Cosmetic dentistry is the collective term for all the procedures and treatments that are mainly intended towards improving the appearance of your teeth. Some of the procedures involve the addition of dental appliances, while some others just modify the appearance without changing the structure. Some of the common cosmetic dental procedures are teeth whitening, dental crowns, dental bridges, veneers, Invisalign, braces, dental implants, inlays, onlays, etc.
Types of cosmetic dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry can briefly be divided into four categories. They are:
- Adding dental appliances to the teeth: Crowns, bridges, implants, veneers, etc. are external dental appliances which are either installed or bonded on to the teeth to improve their appearance.
- Changing the alignment of the teeth: Dental appliances such as braces, Invisalign, etc. are used to change the alignment of teeth to resolve any issues related to malocclusion.
- Removal of dental structures: Sometimes, dental structures will have to be removed, such as in the case of gum surgery, dental buffing and grinding.
- Neither removing nor adding any material: The best example of this type is teeth whitening, where the teeth are just made to look whiter without adding or removing any dental material.
What are the various dental issues that cosmetic dentistry resolves?
- Chipped teeth: Teeth may chip when you have an external injury involving the mouth. This can leave the teeth looking irregularly shaped. Bonding, veneers, filling, etc. can restore chipped teeth.
- Cracked or fractured teeth: This, again, can be due to external trauma. Crowns, veneers, or filling can be used to treat cracked and chipped teeth.
- Discolored teeth: It can be the result of various causes such as food habits, improper brushing techniques, etc. It can be treated with teeth whitening.
- Missing teeth: It is a major cosmetic dental issue and can be resolved using dental implants, bridges or dentures.
- Malocclusion: Malocclusion issues such as crossbite, open bite, overbite, underbite, etc. can be treated using braces or Invisalign.
- Cavities: They are caused by the decay of teeth and can be restored using dental fillings, inlays, and onlays.
Common cosmetic dental procedures
- Bonding:Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored resin on the surface of teeth and hardening it with the help of a curing light. It can be used to fill cavities, change the shape and size of teeth, treating cracked teeth, etc.
- Dental implants:Implants are regarded as the best alternative to natural teeth as they are strong, durable and long-lasting. The implant root is made up of titanium and the crown is made up of ceramic.
- Crowns and bridges:Crowns are used to restore teeth which are chipped, cracked, discolored, worn out, etc. Bridges act as a replacement for missing teeth.
- Teeth whitening:Discolored teeth can be made to look whiter using various teeth whitening techniques such as dental bleaching, whitening using custom trays, laser teeth whitening, etc.
- Veneers:Veneers are thin, flat porcelain structures which are custom-fabricated to fit on the surface of teeth. They can treat issues such as discolored teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth, the excessive spacing between adjacent teeth, etc.
- Braces and Invisalign:Braces are visible aligners used to treat various malocclusion issues. Invisalign are an alternative to braces, where they are virtually invisible as they are made from clear plastic.
Cosmetic dental procedures greatly influence a person's confidence as they can sport a beautiful smile without having to worry about the aesthetics of their teeth. Some procedures also improve the functionality of the mouth along with the aesthetic upgrade.