Unlike traditional dentistry that is focused on oral hygiene, and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases, cosmetic dentistry is focused more on improving a patient’s mouth, teeth, and smile. While restorative and general dental practices address dental concerns that require treatment, cosmetic dentistry provides elective treatments.
A cosmetic dental procedure, however, may also offer restorative results. Dental fillings, for instance, have been used for a long time to remedy decayed teeth. Most dental fillings in the past mainly consisted of amalgam, gold, and other materials that leave dark-colored spots that are highly visible on the teeth.
In cosmetic dentistry, you can choose the filling to closely match your teeth color. Choices include porcelain and composite materials that help maintain your teeth’s natural look, and your smile. Many people are now opting to replace their old fillings with tooth-colored fillings for aesthetic purposes.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments
Today, there are various cosmetic dentistry procedures to choose from. These include:
1. Inlays/Onlays – Also called indirect fillings, the treatment uses durable porcelain or composite materials that offer a better looking filling to structurally damaged or decayed teeth.
2. Composite Bonding – The procedure is used to repair and improve the appearance of discolored, broken, decayed, or chipped teeth. An enamel and dentin-like composite material is applied on the tooth surface or cavity where it is sculpted into the desired shape, contoured, and then hardened using high-intensity light. The result blends well with the rest of your teeth.
3. Teeth Whitening – This is probably the most common cosmetic dentistry procedure as teeth are easily stained from smoking, poor oral hygiene, as well as the food and drinks we enjoy. The teeth are bleached to enhance your smile.
4. Dental Veneers – The procedure is done to repair and correct tooth cracks and chips by bonding porcelain or composite laminates adhesively on the tooth surface. This helps improve the tooth’s severe discoloration or worn appearance.
5. Dental Implants – Ideal as artificial replacements for lost teeth, dental implants usually provide considerable aesthetic benefits. These include a more youthful look, and an enhanced smile. Missing teeth can make your face collapse, in the process, making you look a lot older than your actual age.
6. Smile Makeover – The process involves a thorough assessment of the esthetics of your smile to help improve its general appearance. This usually involves one or a combination of cosmetic dentistry procedures like dental implants, veneers, teeth whitening, and gingival sculpting.
7. Full Mouth Reconstruction – Usually, functional problems associated with your muscles, bite, teeth, and bone structure are discovered while consulting with your dentist about undergoing a smile makeover. If a full mouth reconstruction is required, natural-looking, functional, and durable treatments are used.
Today, people who may be unhappy with their smile have various cosmetic dentistry options to choose from. Ask your cosmetic dentist on the best procedures for your specific condition.