Cosmetic dentistry is different from general dentistry as this focuses on the appearance and aesthetics of your teeth rather than treating and controlling oral disease. Even though they both have different aims, they both work very closely together. It is also important to note that cosmetic dentistry cannot take place until oral disease is controlled in your mouth. This will provide you with longer lasting cosmetic treatments.
What types of cosmetic treatments are there?
The most common forms of cosmetic dentistry involve:
Skilled dentists can transform discoloured, decayed, chipped or small teeth to the ideal shape and shade with the use of a material called resin composite. The dentist will choose a composite colour that is similar to your natural teeth and will use the material to sculpt it on top of your tooth to give a more aesthetic appearance. This procedure occurs directly in your mouth at the same visit, and generally is a less invasive treatment option.
These are fillings that are made from resin composite materials or porcelain. However, these fillings are made outside of your mouth (in a dental lab) and are generally used to repair your back teeth that may be broken or moderately decayed. As these are made in the dental lab, this treatment option requires a few dental visits. These fillings can also be colour matched to your natural teeth to provide the most natural looking appearance.
Veneers are like an indirect filling; however, these are made for your front teeth. After the dentist prepares your teeth, the dental lab uses resin composite or porcelain material to create a thin shell that will be glued onto your natural teeth. This will provide you with front teeth that align with your preferred colour and shape.
Dental crowns can be thought of as a hat that you wear on your head; except this time, it’s one that goes on your tooth! Often, crowns are recommended for severely decayed or broken teeth. The dentist will prepare the tooth and take a mold of your teeth to give to the dental lab; they will then create a personalised crown for you. In the meantime, the dentist will give you a temporary crown until the permanent crown is ready. This crown will then be glued directly on your tooth for better aesthetics and function.
Missing teeth can sometimes be replaced with a dental bridge. The teeth next to the missing tooth will be prepared by the dentist, and the dental lab will create the bridge out of porcelain or metal. The bridge attaches to the teeth adjacent to the missing one, which supports and stabilises the missing tooth in your mouth.
Implants are another treatment option to replace missing teeth, however, this option is only available for individuals who meet a specific criteria. This is to assure that the implant can survive in your mouth for a long period of time. For example, it is important that you have adequate bone level remaining, and excellent oral hygiene with no oral disease. This treatment option is quite invasive and requires a dentist who has experience in oral surgery.
This is a common bleaching procedure to remove extrinsic stains from coffee or smoking. Teeth whitening can be done at home or in the dental office, however, the treatment done in the dental clinic are longer lasting and provide you with whiter results. If you have questions about at home whitening or would like to consider professional whitening, your dentist can prescribe a treatment plan that may be best suited for you.
What is so special about cosmetic dentistry?
All of treatment options above use materials that can be colour matched to your natural teeth or can change your tooth colour to a more desired shade. Some of these options also allow for customisation of the shape and size of the tooth. This allows for the cosmetic dentist to work closely with you to find options that suit your aesthetic requirements.
Remember, that your cosmetic dentist can only provide you with the best aesthetic outcome if you maintain excellent oral hygiene and attend regular dental check-up appointments. Call in today to book an appointment!