Some people still believe dentistry is just a case of filling and taking out teeth. In our society today, many people turn to cosmetic dentistry or aesthetic dentistry as a way of improving their appearance. Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry aimed at creating a positive change to your teeth and to your smile. Cosmetic treatments can be used to straighten, brighten, reshape and repair teeth. It must complement the overall general and oral health of the patient.
Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty within the dental profession, it takes years of extensive study and training to be able to perform the many cosmetic dental procedures now available to the highest standards. A cosmetic dentist must have a good eye, a thorough understanding of dental anatomy and a mastery of dental materials. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of the teeth, mouth and smile and it may also provide restorative benefits.
All cosmetic dentistry treatments enhance the look of an individual’s teeth. Cosmetic dentistry treatments include:
Teeth whitening: Discoloration takes place in the enamel and can be caused by medication, coffee, tea and cigarettes. It can also discolor as we advance in age. Teeth whitening is a way to lighten up a discolored teeth and can be performed by the dentist in the office under dental supervision or by using a whitening kit at home.
Bonding: A tooth-colored material used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Broken, discolored or decayed teeth may be repaired or have their appearance corrected using this procedure.It requires very little preparation of the tooth. It can be used to cover the entire outside surface of a tooth to change its color and shape.
Porcelain Crown: Crowns are also known as caps cover a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and appearance. Crowns have the longest life span of all cosmetic restorations, but are the most time-consuming.
Dental Veneers: They are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic placed over the front teeth to change the color or shape of your teeth. They are designed to substitute for tooth enamel and are used to treat some of the same problems as bonding. Veneers have a longer life span and color stability than bonding.
Tooth Contouring and Reshaping: This procedure is ideal for individuals with normal, healthy teeth but who want subtle changes to their smile. An x-ray is used to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there’s enough bone between the teeth to support them.
In choosing a cosmetic dentist, the patient should verify that the dentist has taken education courses to keep up with the latest techniques in clinical cosmetic dentistry. The patient has the rights to demand for a ‘before and after’ photos of the treatments the doctor has executed before.
These photos will allow the patient to examine the results of other patients being treated by the dentist to make sure his or her work fits his or her dental needs. The dentist should be able to answer the questions a patient has about the techniques.