Cosmetic Dentistry is a rapidly evolving sub-discipline of dentistry with a focus on the improvement of the gums, teeth, and smile of a patient. These improvements differ from traditional dental procedures since they are more elective in nature, rather than necessary.
These procedures focus on both the style and substance of dentistry—first ensuring the stability and function of the tooth (or teeth) while simultaneously improving the overall visual appearance of the patient. In many ways, it personifies the combination of art and science.
What does ‘cosmetic dentistry’ entail?
Cosmetic dentistry encompasses several different types of procedures that improve the oral health of a patient—some of the more common replacement procedures include dentures, implants, and veneers. Other well-known cosmetic procedures include teeth whitening, braces and Invisalign methods. For more information regarding your cosmetic dental options, consult your dental professional or click on this link.
Common cosmetic dentistry procedures
Perhaps the most well-known cosmetic dentistry result is dentures. Dentures replace several teeth of a patient, either partially or completely on the top and/or bottom. This procedure gives the patient the ability to orally function normally without suffering from the facial sagging that accompanies significant tooth loss.
However, dentures (regardless of whether it’s a full or partial plate) are also plagued by problems such as adhesion to the gumline, food particle insertion between the plate and gums and loss of plate adhesion. As such, plate dentures are falling out of favor.
More popular and permanent alternatives to dentures come in the form of dental implants. This option replaces a lost tooth (or teeth) with a tooth permanently inserted into the jawbone of the patient. Natural, permanent and strong, implants offer a significant improvement over traditional dentures. Implants also make the most sense for younger patients who have lost just one or two teeth and don’t want to sacrifice additional teeth on either side to make a bridge (or partial denture).
Veneers represent a rapidly growing segment of cosmetic dentistry. Veneers are thin coatings of hard, tooth-like material that give the wearer a beautiful and natural look (and feel). Veneers are often utilized to fix chipped or discolored teeth. Veneers also unify the appearance of patient’s tooth color and restore their confidence to smile again.
Braces and/or Invisalign
Patients with misaligned teeth have several cosmetic procedures to help them fix their teeth. Traditionally associated with an adolescent rite of passage, braces/orthodontics is a common procedure to straighten seriously misaligned teeth. Aligning a patient’s teeth as a teen makes cleaning teeth easier as an adult. Keeping teeth cleaner helps avoid oral problems as an adult (such as gum disease, tooth loss, etc.) which are often much more expensive to fix.
Invisalign is a much less expensive and popular option to braces, especially for patients with only slightly misaligned teeth. As the name implies, these invisible devices align your teeth without being noticeable to others. Worn like a mouth guard, they gradually readjust misaligned teeth. The invisibility of these devices is a popular feature with adults who don’t wish to undergo traditional orthodontic procedures.
Perhaps the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure is tooth whitening. It dramatically improves the look of your smile by gradually whitening your teeth using strips you wear overnight. Inexpensive, convenient and fast, a patient can opt to do this at home.
Cosmetic dentistry is a rapidly growing (and evolving) component of oral health. Check with your dental professional to determine which method(s) may be right for your needs.