Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental practice that helps improve the look of bite, gums, and teeth. These procedures primarily focus on the improvement in dental aesthetics when it comes to shape, color, size, alignment, position, and overall appearance of the teeth. But even if these procedures are often done for aesthetic reasons, sometimes they may also offer some restorative benefits as well. That’s why in this article, we are going to talk about the different types of cosmetic dentistry and how it helps improve one’s smile.
Fields of Cosmetics Dentistry
Two primary dental specialties mainly focus on dental aesthetics, and these are:
- Orthodontics – This is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and correction of mispositioned jaws and teeth. Orthodontic treatments often take several months or a few years, and it involves the use of dental braces and other materials to slowly and effectively move the jaws and teeth around.
- Prosthodontics – Also known as prosthetic dentistry, this is a type of cosmetic dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, planning, treatment, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the teeth, jaws, and gums. It often involves correcting the appearance, comfort, and overall oral health of patients that deals with clinical conditions such as deficient or missing teeth.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
- Bonding – Bonding is a procedure wherein an enamel-like dental composite material is applied to the surface of the tooth. After that, the dentist will sculpt it into shape, wait for the material to harden and polish it afterward. One example of a bonding substance are inlays and onlays, they are often used to repair cracked or decayed teeth.
- Whitening – Also called tooth bleaching, teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures. The dentist will examine your teeth and smile to see whether teeth whitening is right for you. Teeth whitening is an easy, safe, and fast process that is effective for almost everyone. While there are several teeth whitening options that are available today, such as over the counter products and do it yourself teeth whitening kits, experts still recommend dentist-supervised procedures and treatments for whitening discolored teeth.
- Bridging – Dental bridging is a procedure that is done to replace one or more missing teeth. Usually, the teeth on both sides of the space left by the missing teeth are the ones that are done. Most dental bridges are fixed, which means that they cannot be removed, and they can only be taken out the same way as partial dentures are eliminated. Dental bridges require a commitment to serious oral hygiene. These bridges can last up to ten years.
- Reshaping – Tooth reshaping is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves removing parts of the tooth enamel to help improve the appearance of the tooth. Dental reshaping may be used to alter the length of the teeth, correct a small chip, position or shape the teeth properly, and correct crooked or excessively long teeth. This procedure is also known as dental contouring, enameloplasty, or odontoplasty. Tooth reshaping offers the patient fast results, and in some cases, it can be a substitute for braces.
- Veneers – Dental veneers are custom-made, ultra-thin porcelain laminates that are attached directly to the teeth. Veneers are often an option for enhancing the shape of the teeth, closing gaps, or changing the color of the teeth. In some cases, tooth reduction may be made to give the patient optimal results. To help the patients achieve their expected results, dentists usually create diagnostic mock-ups which act as a tooth preparation guide before they make the actual veneers. This allows the patients and dentists to visualize the changes that are needed to be done on the teeth when it comes to the shape, size, and proportions.
- Gum lifts – This type of cosmetic dental procedure involves raising and sculpting the gum line of the patient. Dentists will have to reshape the tissue or the underlying bones to make the teeth look longer or more symmetrical.
- Straightening – Also called Invisalign treatment, teeth straightening is often used as an alternative to metal braces. This procedure often treats crowding, spacing, and overlapping teeth to help the patient achieve the smile they desire. This procedure has been done for over a decade, and it has treated several patients.
Bite Reclamation – Bite reclamation is a cosmetic dental procedure that is done for patients who had years of excessive wear to the teeth because of acid reflux or grinding. Bite reclamation can give the patient a shorter appearance to their smile and face.