Dentistry no longer involves only filling and extracting teeth. It has extended far beyond to cosmetic dentistry, or ‘aesthetic dentistry’, which are ways of improving one’s appearance, almost on the lines of cosmetic surgery. The treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth. Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges, tooth-colored fillings, implants and tooth whitening.
Why should I be aware of this?
- Cosmetic dentistry is like a dental facelift which immediately reverses the natural aging process of the teeth.
- There’s a wide range of treatment options in cosmetic dentistry, from porcelain veneers to braces! In many cases, a combination of these techniques is required to deliver the best results.
All about cosmetic dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of a person's teeth, mouth and smile, unlike traditional dentistry which deals with oral hygiene and preventing, diagnosing and treating oral disease. Cosmetic dentistry may also provide restorative benefits. For example, dental fillings are a common procedure used to treat decayed teeth. Previously, most Dental fillings, which were earlier composed primarily of gold, amalgam and other materials which left visible dark spots on the teeth, today fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry.
In cosmetic dentistry one can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that closely matching with the color of the teeth. This helps maintain the natural appearance of your teeth and smile. Many people may choose to have their older fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to enhance their oral appearance.
Cosmetic dentistry trends
Recently there have been considerable technological advancements in cosmetic dental treatments. Dentists are now using more conservative cosmetic dentistry techniques to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, depending upon your specific clinical situation. Use of technologies such as lasers treatment processes for dental procedures such as smile makeovers have made things more comfortable and convenient for patients. Recovery time has also been considerably reduced.
Cosmetic dentistry treatments
Cosmetic dentistry treatments currently in use include:
Inlays and onlays made from porcelain or composite materials are a long-lasting yet cosmetic way to provide a “filling” to decaying teeth or with similar structural damage. Whereas dental fillings are molded into place, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory before being fitted and adhesively bonded into place by the dentist.
- Composite bonding
Composite bonding repairs chipped, broken, discolored or decayed teeth or may have their appearance corrected. A dental composite material with the look of enamel and dentin is applied into the cavity or onto the surface of a tooth and blends invisibly with the remainder of the surrounding tooth structure.
- Teeth whitening
Teeth whitening removes the stains from smoking, food, drink (coffee, tea or red wine) or poor oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth can enhance the appearance of your smile.
- Dental Veneers
Used for filling gaps in teeth or whitening them. Composite or porcelain laminates are adhesively bonded to the surface of a tooth to correct and repair chips and cracks and improve appearance or severe tooth discoloration.
- Dental implants
These are artificial tooth root replacements used to compensate for tooth loss. This gives an enhanced smile and a more youthful appearance.
- Smile makeover
This process improves the overall appearance after making a comprehensive assessment of your smile esthetics. Typically one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental veneers, dental implants, gingival sculpting and teeth whitening, will be required for several teeth in both the upper and lower arches in order to achieve the look you want.
- Full mouth reconstruction
Apart from improving the esthetic appearance of your smile, it provides the necessary treatment to correct functional problems with your bite, muscles, teeth and bone structure, if necessary.
- Tooth discoloration is a normal part of aging. As people age, enamel wears down, and teeth take on a duller appearance. Teeth can also become discolored from smoking and heavy consumption of coffee or tea. 
- After the whitening procedure, you may experience minimal tooth sensitivity for a short period of time. 
- In cases involving severe discoloration, teeth whitening may not result in a bright, white smile. Individuals with severe tooth discoloration should consider other options, such as porcelain veneers or composite bonding. 
- Not all dentists know and perform all cosmetic dentistry procedures. As such, cosmetic dentists often involve other specialists (orthodontist, endodontist, lab techs, etc.) in treatment planning and execution. 
- Although dentures are not considered a cosmetic dentistry procedure, they provide a cosmetic benefit for people who have lost all or some of their teeth. 
- How Cosmetic Dentistry Works
- Cosmetic Dentistry