Cosmetic dentistry refers to any type of dental procedure that corrects aesthetic problems concerning the teeth, gums or bite. Treatments under this field of dentistry are aimed to improve or fix the overall appearance of your smile.
Compared to general dentistry, which is focused on overall dental health, cosmetic dentistry is focused on the appearance of your teeth. Both general and cosmetic dentistry are concerned with treating the same dental problems such as cavities, broken or damaged teeth, missing teeth, misaligned, crowded or gapped teeth. However, cosmetic dentistry also aims to enhance the appearance of your teeth while treating these problems.
There are several procedures that fall under cosmetic dentistry:
With more and more people wanting a bright, white smile, teeth whitening has become the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. Teeth whitening can fix discoloration due to age, food, drinks, smoking and tartar. It may be an in-office procedure or a take-home whitening system, depending on the recommendation of the dentist. The procedures involve using bleaching agents that contain a higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide compared to over-the-counter whitening treatments.
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are attached to teeth to correct a wide range of dental problems. They are used on teeth that are chipped, cracked, worn, misshapen, stained or discolored. They are also called as instant orthodontics because they can be used to fix misaligned, missing or gapped teeth without needing a long period of treatment like traditional orthodontics.
Dental bonding involves the use of composite material that resembles the appearance of teeth to fix flaws to the teeth like cavities, cracks, chips and discoloration. The bonding material will further be modified to blend in perfectly with the rest of the teeth.
Gum contouring is the perfect solution for a “gummy” smile – a condition wherein the gums are very noticeable because they extend too far to the teeth surface and below the lip line. Uneven gum lines can also be fixed through this procedure.
Dental Crowns and Bridges
A dental crown is a cap that is attached seamlessly to the top of the tooth to camouflage or reinforce damaged teeth. They are also used as parts of a dental bridge and serve as its anchors to the remaining teeth. A dental bridge is a used to fix a gap between teeth.
When a cavity causes tooth decay, the dentist needs to take out the decayed portion of a tooth. Dental fillings, which resemble the color of the teeth, are then used to fill the space left by the tooth decay damage.
Dentures are removable teeth replacements. They are made up of artificial teeth that are attached to a base that resemble gums. The prosthetic teeth may be made out of plastic or porcelain.
Dental implants are artificial teeth replacements that are implanted on to the patient’s jawbone. It is composed of two parts – the crown, the artificial tooth that is attached to the second part, the implant itself, which is made out of titanium and anchors the whole implant to the jawbone. Dental implants are have become a popular choice for patients who do not want the inconveniences that come with using dentures or bridges.
Orthodontics deal with fixing the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Braces are the usual method of choice to fix orthodontic problems. Different kinds of braces have been developed over the years. Aside from the traditional metal braces, other options such as clear aligners and braces using ceramic brackets or Damon brackets are also available.