Cosmetic dentistry is a specialized area of dentistry that presents techniques and devices to enhance the appearance of the smile. Cosmetic dentistry ensures a beautiful smile and contributes towards improving the self-confidence of a person.
Cosmetic dentistry is a specialization of dental medicine that focuses on improving the aesthetics of the smile. Procedures pertaining to cosmetic dentistry give attention exclusively to the overall appearance of the smile and not necessarily on the oral health factor, though the two sciences are indeed mutually complimentary. While cosmetic dentistry enhances the appearance, procedures also contribute to improving the oral health of an individual. Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of procedures, among which teeth whitening is a popular and commonly requested procedure to give quick enhancement.
Teeth whitening procedures will remove stains caused by lifestyle practices such as excessive coffee drinking and smoking, as well as reduce teeth discolorations caused by strong medicines (like tetracycline stained teeth), or caused by aging, and give a brighter smile. Another cosmetic dental option is porcelain veneers, which is a technique that can improve several factors, such as the shape, texture, and color of teeth. Veneers can also be used to improve the appearance of broken and decayed teeth by presenting a natural looking cover. Cosmetic and restorative dentistry combined offers dental bridges to replace a missing tooth or gap between teeth. A dental bridge is created by the placement of one or several artificial teeth by fastening it securely to the two natural teeth on each side of the gap and hence it derives the term ‘dental bridge’. Dental bridges present secure restoration and is known to last up to ten years of more if maintained and cleaned as instructed by a dentist.
Another technique offered in cosmetic dentistry is dentures, which can be ideal for someone missing several teeth due to aging or an accident. Generally, there are two types of dentures to choose from, and they are complete dentures and partial dentures. Each is customized to meet the individuals’ requirement and comfort. Other devices available to improve the appearance of worn or chipped teeth are dental crown. These devices are placed after obtaining an impression of the tooth needing cosmetic improvement and then manufacturing a dental crown or cap using either ceramic, resin or porcelain to meet the natural color of the teeth. Once ready, the crown is fixed permanently onto the tooth using a dental adhesive.
Apart from the listed procedures and devices, there other options, such as cosmetic gum surgery, dental implants, dental fillings, and types of orthodontic treatments also fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry.