Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dental science that involves the beautification of teeth while enhancing the functionality of the smile. State-of-the-art cosmetic dentistry requires additional specialized training after dental school. Although every dentist can practice it by taking continuing education courses on the subject matter, the experience and training of the dental surgeon practicing cosmetic dentistry distinguishes their level of expertise.
Cosmetic dentistry mainly involves the following dental procedures:
Whitening: As the name suggests, this procedure involves the lightening of the patient's tooth color in order to remove staining and discoloration. For dramatically enhanced results, it is recommended that the whitening process be performed under the guidance of an experienced and trained cosmetic dentist. Tooth whitening can be completed in one appointment or may require a number of sittings, as per the choice of the individual and the desired tooth shade.
Veneers: Veneers are the second most widely used form of treatment in the field of cosmetic dentistry. This procedure involves covering the tooth with a natural looking tooth-like porcelain shell. Veneers are customized porcelain resin coverings that go over the patient's own teeth. They provide additional protection for enamel, a means of reaching optimal whitening (patients consult with the cosmetic dentist when choosing the color of the veneers), and ultimately aid the patient in reaching their ideal smile. Since veneers are considered optional treatment, they are not covered by dental insurance companies.
Dental Implants: Dental implants involve the replacement of missing teeth in order to enhance both the function and aesthetic of a patient's smile. Cosmetic dentists often work with an oral surgeon in the implant process. The demand for dental implants has increased due to patients experiencing dramatic results. Benefits include: improved speech, comfortable bites, enhances facial contours, bone loss prevention (in the jaw), and an aesthetically pleasing smile.
Dental Bridges: Dental bridges are used to fill in the gaps between missing teeth. They are a series of crowns that are fused together in order to bridge spaces caused by missing teeth.
Dental Bonding: Dental bonding is an excellent option for repairing broken, uneven, or chipped teeth. In the bonding process, cosmetic dentists bond resin directly onto the tooth to create the ideal look and shape of the tooth. Dental bonding can last anywhere from seven to eleven years with good oral hygiene.
Tooth reshaping: This part of cosmetic dentistry involves the repairing of broke, chipped or cracked teeth. Tooth reshaping is used to alter the shape, size and position of the patient's teeth.