All around the world, a lot of people are in need of proper dental care. However, dental services do not only include tooth extraction or diagnosing and treating gum disease. A person’s dental need may not be purely for the sake of treating a disease condition; addressing one’s cosmetic dentistry needs can also drastically improve their overall quality of life.

What Is Cosmetic dentistry?

The field of dentistry which caters to the improvement of the physical appearance of the teeth is called cosmetic dentistry. This field has branched away from the traditional fields of orthodontics and prosthodontics. Its primary aim is to provide optimum oral health through aesthetic changes in the teeth, smile, and mouth.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is unique because it can be both restorative and elective at the same time. For instance, getting dental fillings can help treat cavities which restore the teeth’s function. It can also be considered cosmetic since the materials now used in fillings closely mimic the natural color of teeth.

technician at dental labAnother benefit of cosmetic dentistry is the boost in self-confidence to a person who just completed a dental procedure. Most people who seek cosmetic dental treatments are those who had broken or missing teeth, those who have overbites, those who have gapped teeth, or one or more of many other conditions that can lead to the loss of self-confidence.

It may be a trivial thing for some, but even getting something as simple as a teeth whitening procedure can work wonders for a person’s self-image.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

There are a lot of cosmetic procedures you can choose from if you are thinking of improving your smile. These procedures range from DIY at-home teeth whitening kits to dental implants that will require minor surgery. Here is a list of the some of the more common cosmetic dental procedures available:

  • Teeth Whitening

    – This is the simplest cosmetic dental procedure available today. Teeth whitening kits can be purchased over the counter. You can also ask your dentist if he/she offers laser teeth whitening treatments. In which case, the dentist will use a specialized laser and whitening medium for your teeth. Laser whitening procedures are more costly and may require multiple visits to your dentist.

  • Teeth Composite Bonding

    – This is the addition of an enamel-like material on top of or in between the teeth. Its main aim is to recreate the teeth’s shape without appearing artificial. Composite teeth bonding materials can be made up of porcelain that is frequently used in fillings. Your dentist will recommend composite bonding if you happen to have a broken, fragmented, or stained teeth.

  • Dental Veneers

    – Veneers work just like composite teeth bonding. However, dental veneers are frequently used if the affected teeth are severely damaged that simply bonding teeth-like fragments will not work. Veneers are made up of high quality porcelain laminates that closely look like real teeth. Hence, veneers are laid on the tooth surface, making you look like you have new teeth.

  • Dentures

    – They are the most common dental treatment for tooth loss. This is the typical route for the elderly who have lost almost all their adult teeth and for those who may have accidentally lost their teeth. However, dentures have a downside. Using dentures for a long time can cause bone loss in your mouth’s gum area. This is why elderly people’s faces appear sunken around the mouth area if they are using dentures. A recent solution to this issue is the use of overdentures and dental implants.

  • Bridges

    – Dental bridges is the cosmetic dental treatment to go for if you have only one or two lost teeth. As the procedure’s name implies, they act as a bridge between two healthy teeth. A porcelain tooth replaces the missing tooth and it is glued into place using caps that are attached from the neighboring healthy teeth. This ensures that the dental bridge does not move around or is not dislodged when eating, talking, or drinking.

  • Braces

    – If you are looking to improve your smile by getting braces, it is best to consult a qualified orthodontist who also specializes in cosmetic dentistry. Getting braces or aligners often requires frequent visits to the orthodontist who will adjust the braces. There can be temporary discomfort at the beginning as you get used to wearing braces. Your orthodontist can provide information ranging from traditional braces to invisible braces, and which one to choose depending on your budget and other factors.

  • Dental Implants

    diagram of dental implant– Perhaps the most medically advanced procedure among the different cosmetic dental treatments is the use of dental implants. The implants basically replace the tooth from its root. The titanium-based root is implanted into the tooth canal where it will remain for the remaining lifetime. A composite or porcelain material is then connected to it and this acts as the tooth. In the surface, you can’t quite differentiate if a person has dental implants or not. Another advantage of dental implants is that it lessens bone loss.

  • Teeth Contouring

    – Another cosmetic dental treatment is teeth contouring. This procedure is suited for those who have uneven and overlapping teeth. The procedure reshapes and contours the teeth to make it appear more natural and aligned. The procedure may take only one visit to the dentist’s clinic.

  • Crown Lengthening

    – A further variation of teeth contouring is crown lengthening. In this procedure, however, the teeth are reshaped by exposing the upper gum lines nearest the teeth. This can be done through laser procedures, or manually under local anesthesia. This cosmetic dental treatment is best suited for those having gummy smiles. Crown lengthening is also best done in conjunction with teeth contouring and reshaping.

  • Crowns

    – Dental crowns are artificial tooth replacements made up of porcelain or other composite materials. Their main function is to replace a wholly diseased or damaged tooth. Quality custom crowns can take a while to make since each tooth is sculpted to match a patient’s other normal teeth. However, taking this route in tooth replacement will be worth it since it would seem like you did not lose a tooth at all.

  • Smile Makeovers or Total Periodontal Surgery

    – A smile makeover used to be the go-to cosmetic dental procedure that only celebrities routinely get. However, with the lessening costs of dental procedures, many people can now afford such a procedure. A total periodontal surgery varies in the number of dental procedures it includes, depending largely on each patient’s dental needs. However, it is safe to say that this form of makeover will likely include teeth aligners, whitening, crown reshaping/contouring, and/or using dental veneers. In some cases, extreme smile makeovers may include jaw surgery.

cosmetic dentistHow to Choose Your Cosmetic Dentist?

Choosing a good dentist or orthodontist is important if you want to see real changes in your smile and general dental health. If you are specifically looking for a cosmetic dentist, be sure to ask if they are affiliated with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry (ABCD), or the American Society for Dental Aesthetics (ASDA). Dentists affiliated with these credentialing boards have undergone additional years in continuing education curriculum after they graduate from dental school.

Another critically important factor to consider when deciding upon a cosmetic dentist is what type of dental lab that particular dentist works with. While the dentist is the one the patient will work most directly with, it is important to remember that the crowns, dental implants, veneers or other cosmetic dentistry products are actually custom built in another lab. That lab should be a Certified Dental Lab with Certified Dental Technicians.

Cost of Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Simple cosmetic dental treatments like at-home teeth whitening can cost very little while dentist-assisted laser teeth whitening can rack up a significantly high price tag. Higher end cosmetic dental procedures continue to increase in costs.

To help with these costs, you can consult your insurance company to see if they cover cosmetic dental treatments or not. Some insurance providers only offer discounts if the procedure is for cosmetic purposes. That is why you should be prepared and willing to shell out some of your own money if, for example, you are looking to get new veneers or dental implants.

The costs associated with high-end and more complicated cosmetic dentistry procedures are not for everybody. Neither is cosmetic dentistry the answer to every dental flaw that you could see.

In the end, every case is uniquely different and when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, no two solutions are exactly the same. In all cases, it is best to consult your dentist and see what options are available and best for you. If you would like to find out more about cosmetic dentistry and in particular, the products and materials used, please feel free to contact us here at Treasure Dental Lab.