpaste for two weeks prior to your whitening appointment, to further protect your teeth.

Remember that your teeth can become stained again if you continue exposing them to substances that can discolor them. Zoom! isn’t meant to clean the teeth, so it’s important that you continue to practice a good oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing twice a day.


Cosmetic bonding is a process where the dentist attaches or “bonds” materials directly to your tooth in order to change the color and shape. The natural tooth enamel is then fused together with bonding materials such as porcelain and resins, which creates a strong structure that still feels like your original tooth.

While it can be used for different purposes, tooth bonding is generally seen as most useful for repairing chipped teeth. Because the bonding materials and porcelain used are a natural color, it can also improve the appearance of teeth with excessive space between them, or teeth that are broken, stained, or cracked. Dentists can also use bonding materials to fill small cavities or protect the exposed root of a tooth.

Although bonding can last for several years, it may be more likely than other types of restorations to chip, stain, or wear down.


These thin, custom-made shells are crafted of tooth-colored material, like porcelain or plastic, and are designed to cover the front side of teeth. Veneers are one of the best and most well-known cosmetic dentistry procedures, and for good reason! Their look and fit in a patient’s mouth is superior and long-lasting. They can improve teeth that have excessive spacing, or teeth that are chipped, worn, permanently stained, poorly shaped, or crooked.

Having veneers placed is usually an irreversible process since it’s necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your tooth to accommodate the shell.We may recommend that you avoid some foods and beverages afterwards, such as coffee, tea, or red wine, since these may stain or discolor your veneers. Occasionally, a veneer might chip or fracture, but overall they are extremely durable.


Also known as caps, crowns completely cover a tooth, restoring it back to a normal shape and appearance. Crowns are often used to

  • cover a misshapen or discolored tooth
  • protect a weak tooth
  • restore a broken or worn tooth
  • cover a tooth that has a large filling
  • hold a dental bridge in place
  • cover a dental implant
  • cover a tooth that’s had a root canal procedure

Crowns may be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic materials, and improve both the look and function of your teeth. Permanent crowns can have a long life if you take good care of them.


Invisalign is an alternative option to traditional metal braces. Using a series of custom-made aligners created just for you, Invisalign will gradually and gently shift your teeth into the desired positions. These trays are made of a smooth, comfortable plastic that’s virtually invisible. You simply place the aligners over the teeth and trade them out once a week. Not a bracket or wire in site!

The aligners are also removable, which means you can maintain your regular dental hygiene routine, and better yet, you’ll have none of the pesky food restrictions that plague those wearing metal braces.

Not only is Invisalign comfortable and low maintenance, it’s versatile, too. The aligner system is able to correct a broad range of dental and orthodontic issues, such as

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Crowding
  • Spacing issues

You’ll often start to see results of Invisalign in as little as six weeks! Most of our patients seeking a straighter smile qualify for this quick and effective treatment.

Making cosmetic dentistry work for you in Memphis with Scott Edwards DDS

Whether you’re looking for a brighter smile, a straighter one, or anything in between, Dr. Edwards and his experienced team are happy to help you decide which cosmetic procedures will work for you. If you’re in the Memphis area and looking to take your smile to the next level with cosmetic dentistry, get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Edwards. We look forward to bringing out the best in your smile!