What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the branch of dentistry that aims to improve your facial appearance by working on your mouth, gums, and teeth. It includes procedures that change the color and alignment of your teeth and enhance your smile.
What are the Applications of Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is recommended for people who have:
- Crooked smile due to one or more missing teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Gummy smile when more gums are visible than teeth
- Broken, chipped, or cracked teeth
- Discolored or stained teeth
- Problems with bite
- Spaces between teeth
- Difficulty chewing
- Tooth pain due to stress on your jaw and remaining teeth
What are the Different Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures?
The different cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
Tooth Reshaping, also called Dental Contouring
This is a minor surgical procedure that involves modifying your tooth enamel to improve the appearance of your teeth. In this technique, your dentist may remove small portions of tooth enamel (the outer covering of your tooth) to improve the length, surface, and shape of your teeth.
Teeth Whitening, also called Dental Bleaching
Teeth whitening or bleaching, is a simple painless dental procedure. It involves brightening your stained or discolored teeth using a dental bleach. It does not involve surgery and is performed as an out-patient procedure. However, your dentist may call you for another visit depending on your condition.
It comprises more than one dental procedure to improve the overall appearance of your teeth and smile. In a smile makeover, your dentist may offer a combination of the following procedures:
- Dental bleaching
- Dental filling or implant to replace a missing tooth
- Braces to correct misaligned teeth
- Veneers or dental crowns to correct gum and tooth shape
Dental Bonding, also called Tooth Bonding
In this procedure, a tooth-colored resin is applied on the surface of your teeth. It is hardened using a bright light laser which helps bind the resin to your teeth. It is not a permanent solution and may require another appointment when the bonding becomes weak.
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of tooth-shaped porcelain that are customized by your dentist to match the shape and color of your teeth. They are placed on the front of your teeth and look and function similar to your natural tooth enamel. Veneers create a beautiful and attractive smile by hiding the discolored teeth and other imperfections.
This is a minor oral surgery. In this procedure, excess gum tissue is removed to expose more of your tooth's crown and give the appearance of longer teeth. It is recommended for gummy smiles or an uneven gum line.
Dental Inlays and Onlays
A dental inlay or onlay is a durable, custom-made dental filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. Some inlays may last for many years while others are temporary and require replacement. Onlays are meant for deeper tooth cavities while inlays are for relatively shallow dental cavities.
Dental implants are used to replace a lost tooth. They are made of metal such as titanium. A dental implant is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. It serves as a tooth root and anchors the artificial teeth such as a crown, bridge, or denture.
How to Prepare for a Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure?
- You will be informed to keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing properly.
- Dental X-rays or a tooth impression may be taken depending on the requirement.
- If your doctor intends to take a dental impression, you will be asked to rinse your mouth before taking the impression.
- Avoid eating sugary, sticky, and starchy food items.
What are the Advantages and Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry?
The benefits of cosmetic dental treatments include:
- Improves your facial aesthetics
- Restores your smile
- Allows you to speak, chew, and eat properly
- Prevents the remaining teeth from moving out of position or malalignment
- Enhances your self-confidence
- Improves oral health