Although the name is cosmetic dentistry, this is a term used to describe comprehensive dental and oral care with a view to improving not just dental aesthetics but also dental health and function.
Cosmetic dentistry calls upon art as well as science to optimize the appearance and good health of teeth.
A number of different procedures relating to dental aesthetics as well as health are covered by the generalized term cosmetic dentistry:
- Contouring or Reshaping: For those that have crooked teeth, or teeth that overlap, damaged teeth (cracked or chipped teeth), or for those that are plain bucktoothed, cosmetic dentistry has many solutions, some of which may be completed in a single procedure and some, which may possibly obviate the need for painful and unappealing braces. Not only the shape and length, but also the positioning and arrangement of the teeth can be artfully altered for better appearance and more effective dental health and chewing.
- Whitening: If there is one thing that promotes a dazzling smile and gives the impression of radiant good health, it would be shiny white teeth and to this end, there is a lot that cosmetic dentistry can offer. Smoking or endless cups of coffee tend to stain and darken teeth, it could be that one’s teeth have yellowed over the years; for whatever reason, there are several cosmetic dental procedures such as bleaching of teeth that offer teeth whitening.
- Bonding: In certain cosmetic dentistry procedures, enamel like, composite material is used on the surface of the tooth to improve the appearance of the teeth by sculpting into the given shape and then polishing the surface. Sometimes enamel is removed from the surface of the tooth to improve the aesthetic appeal of the teeth.
- Dental Bridges: Missing teeth could mean several problems, chewing and biting is sometimes a problem, even speech can be affected by missing teeth, gum disease could also result and sometimes it may just been issues of confidence and self esteem that are caused by missing teeth. As against dentures or partial dentures, dental bridges are fixed to the teeth on one or both sides of the missing tooth or teeth. Dental bridges do require a lot of oral hygiene but may last up to 10 years.
- Teeth Veneers: Sometimes bleaching processes do not work or for other reasons the appearance of the teeth is marred to the extent that a dental veneer is required which procedure is facilitated by cosmetic dentistry. Gap toothed people of those with discolored teeth can have the benefit of dental veneers which is a sort of custom made laminate that is applied to the teeth.
- Gum lift: Receded gums are not only unsightly; they are highly detrimental to oral health. Rising and sculpting the gum line is another procedure available under cosmetic dentistry. This improves the appearance and symmetry of the teeth.
No longer does one have to make do with the traditional gold tooth, cosmetic dentistry is now advanced enough that porcelain and similar materials offer a natural appearance to cosmetic dental work.