Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the functionality) of teeth, gums and/or bite. It primarily focuses on improvement in dental aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment and overall smile appearance.Many dentists refer to themselves as "cosmetic dentists" regardless of their specific education, specialty, training, and experience in this field. This has been considered unethical with a predominant objective of marketing to patients.
The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal specialty area of dentistry. However, there are still dentists that promote themselves as cosmetic dentists.
Common cosmetic dentistry options
Cosmetic dentistry may involve the addition of a dental material to teeth or gums – examples: bonding, porcelain veneers (laminates), crowns (caps), gum grafts
WhiteningWhitening, or "tooth bleaching", is the most common cosmetic dental procedure. The doctor will first evaluate your teeth and smile to determine whether whitening is right for you. In some cases, a different cosmetic procedure may better meet your expectations, but whitening is a safe, fast and easy process that is effective for almost everyone. While many whitening options are now available, including over the counter products, dentist-supervised treatments remain the recommended procedures for lightening discolored teeth.
ReshapingTooth reshaping removes parts of the enamel to improve the appearance of the tooth. It may be used to correct a small chip, or to alter the length, shape or position of teeth, as well as when there is tooth size discrepancy; it can be used to correct crooked or excessively long teeth. The removed enamel is irreplaceable, and may sometimes expose dentin. It is also known as enameloplasty, odontoplasty, contouring, recontouring, cosmetic contouring,slenderizing, stripping. This procedure offers fast results and can even be a substitute for braces under certain circumstances.
BondingBonding is a process in which an enamel-like dental composite material is color matched, applied to a tooth's surface, sculpted into proper tooth contour, hardened and then polished. An examples of a bonded restorations are inlays and onlays, which are used to repair decayed & cracked teeth. Teeth damaged by small to moderate decay, erosion, or small fractures can be repaired with direct composite restorations bonded to the teeth. Aesthetics are especially critical in anterior composite restorations.
BridgingDental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Teeth on both sides of the space left by the missing teeth are prepared. A bridge is made up of abutments, the teeth that are prepped, and the missing, false teeth, which are called pontics. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth and is cemented in. Bridges can consist of more than three teeth in total and the viability of any bridge is usually determined by applying Ante's Law and assessing where in the mouth the teeth are.
VeneersVeneers are ultra-thin, custom-made porcelain laminates that are bonded directly to the teeth. They are an option for closing gaps, enhance the shape, or change the color of teeth that do not respond well to whitening procedures. In the majority of the cases, some level of tooth reduction is necessary for optimal results.
ImplantsDental implants are prosthetic replacements for missing teeth. According to ICOI (International Congress of Oral Implantologists) there are commonly three parts to what it is described as an implant: the implant device which is predominantly made of titanium (which is inserted into the bone), the abutment, and a dental crown or a denture which are connected to the implant through the abutment.
Gum liftsA gum lift is a cosmetic dental procedure that raises and sculpts the gum line. The procedure involves reshaping the tissue and/or underlying bones to create the appearance of longer or more symmetrical teeth.
StraighteningInvisalign treatment is being used as an alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign helps in treating spacing, crowding, and overlapping teeth to create the smile patients desire. This system has treated hundreds of thousands of patients and has been around for over a decade. Clear aligners are comfortable, invisible and easy to clean.
Bite reclamationBite reclamation is for patients who have had years of excessive wear to their teeth due to grinding or acid reflux can alter their vertical dimension. This gives them a closed or shorter look to their face and smile. By opening up their bite, a qualified professional can reclaim their vertical dimension.