What is Cosmetic Dentistry? Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on dental procedures done to improve the appearance of a person’s gums, teeth and/or bite. As the name suggests, this branch of dentistry focuses on the aesthetics of the entire dental formula as opposed to the function as is the case with typical dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry improves dental aesthetic factors such as the position, color, shape, alignment and size of the teeth as well as the overall smile appearance.
Cosmetic Dentistry Fields: Cosmetic dentistry is divided into a number of specialties the most notable being; prosthodontics, orthodontics, endodontics and periodontics.
1. Prosthodontics: Prosthodontics which is also known as prosthetic dentistry or dental prosthetics focuses solely on dental prostheses. The specialty is among the nine dental specialties that are recognized globally by renowned dental associations such as the ADA (American Dental Association). Prosthodontics is simply about diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation as well as maintenance of oral function, appearance, comfort and health of dental patients with clinical conditions associated with deficient or missing teeth and/or maxillofacial and oral tissues using biocompatible substitutes.
2. Orthodontics: Also known as dentofacial orthopedics or orthodontia, orthodontics is a cosmetic dentistry specialty that deals with the diagnosis, prevention as well as correction of mal-positioned teeth/jaws. Orthodontics is the oldest dentistry specialty.
3. Endodontics: Endodontics are cosmetic dentists who have specialized in dental pulp issues.
4. Periodontics: Periodontists are cosmetic dentists who have specialized in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. Periodontists are also specialists in dental implant placement and treating oral inflammation. Cosmetic dentistry involves a lot of dental work/procedures the most common being;
1. Addition of dental material, i.e. gum grafts, crowns (caps), porcelain veneers (laminates) and bonding to teeth/gums.
2. Removal or gums or the tooth structure
3. Teeth whitening
4. Gum depigmentation
5. Teeth straightening
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure Examples:
1. Teeth bleaching or whitening: This is by far the most popular cosmetic dental procedure globally today. Although there are very many teeth whitening options today, including over-the-counter products, teeth whitening is best done under the supervision of a dentist.
2. Laser whitening: This cosmetic dentistry procedure is a special type of teeth bleaching or whitening done using a laser machine as the name suggests. Laser whitening is very popular today because it offers better and longer lasting results than common teeth bleaching or whitening options/procedures.
3. Tooth reshaping: This is another common cosmetic dentistry procedure that focuses on improving the shape of teeth. Tooth reshaping addresses problems such as crooked teeth, excessively long teeth, chipped teeth etc.
4. Dental bridges: Dental bridge procedures are also common today. Dental bridges are simply false teeth also known as pontics used between crowns to fill the gap left by missing teeth. This procedure is undoubtedly the most common for replacing missing teeth.
Seeking Cosmetic Dentistry Services: Cosmetic dentistry services are rather expensive in countries such as the U.S. which explains why many people in need of the services are turning to countries in Asia such as Thailand. Cosmetic dentistry in Thailand has become very popular because the country has many highly trained and experienced cosmetic dentists offering very affordable services.
When seeking cosmetic dentistry services, your focus should be on dealing with highly trained and experienced cosmetic dentists only. The cost of services should also be reasonable without compromising on quality.