What is a Cosmetic Dentist? A cosmetic dentist performs dentistry that is focused on creating a positive, more aesthetic change to your teeth and smile. The majority think of tooth whitening or porcelain veneers when the idea of a cosmetic dentist comes to mind, but a well educated cosmetic dentist can provide much more. A skilled, well trained, experienced cosmetic dentist can make a major difference to improve your appearance, your smile, and even boost your self-esteem, and confidence. Cosmetic dentistry has evolved in such a way that cosmetic dentists can address aesthetic as well as functional concerns.
A cosmetic dentist will focus on altering your existing dental condition and features to increase your appeal esthetically. This can be accomplished in a number of different ways. These include cosmetic dental implants, tooth whitening or porcelain veneers. Millions of people around the world regularly schedule appointments with a cosmetic dentist for evaluations and treatment.
A Cosmetic dentist will also provide restorative benefits. For example, dental fillings are a routine procedure used to treat decayed teeth. In the past, most dental fillings were composed mostly of metal and other materials that left visible dark spots on the teeth. Today, dental fillings can and do fall into the realm of cosmetic dentistry. This is because you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that can match the color of your teeth. This allows a patient to maintain the natural appearance of their teeth and smile. Many patients may choose to have their older colored fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to cosmetically enhance their smile.
Advances in technology that have created natural looking, tooth colored dental materials allowing for more durable and predictable results than in years past. These new materials also allow cosmetic and general dentists the ability to use more conservative techniques to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, depending upon your personal clinical condition that you present with.
Cosmetic Dentistry procedures include:
-Teeth Whitening or Tooth Bleaching. Teeth whitening is probably the most common and popularprocedure avilable thru your cosmetic dentist. Teeth often present with staining from smoking, food, drink (coffee, tea, sodas, or wine) or poor oral hygiene. Many whitening options are available, including over the counter products, dentist supervised treatments remain the recommended procedures for best results .Whitening is a quick and effective way to make a dramatic difference in your smile.
-Dental Bonding. Dental bonding allows the cosmetic dentist to restore chipped, broken, discolored or decayed teeth. A dental composite material is used with the look of enamel and dentin. It is applied into the cavity or onto the surface of a tooth, where it is then sculpted into shape, contoured and cured with a high intensity light. The result is one that blends invisibly with the remainder of the surrounding tooth structure and the rest of your natural teeth to create a healthier, brighter smile. One which only you and your cosmetic dentist would know anything was done. This procedure offers very quick results and can even be a substitute for the need for limited orthodontic movement (braces).
-Inlays and Onlays. These are also referred to as indirect fillings. Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain or composite materials. They are a long lasting yet very cosmetic way to provide a filling to teeth with tooth decay or fracture. Whereas dental bonding is molded into place while the patient is in the chair during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory by a technician before being fitted and bonded using adhesive by your cosmetic dentist. Inlays and onlays are a more conservative treatment vs a crown. A cosmetic dentist can place these where no one would know they were even there.
-Composite or Porcelain Veneers. Composite or porcelain veneers (also sometimes called laminates) are super thin, custom made shells of tooth colored materials made to cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. These shells are adhesively bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Porcelain veneers are more stain resistant than composite resin veneers and better copy the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Composite resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. Veneers may also be recommended by your cosmetic dentist if you have gaps in your teeth or if you have severe tooth discoloration (i.e. from medications like tetracycline) that traditional whitening is not able to help.
-Dental Implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used to replace missing teeth. Often the result is not only an enhanced smile, but also an appearance that is more youthful, since missing teeth cause the face to collapse, and sag making you look older. A cosmetic dentist can blend the final restoration with the rest of your teeth.
-Porcelain Crowns. Porcelain can be shaped by your cosmetic dentist to recreate the look of natural tooth enamel, while providing strength, resilience, and proper light reflection. Porcelain crowns are the perfect choice when trying to recreate the form and function of a damaged tooth. Porcelain crowns can be designed to create an even better aesthetic appearance than before. Also, porcelain crowns do not have the dark colored line at the gumline that PFM (porcelain fused to metal) crowns do. This allows for a far more aesthetic result to be achieved by your cosmetic dentist.
Cosmetic dentistry can offer many different options for people who are unhappy with their smile. But patients need to remember there is no perfect smile. Perception is the key. Each person has a different perception of what perfection is. So it’s important that you discover what you really like and then communicate that to your cosmetic dentist. Your dentist will be able to answer all the questions you have about the techniques that may be used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and your desired result often will indicate the best procedure for you.