The field of traditional dentistry is one that looks at diagnosis and treatment of diseases, prevention of tooth decay, and overall tooth hygiene. Cosmetic dentistry, by contrast, is about how someone’s mouth looks. According to Dr. Kami Hoss it is important to understand that cosmetic dentistry is not about giving into vanity. In fact, the vast majority of cosmetic procedures are performed not because someone doesn’t like an element of their otherwise perfect smile, but because there have been significant cosmetic problems instead.
Dr. Kami Lists the Various Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Cosmetic dentistry is a subdiscipline of general dentistry. It has a variety of subdisciplines within it, however. According to Dr. Kami, it is very important that people consider these different disciplines, and that they find someone who is trained and registered to offer the treatment. The types of cosmetic specializations include:
- Bite reclamation, which changes the vertical dimension of teeth.
- Dental bonding, which helps with stained, cracked, broken, or chipped teeth.
- Dental braces, which are usually offered to teenagers to straighten their teeth. However, new technologies such as Invisalign have now been developed, which are more suitable for adults who never had the chance to have their teeth straightened when they were younger.
- Dental bridges, which is a type of partial denture used to close gaps between teeth or to replace teeth that are missing. Bridges usually last between three and 15 years.
- Dental crowns, or dental caps, which helps restore the appearance, strength, size, and shape of a damaged tooth. Crowns are quite costly, but they can last between five and 15 years.
- Dentures, which are artificial teeth that can be removed. Both complete and partial dentures exist.
- Enamel shaping and contouring, known as enameloplasty or odontoplasty. This changes the shape of healthy teeth to make them look better.
- Onlays and inlays, which are a type of indirect filling. An inlay happens when the filling is on the center of the tooth. Onlays happen when there are multiple bonding points on the surface of the tooth.
- Gum grafts, which happen when gums recess and the root is exposure. It transfers healthy tissue back onto the gum, so that the overall gum lines healthy again and people feel more comfortable.
- Implants, which are quickly starting to replace dentures. It involves artificial teeth being screwed into sockets that have been placed within the bone sockets.
- Veneers, which cover existing teeth to make them look straighter and whiter.
- Teeth whitening, whereby a medical-grade bleach is used to make the teeth appear whiter, something that many people who smoke, drink a lot of coffee, or enjoy wine usually choose. It is also quite affordable and therefore a common procedure.
Cosmetic dentistry is often done for purely cosmetic reasons. However, many times, it is an absolute necessity. It is very important, however, to find a specialist dentist to deliver the services that you require.