Traditional dentistry deals more with proper oral hygiene and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases, whereas cosmetic dentistry concentrates more on the improvement of the appearance. It commonly solves issues like crooked or chipped teeth, discoloration, or missing teeth.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments:
This treatment is done to change the vertical dimension of people whose teeth have been subjected to years of wear because of too much grinding and acid reflux. After the treatment, patients have a closed and shorter appearance in their smile and face.
Bonding helps improve how the teeth look if they are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have excess space between them. The procedure involves the application of enamel-like composite resins to the tooth’s surface, molded into shape, hardened with an ultraviolet or laser light, and then polished. The result blends naturally with the surrounding tooth structure and the rest of the teeth, improving the person’s smile.
This cosmetic dental procedure is the easiest of all and can be done with a single office visit. Dental bonding can also be used to fill small cavities or protect the exposed root of the tooth. Modern dentists also use bonding as a replacement for, or an alternative to, silver or amalgam fillings.
Nowadays, both children and adults are benefiting from dental braces. Braces not only correct crooked or misshapen teeth, but can also help improve irregular bite, jaw joint disorders, or the proper positioning of the jaw.
Dental braces work by applying steady pressure to the teeth to reposition them gradually into alignment. The dentist or orthodontist uses metal, ceramic, or porcelain brackets and bonds them to your teeth. Arch wires are threaded through the brackets to guide the teeth correctly into position. Orthodontic braces are usually worn for about 1-3 years after which retainers replace the braces to hold the teeth in their new position.
Bridges are also sometimes called fixed partial dentures and are used to replace missing teeth or to close a gap between the teeth. Material used for the artificial teeth are usually made of gold, porcelain, alloys, or a combination of these materials. The procedure takes 2 visits at one hour each appointment. Bridges can last from 3-15 years if proper oral hygiene is strictly followed.
Also known as caps, crowns are placed over a damaged tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns or caps can be made from ceramic, metal, resin, or porcelain-fused-to-metal materials and are cosmetically used to improve broken or severely stained teeth. A costly procedure, crowns are recommended only by dentists when other procedures will not produce effective results. Crowns can last from 5-15 years.
Dentures are removable artificial teeth that replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues of the teeth. There are two types of dentures, complete and partial. Partial dentures are used when there are some natural teeth remaining, while complete dentures are applied when all teeth are gone on either the top or bottom row.
Enamel Contouring and Shaping
Also known as odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping, sculpting, re-contouring, or contouring, this cosmetic dental procedure is applicable if you have healthy, normal teeth. It involves removing or contouring the dental enamel to change the length, position, or shape of the teeth to improve the appearance. It is used to correct minor imperfections of the teeth and the results can be seen immediately. This procedure is usually combined with bonding, teeth whitening, or veneers.
Also known as indirect fillings, these are often made from porcelain or composite materials that are used to fill tooth decay or other structural damage in the teeth. Unlike dental fillings which are molded into place immediately during your office visit, inlays and onlays have to be created in a dental laboratory first before your dentist can fit and bond them into place.
When the filling material is bonded in the center of a tooth, it is called an “inlay”; when the filling is done in one or more points in the tooth or includes the biting surface, it is called an “onlay”. This cosmetic dentistry procedure can be an alternative to crowns and can preserve healthy teeth for a long time.