Cosmetic dentistry is the process of enhancing the appearance of one’s teeth and smile. Dentistry does not stop at simply maintaining oral health, but instead strives to create the best smile possible for each patient.
What treatments come under cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry can cover many treatments, all of which will work to benefit your smile. Many dental practices will offer a service called a smile makeover. This will begin as a consultation and will be able to determine what your ideal smile will look like, through a series of scans and projections.
A common treatment under cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening, which uses a bleaching agent to color the teeth and create a more naturally pristine-looking enamel. Interestingly, while the enamel is extremely hard, it is also porous, so the whitener works by soaking into the enamel and targeting the areas where discoloration may have occurred due to plaque or decay. Teeth whitening is common and extremely safe, as it can even be administered in the comfort of your own home.
Crowns and bridges
Often, cosmetic dentistry can blend into general dentistry when it comes to crowns and bridges. If you are missing one or several teeth, then you may be inclined to receive crowns or bridges to fix the gap. Most dental practices will ensure that your treatment looks as realistic as possible and may work on your other teeth to create a new smile. Bridges and crowns are often made from porcelain or resin, which give a realistic finish to your new teeth.
Veneers provide a good cosmetic solution to chipped or cracked teeth. Veneers are a porcelain cover to the teeth that are attached to the enamel. Firstly, the enamel is prepared by drilling away a small portion of the surface. This is in order to provide space for the veneer, as otherwise, the veneer will appear too large. It is also to provide a rougher surface for the veneer to bond to and therefore will be a far stronger foundation. As well as providing protection for the enamel, a veneer will also provide a smooth, aesthetically pleasing finish to the teeth, at relatively low cost.
One main reason for cosmetic dentistry is the use of braces to align crooked teeth. The main method of correcting misaligned teeth is to use fixed braces, which provide an extremely efficient solution, and have proved to be the fastest method of aligning teeth. This treatment is available for children and teenagers too, which due to their fast-growing teeth may make them unsuitable for other forms of treatment. However, for adults getting fixed braces installed may be a daunting or undesirable experience. Fixed braces also have the disadvantage of being permanently stuck to the enamel and causing some gum damage and irritation early upon installation. Therefore, Invisalign is a popular solution to crooked teeth, and due to the virtually invisible braces, it is unlikely anybody will be able to tell you are undergoing dental treatment.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.