How much do you know about cosmetic dental procedures and why they are performed? By definition, cosmetic dentistry refers to the enhancement of a person’s smile by changing the appearance of the teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry focusses more on the art of dentistry and may appear simple from the surface because it deals with creating white teeth or even sometimes ensuring new set of teeth altogether. However, the process is done by an expert with a thorough understanding of dental anatomy. That expert is known as a cosmetic dentist.
Cosmetic dentists are known as restorative dentists and they extensively go into the study of smile design concepts and use of dental materials to create dental works of art. Even though many people mistake cosmetic dentistry for restorative dentistry, the two fields differ especially in the level of expertise.
Cosmetic dentistry goes beyond teeth restoration to smaller details such as how they function and how they are displayed when an individual smiles. Restorative dentistry however deals with only restoring the teeth back to their proper functioning.
Cosmetic dental procedures involve a visit to your dentist who will then query over your likes and dislikes in relation to your smile and the changes you want made. Sometimes, a photo of what you want your smile to look like in the future highly helps the dentist grasp the idea faster.
The procedure will also involve a comprehensive oral exam done by the dentist so as to detect any oral problems such as missing teeth which may hinder the whole process.
After the oral exam, a cosmetic dentist will then explain to you the best treatment options, the processes involved and the costs you are likely to incur. The dentist is also most likely to tell you how long the treatment will take and the risks involved if any.
Cosmetic dental procedures improve the teeth’s general appearance and restore the functionality of the teeth. Some cosmetic procedures lead to an improved oral health. When performing cosmetic dental procedure, here are the different types of treatments:
- Whitening of teeth
This is the cheapest and quickest means through which a person can get a bright smile. Sometimes, cosmetic dentists will simply recommend teeth whitening products that can be used from home. However, the best is to visit your cosmetic dentist’s office for teeth whitening.
- Composite Bonding
Composite bonding refers to the process of improving the appearance and strength of chipped teeth by attaching a tooth colored composite resin to the teeth. Tooth bonding does not take a lot of time and will need little preparation and small amounts of money to be done.
- Porcelain Crowns
This is the process of covering heavily damaged teeth with naturally looking porcelain crowns. These porcelain crowns give the teeth a more natural look and beauty than composite veneers. Composite veneers are hard, thin shells of tooth colored materials which are solely designed as substitutes for tooth enamel.
- Dental Implants
As part of the dental procedures, a cosmetic dentist may be called to perform dental implants. This is the art of replacing the root portion of missing teeth. Dental implants are normally made from titanium that goes to the root of the teeth and are fitted with a crown to create natural looking tooth replacement.
- Inlays and On-lays
There are times when tooth fillings are fabricated in a dental laboratory from composite materials or porcelain so as to match the colour of the teeth. When such tooth fillings are applied to the inner side of the tooth, it is known as inlays while when applied to the outer biting surface of the tooth, the procedure is known as onlays.
There are many other treatment options used in cosmetic dental procedures such as porcelain bridgework, tooth coloured fillings, clear orthodontist aligners, tooth contouring and reshaping, cosmetic gum surgery among many others. You will need to consult with your doctor on which cosmetic procedure best suits your oral condition.