What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry has evolved from the simple replacement and restoration of damaged teeth. It also covers a wide scope of esthetic procedures. Today’s cosmetic dentistry includes tooth whitening, tooth bonding, tooth-colored restorations and fillings, porcelain veneers, orthodontics, dental implants, and more. Cosmetic dentistry helps improve your appearance and smile, even your confidence. One survey claims that people who smile live seven years longer!
Why is cosmetic dentistry necessary?
Traditional dentistry focuses on oral hygiene and preventing, diagnosing, and treating oral disease, while cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of the teeth, mouth, and smile. Much of our self-esteem is tied up in our appearance and how we feel others perceive us. That’s why cosmetic dentistry is so important. In prior times, dental fillings were composed primarily of gold, amalgam and other materials that left visible dark areas on the teeth. Today you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that closely match the color of your teeth, and so maintain the natural appearance of your teeth and smile. Many people even choose to have older fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to enhance their oral appearance.
In what other ways is cosmetic dentistry utilized?
Other cosmetic dentistry treatments include:
- Inlays/Onlays (indirect fillings): Made from porcelain or composite materials, inlays and onlays are a long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing way to provide fillings to damaged teeth. Unlike dental fillings, which are molded into place in the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are created in a dental lab before being fitted and adhesively bonded into place.
- Composite Bonding: A dental composite material with the look of enamel and dentin is applied into the cavity or onto the surface of a chipped, broken, or discolored tooth, where it is then sculpted into shape, contoured, and hardened. The result blends invisibly with the remainder of the surrounding tooth structure to create a healthy, bright smile.
- Teeth Whitening: This is perhaps the most commonly recommended cosmetic dentistry procedure. Teeth stained from smoking, food, drink (coffee, tea, red wine) or poor oral hygiene can be bleached to enhance your smile.
- Veneers: To improve worn or severe tooth discoloration, composite or porcelain laminates are adhesively bonded to the tooth’s surface to correct and repair chips and cracks.