A beautiful, healthy smile is a priceless asset. Not only do we use our teeth for daily functions such as biting and chewing, but a beautiful smile can help us connect with new friends or show interest in romantic partners. But patients who have dental issues can feel self-conscious and shy, causing them to avoid situations where they might feel embarrassed about their smile.
Cosmetic dentistry is dedicated to enhancing the lives of millions of individuals looking to regain confidence in their smile. Dentists specializing in cosmetic procedures are experts in saving natural teeth and providing realistic replacements to create a new exceptional smile. They do this with the help of state of the art restoration techniques.
Cosmetic Dentistry Overview
Cosmetic dentistry is a specialized dental field with the goal of creating aesthetically pleasing, healthy smiles. Providers who practice cosmetic dentistry use a variety of treatments to repair and restore natural teeth, while filling missing teeth with functional and realistic replacements. Cosmetic dentists have acquired skills in both prosthodontics and orthodontics to ensure the best results for each patient’s unique care.
Cosmetic Dentist Provider Benefits
General dentists and other dental providers often perform cosmetic dental procedures. However, there are several benefits to seeking treatment from a provider who specializes cosmetic treatments. Patients who see cosmetic dentists require fewer referrals to outside providers for specialty treatments. Trained in areas such as orthodontic, prosthodontics, general dentistry, and sometimes orthodontic surgery, cosmetic dentists are considered a one-stop shop for all your dental needs.
Cosmetic dentists dedicate their entire practice to the restoration of teeth and invest in top of the line equipment for providing quality results. These providers use advanced procedures to restore the most natural teeth possible, eliminating the need for outdated treatments that can result in harm or extraction of teeth. Cosmetic dentists are also highly focused on the functionality of the patient’s mouth, recommending options to enhance the look, bite, and overall structure of the teeth.
Procedures Performed by Cosmetic Dentists
In creating an exceptional smile, cosmetic dentists provide a variety of services to achieve the most effective results. These treatments can range from mild cleanings to full mouth reconstructions, all performed with an expert eye and meticulous technique:
General Dental Treatments:
- Dental Cleanings: Cosmetic dentists perform general dentists tasks such as annual professional cleanings needed to promote good oral health. These appointments remove plaque and tartar from teeth and gums that cannot be seen with daily brushing and flossing.
- Mouth Exams: Comprehensive oral health examinations help monitor signs of severe concerns in the teeth, gums, cheeks, jaw, tongue, and other affected areas of the mouth. These exams include looking for any signs of oral cancer, gum disease, or other abnormalities around the mouth.
- X-ray Exams: These scans are taken to gain perspective of the internal structure of the teeth and to monitor any issues that have yet to surface on the enamel. X-rays can be made from a variety of angles including the sides, front, and panoramic view of the teeth.
- Tooth Extractions: The procedure of extracting (or removing) teeth occurs when teeth are too damaged, decayed, or misaligned to remain in the mouth. Replacement options are often planned for after an extraction to protect the gums and existing teeth from further decay.
- Dental Filings: Dental fillings are protective coverings comprised of metal or composite materials to seal areas of the teeth where cavities and decay have been removed.
- Root Canals: Root canal therapy involves the internal removal of infected tooth pulp or repair of damaged roots from tooth trauma. This procedure can save an existing tooth from needing extraction in the future or spreading disease to healthy surrounding teeth.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments
- Dental Bonding: Chipped, broken, or misshapen teeth can be addressed effectively using dental bonding techniques. This procedure uses a resin and ultra-violet light to reshape teeth for a more even looking smile.
- Porcelain Crowns: Crowns are often used to restore natural teeth with significant damage due to decay or injury. Crowns are placed on top of large fillings or used as a replacement tooth for dental implants, and typically are created used porcelain from ultimate durability.
- Dental Inlays/Outlays: Dental inlay and outlay treatments are accessible for patients looking for a less invasive procedure for correcting moderately decayed or damaged teeth. This technique provides natural-looking results, requiring only a minimal amount of the natural tooth to be removed before placement.
- Dental Bridges: A dental bridge is used in patients who require a replacement option for missing teeth. This procedure is anchored by strong existing teeth using crowns and filled with realistic replacement teeth that fit tightly to the gum line for aesthetic appeal.
- Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are an excellent option for patients looking to correct teeth that are stained, discolored, or abnormally sized/shaped. Veneers are minimally invasive and provide instant results after only a few appointments.
- Invisible Orthodontic Care: With invisible straightening trays such as Invisalign, cosmetic dentists can adjust the shape and bite of your teeth without the need for traditional metal braces. Using a strict treatment plan, trays are customized to improve the alignment of teeth, resulting in a straight and functional smile.
- Teeth Whiting: Straight teeth are often still unappealing looking if not pearly white. Whiting treatments are available with scheduled office appointments or using at home whiting kits to achieve a smile that is both even and luminous in appearance.
Advanced Dental Treatments
- Dental Implant: When a patient is missing a tooth or requires an extraction, dental implants are an excellent restoration option for a natural looking and functional replacement. Surgically inserted into the jawbone, dental implants fuse to the bone using a titanium screw for a final result.
- Appliances for Sleep Apnea: Sleep disorders can severely affect the health and well being of patients. Cosmetic dentists are experts in fitting individuals for C-pap appliances for increased comfort and breathing ability during sleeping hours.
Cosmetic dentistry is a comprehensive field addressing multiple areas of dental concern. By making a consultation appointment to see a cosmetic dentist in your area, you can begin your journey towards achieving a healthy and stunning smile, worth showing off on at every occasion.