Cosmetic dentistry is a field of dentistry that has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Like cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry focuses on making a person feel better about his or her appearance; in the case of cosmetic dentistry, through modification of the mouth and smile. While traditional dentistry focuses on maintaining oral hygiene and preventing and also the treatment of oral diseases, cosmetic dentistry however focuses on improving a person’s oral appearance.
For example, dental fillings were and are a common dentistry procedure. Dental fillings were primarily composed of gold, amalgam and other such materials that were clearly discernable inside a person’s mouth. Today, dental fillings also fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry, because one can choose from different filling materials including porcelain or composite materials that can be camouflaged so as to be indiscernible within the mouth, thus improving the appearance of the mouth and smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry – The Procedures
A variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures are used to improve the appearance of a patient’s mouth and smile. The field of dentistry has seen major technological advancements that aid in the performing of new and exciting cosmetic dentistry procedures to help correct even the worst of abnormalities. Cosmetic dentistry procedures currently in use include:
- Dental Fillings – As noted above, this traditional procedure can also be included in the category of cosmetic dentistry when steps are taken to maintain the appearance of the oral cavity.
- Bonding – The repair of chipped or cracked teeth is typically done through a procedure called bonding. An enamel-esque dental composite material is applied to the surface of a tooth where it is sculpted into shape, contoured, and polished, making the crack or chip indistinguishable.
- Veneers – Plastic or porcelain laminates that are attached (via bonding) to the surface of a tooth to replace chips and cracks, or simply to improve a worn appearance. Veneers are often recommended to patients who have gaps in their teeth or to those who have not had success with teeth whitening procedures.
- Whitening – Teeth whitening is also the most popular and suggested use of the cosmetic dentistry procedures. Teeth can be stained from smoking, drinking coffee, or just poor oral hygiene in general. Teeth whitening improves the appearance of your teeth.
- Enamel Shaping – The removal of certain parts of the enamel in order to shape a tooth and improve its appearance is called enamel shaping; it is also called enamelplasty, odontoplasty, recontouring, reshaping, slenderizing, and stripping.
- Dental Implants – Dental implants involve replacements of the teeth and and artificial tooth, which are used as part of prosthetic dentistry to combat tooth loss.
Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ
Q. What causes the discoloration of a tooth?
A. Teeth discoloration is a normal part of aging. As people age, enamel wears down, and teeth take on a duller appearance. Young people with teeth discoloration are usually smokers or heavy coffee or tea drinkers. Such products have demonstrated a propensity for causing tooth discoloration. Teeth whitening and veneers offer a cosmetic dentistry solution to people with discolored or dull-looking teeth.
Q. Are any side effects associated with teeth whitening?
A. Although certain side effects are associated with teeth whitening, they are minimal. Following the bleaching procedure, patients could experience sore gums or teeth; this problem typically fades after a short amount of time, though it can persist in people with a greater chemical sensitivity to the bleach. Such people should consider other whitening options, such as veneers.
Q. When should dentures be considered? How much do they cost?
A. Dentures are typically used as a cosmetic dentistry procedure for people who have lost all or some of their teeth. The replacement of all the teeth is called a complete denture procedure. People who are simply missing certain teeth or rows of teeth may be better served by a dental bridge or dental implant, instead of dentures.
Prosthodontist costs associated with dentures can range from $1,000 to $5,000, while a cosmetic dentist’s fees may be approximately $600 to $2,400. Dental insurance coverage will often cover a large portion of the cost of dentures. For affordable price visit the cosmetic dentist Napier clinic.
Q. What is cosmetic gum surgery?
A. Cosmetic gum surgery is often performed as a part of a cosmetic dentistry procedure. Two of the more common cosmetic gum surgery procedures include “gummy smile” surgery and “long-in-the-tooth smile” surgery.
People with a gummy smile often have teeth that appear too short. Dentists may remove excess gum issue in a process known as gum sculpting, in an effort to expose more of the teeth.
A long-in-the-tooth smile is commonly associated with the aging process, but it may also be due to bite problems. A long-in-the-tooth smile refers to the receding of the gums, which produces the appearance of extremely long teeth. Cosmetic dentists can restore a youthful look through cosmetic gum surgery or periodontal plastic surgery.