Cosmetic Dentistry – Getting the Smile You’ve Always Wanted

If your teeth are missing, misaligned, discolored, or chipped, cosmetic dentistry can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. However, it’s important to understand that cosmetic procedures are elective and not necessary from a health perspective.

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Cosmetic procedures include:

Aesthetics

Dental aesthetics is the branch of dentistry that concentrates on a patient’s smile. It includes a number of procedures that improve or enhance the appearance of teeth, gums and soft tissue. Cosmetic dentistry is a subset of general dentistry, and dentists are trained in both fields. Aesthetic dentistry can be expensive, so it is important to find a dentist that specializes in this field and has the right experience for your needs.

Aesthetic dental work is aimed at mimicking natural teeth and soft tissues to create a more pleasing, youthful appearance. Aesthetic dental restorations, such as fillings, veneers, bridges and crowns, should be aesthetically shaped, sized, bonded, and colored to fit the rest of the dentition and soft tissue. They should also blend with the surrounding hard and soft tissues.

Aesthetic dental techniques include whitening, composite bonding and porcelain inlays. A cosmetic dentist can also reshape (sculpt) the teeth with various materials and fill cavities that are not structurally damaged or painful. They can also perform tooth implants to replace missing teeth and bone grafting to thicken the jawbone. While a general dentist can fill a cavity, a cosmetic dentist focuses on how the tooth will look afterward and will use a composite material that matches the color of your existing teeth. This is an important distinction, as some dentists advertise themselves as “cosmetic dentists” without having the training or education to do so.

Function

Cosmetic dentistry provides a number of functional benefits, besides enhancing the appearance of teeth. Some procedures, like gum contouring, can address overgrowth of gum tissue that causes a “gummy smile,” while composite bonding and dental veneers allow you to correct discoloration and other minor imperfections. These treatments are designed with patient comfort in mind and are typically performed under local anesthesia.

Cosmetic treatments can also prevent serious oral health problems by addressing misalignments and strengthening teeth. For instance, teeth that are misaligned may become worn more unevenly and contribute to tooth decay, while discolored teeth can harbor bacteria leading to gum disease. Similarly, a poorly fitting bite can cause jaw pain and headaches. By addressing these issues, cosmetic dentistry can prevent these problems and improve your overall quality of life.

The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to achieve natural-looking results that blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. This can be accomplished by using porcelain veneers and tooth-colored composite resin material. The result is a more attractive smile that elevates self-esteem. Many people feel more confident about their appearance when they have a beautiful smile, and this can lead to greater social interaction and better overall well-being. This is why it’s important to choose an experienced cosmetic dentist. The best way to determine a suitable dentist is by asking how long they have been in practice.

Health

Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of techniques to improve the appearance of your teeth and gums. These treatments range from whitening to reshaping the gum line and replacing missing teeth. While beauty is often the main focus of these procedures, they also offer a number of health benefits.

Cosmetic treatments for your smile can make you look younger and feel more confident, which can improve your quality of life. A beautiful smile can also help you achieve success in your professional and personal life. A study conducted by the Harvard Business School found that people with whiter and brighter teeth are considered more trustworthy than those with darker or yellower teeth.

Aesthetic dental treatments can also improve your dental function. Cosmetic dentists can reshape crooked or misaligned teeth to correct your bite and prevent future problems with your oral health. They can also fill in gaps or spaces to prevent food from getting trapped and causing tooth decay.

These aesthetic improvements can help you eat and speak properly and prevent gum disease, which has been linked to heart attacks and strokes. Research shows that your overall health is connected to the health of your mouth and gums, so it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene. Cosmetic dentistry can give you a healthy, gorgeous smile that boosts your self-esteem and gives you the motivation to practice good oral hygiene.

Cost

Unlike functional and restorative dentistry that may be covered by dental insurance, elective cosmetic treatment is rarely reimbursed. That’s why it is important to select a dentist with extensive training and experience in cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, composite bonding, porcelain veneers, dental implants, and crowns. Look for a dentist that is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), an international organization that provides accreditation to general and specialist dentists, laboratories, educators, researchers, students, hygienists, and auxiliaries.

When evaluating candidates, consider their level of expertise, education, training, and commitment to continued advancement in cosmetic dentistry techniques and materials. A highly skilled and trained cosmetic dentist will deliver exceptional results that last for years to come.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures can improve the color, shape, position, size and alignment of teeth as well as the gum line, lips and smile. It follows the Greek concept of beauty which is based on lines, harmony and proportion. It involves adding dental materials to teeth and gums – bonding, veneers, and crowns – and removing them – enameloplasty, gingivectomy. It can also include replacing missing or damaged teeth – bridges, implants, and dentures. When done properly by a trained dentist, the result is an attractive, healthy and natural-looking smile that is worth showing off. For the best results, most cosmetic procedures require additional care at home including brushing, flossing and regular check-ups to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other problems.