What is cosmetic dentistry?
Your smile is perhaps the most important part of your facial features. More and more people are becoming very conscious about the way their teeth look and for this reason, cosmetic dentistry has become extremely popular in the last years. Cosmetic dentistry includes all dental treatments that contribute to beautifying your smile. Cosmetic dentistry is normally only performed on teeth that are visible when you speak, smile or laugh.
Different kinds of cosmetic dentistry
There are many dental treatments that can contribute to a more beautiful smile. Before a treatment within cosmetic dentistry is started it is important that your teeth and gums are healthy. If any teeth need fillings or if there are periodontal problems incl. loose teeth or bleeding gums, these problems need to be solved before the cosmetic treatment can be started. The reason is, that in some cases a cosmetic dentistry treatment might aggravate existing problems. When your teeth and gums are healthy, you might choose one of the following treatments within cosmetic dentistry:
Whitening is the most common and convenient way to brighten the color of your teeth. Whitening is used within cosmetic dentistry to remove stains from e.g. tobacco and coffee that are embedded in your teeth and cannot be removed with toothpastes or professional cleaning. The whitening is achieved by letting a peroxide gel soak into your teeth for a period of time, where it chemically alters the stain and eliminates it. It is only relatively superficial miscolorings that can be removed through whitening. If the tooth is miscolored from the inside (e.g. a root canal treated tooth) internal whitening is another option within cosmetic dentistry.
Porcelain veneers are a very popular cosmetic treatment. Veneers are thin wafers that are bonded onto your natural teeth to completely change the appearance of the teeth. Veneers are the most elegant and versatile way to improve your smile, since they can change both the color, spacing, alignment, length, or shape of your teeth and thus be designed to match your personality and facial characteristics.
Braces are not only for children. In fact, more and more adults choose to wear braces in order to correct crooked or crowded teeth. If you are put off by the thought of having to wear visible braces, new technology within cosmetic dentistry has made it possible to correct your teeth without wearing visible braces. Your dentist will be able to advise you on what sort of braces would bring about the best results in your case.
Most people do not like the looks of their big amalgam fillings, since they tend to color your teeth blue or gray. Others have plast fillings that have turned yellow or almost brown through the years. If they are in the molars in the back of your mouth, they do not affect the appearance of your smile. Some, however, have amalgam fillings in the teeth towards the front. Although fillings might not normally be considered to be within the field of cosmetic dentistry, a change to tooth-coloured plast fillings would in many cases greatly affect the appearance of your smile. In order to change your fillings, the dentist has to remove the old filling along with some of the natural tooth substance to prepare the surface for the new filling.
Not all of the options within cosmetic dentistry will suit your needs. Consult your dentist for a discussion of what sort of treatment would be the most effective in your case.