What is Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is all about the appearance and enhancement of a person’s smile. On the surface, creating whiter teeth, or even new teeth, may not appear to be that complicated. Yet being a good cosmetic dentist requires a good eye and an aptitude for art and creativity. Also required is of course a thorough understanding of dental anatomy, and the mastery of dental materials. The dentist must be able to communicate their vision to both their patients and their laboratory technician. The technician is a key player in the realization of any smile makeover. To perform these procedures to the highest standards, it takes years of study and training.
What is a Cosmetic Dentist?
A talented cosmetic dentist is a restorative dentist who has extensively studied the concepts of smile design and dental materials. The conceptual study of smile design, when done properly, is considered a “work of art” leading the cosmetic dentist to discover the uniqueness of each individual smile. The cosmetic dentists aim should be toward creating a positive change to your teeth and smile. A good cosmetic dentist not only helps to improve your appearance and your smile, but through the process contributes to an increase in your self-esteem and confidence. The best type of cosmetic dentist will take the time to educate you on all your options and discuss them with you. In doing this, you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision on what is best for you.
What is the Difference Between Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry?
While there is some overlap between the two fields, the focus is different, as is the level of expertise. The cosmetic dentist goes beyond restoring an individual’s teeth to their proper function. They seek to attain the most ideal result according to the patient’s definition of beauty while working within their natural anatomy. This involves a high level of finesse with even the smallest details. When evaluating your smile, great dentists consider many things.
What Should I Expect From A Cosmetic Consultation?
Be ready to describe in detail what you like and dislike about your smile. You must be able to detail what you want to change about your smile. Bringing photos are helpful to serve as general guidelines. Once your dentist has a thorough understanding, through a proper comprehensive exam, of where you are starting from and where you want to end up, they can explain your treatment options and plan a course of action. Cost options will be discussed during this consultation.
What is Considered Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry treatments include:
- Teeth Whitening — A relatively inexpensive way to brighten your smile. Teeth whitening is accomplished at home or in the dentist’s office. There are many products and methods from which to choose. Talk to your dentist about which option is best for you.
- Composite Bonding — A tooth-colored composite resin attached to the teeth can improve the appearance and strength of chipped teeth. Most done the same day.
- Porcelain & Composite Veneers — Designed to substitute tooth enamel. veneers are hard, thin shells of tooth-colored material that can mask a variety of dental imperfections.
- Dental Implants — Usually made from titanium. The implant is to replace the root portion of a missing tooth. A crown is fitted to give the appearance of a natural-looking tooth.
- Porcelain Crowns — When heavily damaged teeth are covered with natural-looking porcelain. These crowns do replace more natural tooth structure than veneers.
- Inlays & Onlays — In certain cases, fillings can be fabricated from porcelain or composite materials in a dental laboratory to more closely match the color of a tooth. “Inlays” are applied to the inside of the tooth. “Onlays” are applied to the biting surface.
- Porcelain Bridgework — A missing tooth that is replaced with a porcelain bridgework and is attached to the teeth on either side.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings — Gone are the days when a filling has to be obvious and unsightly. Tooth-colored fillings are barely noticeable.
- Clear Orthodontic Aligners — Many adults, as well as some teenagers, are opting for clear orthodontic aligners, instead of metal braces, to straighten their teeth.
- Cosmetic Gum Surgery — Minor surgery can reshape gum tissue to give it a more leveled appearance.
- Tooth Contouring & Reshaping — Cosmetic dentists can use a drill or laser to smooth out or reshape teeth.
How Do I Choose a Cosmetic Dentist?
You’ll want to make sure the dentist you choose has demonstrated a high level of skill performing the types of cosmetic treatments you are considering. Any cosmetic dentists should be able to show you before-and-after photos of his or her work and provide references from other patients in your community. You should also verify that the dentist you choose has taken continuing education courses to keep up with the latest techniques in clinical cosmetic dentistry.