With each change of season, the entire world is renewed. It’s the perfect time for a change and a new smile! Physical appearance can be changed easily and in most cases, the most dramatic effects result from cosmetic dentistry.
Changes made through cosmetic dentistry improve your general oral health and smile, therefore also your mood.
In today’s article, we will review the available services in cosmetic dentistry.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
“Cosmetic” derives from the Greek “kosmetike” which means “the art to dress and ornament” and “kosmeo,” “to arrange, to decorate, to equip, to embellish.” In dentistry, cosmetics refers to the surface area. But changes on the surface may require several interior changes.
Cosmetics shouldn’t be confused with aesthetics. Aesthetics usually describes the study of sensory and emotional values, called judgments of sentiment and taste. Aesthetics could describe the feeling and the value of cosmetic changes.
Cosmetic dentistry appeared when dentists began to restore and replace teeth, effectively modifying the smile. Essentially, any dentist can perform cosmetic dentistry. During training years, dentists are educated to perform cosmetic treatment procedures.
But today, cosmetic dentistry has almost become a self-standing specialty. We live in an interesting era, a period focused on facial beauty. And the demand for change is not only significant but for the most part, possible. Today, more than ever, the art of healing is capable of providing the needed satisfactory cosmetic changes to the growing expectations of patients.
Many dentists and specialists have attended courses and studied in detail cosmetic dentistry. There are different schools, associations and clubs dedicated to the study of this particular effort.
Everything starts with a “smile analysis”, a crucial step in the process of change achieved through cosmetic dentistry. There are several factors that influence the final result: teeth shape, color and size, health and gum line, alignment and spacing, the relationship between the upper and lower jaw, all in the general context of the face, including the eyes, lips, and skin. When it comes to complex interventions, all these elements are taken into consideration for the change to be visible.
Choosing the right dentist
Choosing the right dentist must be done carefully. The first step is to determine if you need or want a cosmetic surgery intervention. The second step is to identify the doctor who can perform this surgery and then ask the right questions.
Most dentists have special training in this area and could tell you about their experience and show you pictures of past cases. A smile analysis can be a starting point.
The skill level of dental health professionals varies. Cosmetic dental procedures may require the knowledge, skill and experience of a team of dentists.
Frequently asked questions about cosmetic dentistry
- Am I a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry?
- Are my goals realistic?
- Can you show me a computer simulation or a model of the expected changes?
- Will you use temporary crowns or veneers to allow the previewing of changes?
- How do you test the shape, dimension and shade of teeth?
- What are the risks, benefits and alternatives to your recommendations?
- Can you explain the short and long-term implications for the health of my teeth?
- What are the costs and time required to perform this work?
Cosmetic dentistry, a compendium
People have different perceptions of what a smile is, both professionals and patients. For some it’s about the natural appearance of the teeth, only whiter, while for others it’s about teeth alignment, size, margins and gum line. These are just some of the options available today.
Below we review some options and techniques available in cosmetic dentistry, summarized for your convenience. You can review them to get more details and to choose the right option.
At home teeth whitening
The basic products available in pharmacies are strips, whitening pills, and gums. These techniques, applied without a dentist’s supervision, provide a minimum whitening effect, but they are the less expensive ways to improve and whiten teeth. All you have to do is carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Supervised professional teeth whitening
You can try to achieve this at home, using information provided by your dentist that will create a transparent plastic device that fits over your teeth. Using appropriate whitening gels can get you strong results. Slowly, but surely, this process can take up to six weeks to get the desired change.
Professional teeth whitening
Made in the dentist’s office, this technique uses powerful agents, while protecting the gums and other oral tissues. This is the fastest way to get the smile of your dreams.
Cosmetic interventions on cracked or discolored teeth
Minor changes can be made by bonding composite mixtures on cracked or discolored teeth.
Veneers are a thin layer of restorative material which replaces the tooth enamel. Provided that the teeth are in a correct position in the structure of the jaw, these restorations can really change your smile.
This technique is used when the tooth structure has been damaged due to decay or other trauma. Porcelain crowns replace the visible crown of the teeth in the most natural way possible.
The magic of Orthodontics
Orthodontics is the most effective way to correct oral problems. Using a variety of modern techniques, including braces, orthodontics allows moving the teeth in correct and functional positions. This improves the appearance and function and aligns your teeth correctly to achieve the restorative dental techniques discussed above.
Nothing is more devastating for your smile than the lack of teeth. There are many techniques that can be used to replace missing teeth.
Dental implants are very effective. While dental implants replace the roots, the crowns above are an exact replica of natural teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry is really effective, and the changes are real and highly visible. These techniques are not all about aspect, but also about the way you will feel after you apply them.