In dentistry any type of procedure to enhance the looks of one’s teeth, gums and also bite is called cosmetic dentistry. The function can be improved by this process as well but it’s not always the case. Although the American Dental Association (ADA) does not acknowledge cosmetic dentistry as a specialty area, it is a popular and commercially successful practice. Many dentists promote themselves in this area, which is highly marketable. According to the ADA, there are two fields of specialization, known as Orthodontics (teeth straightening) and Prosthodontics (for complicated crowns or implants), which can be considered as types of cosmetic dentistry.
Basically four types of work are done here:
1) adding material to teeth or the gums,
2) removing material from teeth or the gums,
3) changing the appearance of teeth without adding or removing, i.e. teeth whitening and
4) improving the alignment of teeth.
Belonging to the above four groups, common cosmetic dentistry procedures include but are not limited to:
Teeth whitening – This is also called teeth bleaching and is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure. Going to the dentist to get teeth whitened is still a norm although there are many easy do- it-yourself kits available on the market. This may be due to the use of laser technology preferred over bleaching for teeth whitening. Some patients may need to visit the dentist more than one time to achieve their desired shade, but many are satisfied with results after one treatment. Some people may need to whiten their teeth several times during their lifetime, due to intake of foods and beverages that stain and the natural aging process.
Tooth reshaping can be done to remove sections of the tooth enamel, which improves appearance. This is performed in the case of chipped teeth and can also be used to change the shape, length or position of a tooth. Once removed, the enamel cannot be replaced. In dentistry, this process is known by a variety of names such as enameloplasty, odontoplasty, contouring, recontouring, slenderizing, stripping or sculpting. It can be done by just one visit to the dentist.
Bonding is one of the adding-on processes, whereby an enamel-like substance is placed on the surface of the tooth/teeth to compensate for chipping or breaking off.
False teeth or dental bridges, called pontics in dentistry, are used to fill in gaps between teeth. These gaps can be a result of missing teeth. The problem with gaps is that they can cause the rest of the teeth to move over the long term and affect their general alignment. There are fixed dental bridges and partial dentures to choose from, as suits your condition. They can reduce the risk of gum disease and help an over-bite or an under-bite. This can even lead to better (clearer) speech. They can be used, without any replacement, for around ten years but you need to be consistent with good oral hygiene to maintain them well.
Veneers are another popular aspect of cosmetic dentistry. They are porcelain structures that are applied directly to the teeth. Any unwanted gaps or discolored teeth can be hidden by them.
A gum lift is needed for some patients to sculpt the gum line. It involves dental surgery, as reshaping of the tissue and/or connecting bones is required.
Teeth that have worn out due to long-term effects of forceful grinding or acid reflux can now be fixed through bite reclamation. This is basically changing the vertical dimension of teeth to enhance the appearance of one’s smile.
In order to benefit from cosmetic dentistry, you can look up dental care in Greenwood and find the best practice to suit your needs. It is a worthwhile investment that can change not only your looks but the way you feel.