Cosmetic dentistry is a confusing term, isn’t it? After all, aren’t all dental procedures cosmetic in some way? Not exactly. In fact, there’s a distinct difference between cosmetic and general dentistry. And this branch of dentistry includes more than just teeth whitening.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is just as it sounds – a branch of dentistry that focuses on the appearance of the teeth rather than the health of the teeth. But it’s not all about looks with cosmetic dentistry. Oftentimes, procedures that are considered cosmetic are actually a healthier alternative to traditional procedures. White fillings, for example, look better, but are also considered a healthier option because they require less of the tooth structure to be removed. With cosmetic procedures, the focus tends to be on improving the color, arrangement and shape of the teeth. To put it simply, the cosmetic branch of dentistry includes all procedures and treatments that are not necessary for health reasons. Rather, the patient elects to have the procedure performed because of their own personal needs or preferences.
Dental Procedures That May Be Considered to Be Cosmetic in Nature
There are several procedures that fall under the cosmetic category. Most people are familiar with these procedures, but are surprised to find out that they are considered cosmetic. The most popular procedures include:
Teeth Whitening: Teeth whitening is, arguably, the most popular cosmetic treatment. After all, who doesn’t want a whiter smile? In time, teeth can be discolored and stained from the foods that we eat and in some cases, the medications we take. A cosmetic dentist can use a chemical process to remove these stains and whiten teeth in-office, or provide you with a whitening kit to use at home.
Dental Veneers: Veneers are custom-fitted shells used to cover the front sides of your teeth. Typically made from porcelain, veneers can change the shape or the color of teeth to create a more natural appearance. You may be a candidate for veneers if:
• You have spaces between your teeth.
• You have chipped teeth.
• Your teeth are poorly shaped or crooked.
• Your teeth are permanently stained.
Dental Implants: Implants are a complex dental procedure, but a great long-term solution for missing teeth. As you may have guessed, this procedure involves implanting a replacement tooth surgically into the jawbone. They’re often used as an alternative to bridges, and can be used to replace one or more teeth.
Dental Crowns: Crowns, or caps, are used to cover a tooth. They restore the tooth’s natural appearance and shape. Crowns can be made from resin, metal, porcelain fused to metal or ceramic. You may be a candidate for crowns if:
• You have discolored or misshapen teeth.
• You have broken or worn teeth.
• You want to cover a dental implant or a tooth with a large filling.
Dental Bridges: Bridges are also used to replace missing teeth. They may be made of alloys, gold, porcelain or a combination of materials. Bridges are a semi-permanent procedure and can only be removed by a dentist.
Cosmetic dental procedures can help restore your naturally brilliant smile by improving the color, shape or alignment of your teeth. There are several procedures and treatments to choose from, and your dentist can help you determine which one you are a candidate for. Ascent Family Dental would love to help you enhance your smile. From teeth whitening to veneers, we can help you select the right cosmetic treatment for your needs.