Cosmetic Dentistry is a divergent from traditional dentistry. The practical dentist will focus most of their time and energy on the hydration, cleanliness, strength, and physical health of the teeth and gums/mouth. Cosmetic dentistry takes the other side of the moon in dentistry and brings it to life: looks. Without strong healthy teeth and a strong foundation for a healthy smile – you won’t be able to enjoy the surplus of dental health that is cosmetic dentistry!
So you may be thinking: what exactly is it? Literally put, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of a smile and the general look of teeth. A strong foundation is very important – but it cannot be properly shone and enjoyed without a smile that sparkles! Cosmetic dentistry is not one singular process or notation: it is a series and grouping of several techniques used to enhance teeth appearance. Some of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures include:
Inlays/Onlays. These are also known as “indirect fillings” and they are often molded in a dental laboratory before being sent to the dentist and binded to the patient. Indirect fillings can help with gaps, chips, and other common unsightly traits.
Composite Binding is another form of cosmetic dentistry. It is one of the more versatile methods of cosmetic dentistry, aiding in the fixing of discolored, cracked, decayed, or overall worn teeth. Composite binding takes a molded piece of composite that is binded to the tooth – resulting in stronger and healthier looking teeth. Also on the list of binders is both dental veneers as well as dental implants.
Dental implants are entire teeth or sections of teeth that are implanted into the gums or mouth in place of a decayed or destroyed tooth. They are a very permanent solution to a temporary problem and thus their popularity and usefulness has always been on the rise. Dental veneers are much like implants: extremely hard and compact pieces of porcelain and other composite material is combined to create a veneer; which is practically a body of armor for your tooth! Veneers help cover up discoloration, disfigurement, and breakage in teeth without actually removing entire teeth.
While all of these pieces are important for cosmetic dentistry – there are also a couple procedures that take more of a look at the bigger picture. These are what dentists call “smile makeovers” or sometimes more technically known as full mouth restorations.
A smile makeover involves the dentist taking a look at several aspects of the patient, including all angles of a smile and what it looks like from each side all the while annotating details such as procurement, color, decay status, figurement, and overall appeal of the smile. Gingival sculpting, teeth whitening, and previous methods spoken of (dental veneers, onsets/inlays, etc) can all be part of what goes into a smile makeover.
Remember, cosmetic dentistry can really help with many types of dental issues; but like it was stated before, the foundation of dentistry lies within a strong foundation of clean healthy teeth – so good diet, brushing, and overall care of the teeth will deter the need for cosmetic dentistry for a long time – something happy teeth would strive for!