Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that aims to improve your smile and create positive changes to your teeth. This ultimately enhances your dental and general well-being.
Conventional dentistry strives to enhance an individual's oral hygiene and diagnose and treat oral diseases. Therefore, while traditional dentistry focuses on improving the mouth's functionality, cosmetic dentistry concentrates on aesthetics. Our experts at Beach Dental Care Anaheim can help you if you want to improve your teeth's appearance.
An Overview of Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry covers several procedures to change a person's teeth for aesthetic purposes. If your teeth are not straight but this does not cause crowding or other problems, the procedure used to straighten your teeth is known as cosmetic dentistry.
A dentist can also apply cosmetic dentistry operations to treat potentially serious medical issues. However, these operations are often carried out for aesthetic purposes. Only qualified specialists are well-equipped to undertake these procedures.
What are The Differences Between a Cosmetic Dentist and a General Dentist?
If you have ever gone for a dental checkup, you've probably met or seen a general dentist. Once a dental assistant has cleaned and completed other routine measures, your general dentist will examine your teeth. General dentists have undergone extensive training to diagnose and treat many tooth-related illnesses.
Some general dentists specialize in orthodontics, which is a type of dentistry that focuses on misaligned teeth. However, most dentists direct their patients to orthodontists who specialize in the alignment of teeth or jaws. Orthodontists normally install braces and other kinds of equipment designed to do this.
Although some general dentists and orthodontists also practice cosmetic dentistry, prosthodontists often undertake most cosmetic dentistry procedures. Prosthodontists specialize in installing replacement teeth like implants and bridges and bolstering or replacing problematic teeth using a partial or whole prosthesis.
To achieve the desired smile, you must consult an orthodontist, a general dentist, and a prosthodontist. You can also seek the services of a reputable dentist who can complete all the dental operations required to be confident of your teeth every time you appear in public.
How Cosmetic Dentistry Affects Your Teeth
The subject of cosmetic dentistry covers a wide range of procedures. However, each of these procedures has one of four effects on your teeth:
Removal of Gum or Tooth Material
After assessing your mouth, the cosmetic dentist would determine whether you are suitable for Gingivectomy or Enameloplasty.
Enameloplasty is a scientific term that refers to removing a tooth's enamel. In some rare situations, this could be performed if the teeth are crowded to the point that you could develop tooth infections. However, this surgery is mostly done for cosmetic purposes.
You could also opt to have a gingivectomy operation, which involves the removal of sections of the gums. A professional dentist would carry out this operation for certain gum operations. For example, this operation would be helpful if a person feels like his or her gums are overly visible in their mouth, then this operation would be helpful.
Addition of Gum or Tooth Material
Some cosmetic dentistry procedures involve adding dental materials to the existing teeth. Teeth can deteriorate over time due to a variety of reasons. For instance, teeth conditions such as cavities could leave holes in the teeth that should be covered or filled with various dental operations.
In some instances, such as when a tooth is missing or destroyed, it could be essential to replace the tooth. This involves surgery that adds new dental materials to the mouth. Gum grafts could also be recommended in other cases to provide more gum material to the mouth.
Gum recession is a condition in which the gums expose an excessive portion of the teeth. In this case, gum grafts could help to protect the teeth and ensure your smile appears more natural when you open your teeth.
Alteration of Gum or Tooth Material
Even if you don't want to remove or add any gum or tooth material to alter the way the mouth looks, you may want to change these parts of the mouth with cosmetic dentistry procedures. Although tooth whitening is the most popular method of changing someone's teeth' appearance, some individuals may also opt to have their gums depigmented.
Brown or black spots may occasionally appear on the gums due to unusually high levels of melanin. These spots are not harmful and do not imply the presence of any diseases, but they can be unappealing.
Smoking may be the root cause of this problem. In this case, quitting is the best solution for excessive gum pigmentation. However, if your gum pigmentation is not related to smoking, cosmetic dentists could use a dental laser to remove the patches and restore your gums to a normal pink color.
Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth, and braces are almost always used to complete this procedure. Crooked teeth are not only unsightly, but they can also lead to serious medical issues that are disfiguring or painful.
Different Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Cosmetic dentists can change how a person's mouth appears in various ways, each with a different level of invasiveness and intensity. While some cosmetic dentistry practices also have functional benefits, others are purely cosmetic and intended to improve your appearance.
While any procedure that alters the mouth's appearance is technically a cosmetic dentistry operation, there are a few examples of techniques that cosmetic dentists commonly practice:
This is the most popular type of cosmetic dental practice. While there is nothing technically wrong with having teeth that are not completely white, several individuals believe that having white teeth is essential to their overall image. Competent cosmetic dentists are eager to accommodate this self-obsessed urge.
Most over-the-counter products and tubes of toothpaste claim to whiten teeth, but none produce the same noticeable results as professional tooth-whitening techniques. The traditional method of tooth whitening is commonly known as "tooth bleaching."
However, it does not use chlorine bleach, which most individuals relate to bleaching. Instead, the two main components used in tooth whitening are carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, which are believed to be reasonably safe and acceptable for dental use.
Tooth bleaching differs from tooth whitening in that tooth whitening involves removing stains from someone's teeth to restore their natural appearance. On the other hand, tooth bleaching lightens your teeth beyond what would look natural, giving them an appealing look.
Laser bleaching, like regular tooth bleaching, involves using bleaching chemicals on individual teeth. A cosmetic dentist would use a high-energy argon laser to resurface the chemically painted teeth. Doing so activates the bleaching chemical and speeds up the process. Experts claim that the laser whitening technique is six times more effective than the conventional method. This makes it very popular among individuals who want to have white teeth.
Braces can be used to correct misaligned teeth. However, a patient's teeth might have grown unevenly or incorrectly, which braces cannot correct. In these cases, cosmetic dentists would use a technique known as "reshaping" to modify the look of a single tooth or several teeth to improve the appearance of the mouth to look more appealing and uniform.
If you choose to proceed with reshaping, it's crucial to work with a professional cosmetic dentist who is experienced in that field. Reshaping the teeth involves the removal of the enamel, which is the outer layer of the teeth. Underneath the enamel is a component known as dentin, which, unlike the enamel, is sticky and soft rather than smooth and hard.
You're likely to lose a tooth if the dentin is exposed to the rest of the mouth. Therefore, cosmetic dentists should only partially remove the tooth's enamel during the reshaping process. Some specialists disagree, but avoiding the risk of removing too much enamel is preferable.
Reshaping can fix chips and other tooth damage in addition to altering the mouth. The procedure takes effect immediately. However, you should avoid reshaping unless your overall bite cannot be corrected with braces.
You should consider a gum lift procedure if the gum line appears asymmetrical. This procedure changes the gum line's appearance to make it more uniform. Gum lifting can also reduce the gums' size if you feel they are too high on the teeth.
Gum lifting includes the removal or addition of gum tissues, as well as the remodeling of the bones in the jaw. This procedure, sometimes referred to as crown lengthening, was initially used to treat gum diseases. However, in recent years, this operation has been carried out only for aesthetic reasons, and unlike gum contouring, gum lifting is a permanent procedure.
If you've been grinding your teeth for a long time, you may have worn away the enamel on the tops of the teeth, making them shorter than they should be. Your teeth's enamel can deteriorate due to conditions such as acid reflux illness. When the teeth are shorter than the original size, your bite appears cramped or constrained and may appear less prominent when you smile.
The bite reclamation procedure starts with a comprehensive assessment in which a cosmetic dentist determines the original height of the teeth. The dentist will then administer a local anesthetic as the bite reclamation procedure would probably affect some of the nerves in the teeth.
Finally, your dentist would use the same materials used in the fillings to restore the tops of the teeth to their original height. It is essential to remember that continuing to grind the teeth can cause fillings to wear out and grow back to their pre-reclamation size.
Using dental implants has grown in popularity over the decades. Implants are artificial teeth attached to titanium posts inserted into vacant tooth sockets in the jaw. Dental implants can be used when the original teeth are missing or have been removed.
This implies that a cosmetic dentist could advise you to have a tooth removed if the enamel has worn down significantly or if it's riddled with tooth cavities or other kinds of infection. As the jaw heals after an implant is placed, the bone in the tooth socket grows all around the titanium post in the dental implant, making it permanent.
Dental veneers are little laminates made of porcelain that are attached to the teeth. In some cases, teeth whitening would yield different effects, or you could choose to fix gaps between the teeth. The dental veneers act as an additional layer of enamel that safeguards and fills out the teeth.
However, to use a dental veneer, a cosmetic dentist must remove some of the existing enamel, and you should also be aware that dental veneers are long-lasting.
A cosmetic dentist will first make diagnostic mock-ups to figure out how the dental veneer will fit on the teeth before starting the veneering process. Cosmetic dentists can use these mock-ups to evaluate how a dental veneer would sound and look before committing to the permanent process of adding the layer to the teeth.
A dental crown is a common cosmetic dentistry equipment used to repair a tooth's strength and shape after it has been chipped or deteriorated. A crown can preserve a tooth compromised by decay while restoring the damaged tooth's aesthetic look. Crowns are constructed of resin, ceramic, porcelain, or metal and completely replace the top part of the tooth. These cosmetic treatments are often affordable and secure.
Other Dental Services
Other popular dental operations are often considered cosmetic. However, they're usually classified as medical or essential to ensure proper health. Braces are often used to correct bites that could cause crowding. Some people wear braces solely to improve their smiles.
Similarly, dentures are often required when chewing food and maintaining proper health of the jaws, but some individuals choose to wear dentures merely for aesthetic purposes. While these dental prostheses are less frequent, some prefer bridges to implants. These dentures are made up of artificial teeth attached to the teeth on opposite sides, and you could find that bridges are more aesthetically pleasing than other tooth replacement solutions.
Trends in Cosmetic Dentistry
Natural-looking and tooth-colored dental materials have come a long way. This has made modern cosmetic dental procedures more reliable and long-lasting than traditional treatments. Most dentists apply conservative techniques while carrying out cosmetic dentistry to retain as much of the tooth's natural structure as possible. Your specific situation would determine the cosmetic dental process used by a dentist.
Dentists embrace cutting-edge technology to perform cosmetic dental operations. They use lasers and other technologies to perform specific procedures in their clinics. The recovery period has improved with sophisticated cosmetic dental procedures.
FAQS on Cosmetic Dentistry
Below are some of the frequently asked questions about cosmetic dentistry.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Worth It?
Yes, cosmetic dental procedures are worth it. It is a long-term investment that enhances your:
- Quality of life
- Oral Health
Your grin serves as a physical reflection of how happy you are. When you have a smile you enjoy, your happiness would skyrocket. You wouldn't be able to hold back your smile.
Cosmetic procedures, like tooth replacement, improve your oral health. After losing a tooth, the surrounding bones and tissues begin to shift, giving you a sunken-in appearance that makes you look older than you are.
Furthermore, filling gaps left by tooth loss or fixing your bite improves your ability to consume effectively. You are getting a new smile with cosmetic dentistry and improving your life.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Covered By Dental Insurance?
Cosmetic dentistry is often not covered under dental insurance. Nevertheless, certain dental insurance policies could pay a portion of the cost for procedures like dental crowns if the main goal is to fix a structural problem. Often, a dentist would provide financing alternatives or third-party financing providers to help you manage your finances.
Who is an Accredited Cosmetic Dental Practitioner?
A dentist who has completed the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry's accreditation process and received the prestigious AAACD accreditation certificate after receiving cosmetic dentistry training for several years is known as an accredited cosmetic dentist.
The AACD offers its dentist members a variety of learning programs. Dentists who want to be the best seek accreditation with the AACD, where they are put to the challenge through practical exams as well as case presentations.
Why Should I Go For Professional Teeth Whitening Rather Than At-Home Treatments?
It is always preferable to get your teeth examined and fixed by a dentist because nothing can match professional assistance. In addition to addressing typical dental issues, they can check your teeth and identify any issues that need to be addressed right away. You might not get a satisfactory or fast result when you decide to pursue at-home whitening procedures.
What Common Dental Issues Can Be Treated With Cosmetic Dentistry?
A dentist can use restorative dentistry to repair chipped or broken teeth. However, if you suffer from the following issues, you can see a dental practitioner for cosmetic reasons:
- Discolored or stained teeth
- Spaces between the teeth
- Uneven teeth
- Decayed teeth
Find a Cosmetic Dentist Near Me
If you are unhappy with your smile or other oral traits, it could be time to pursue cosmetic dentistry treatment. Our professionals at Beach Dental Care Anaheim offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services to enhance your appearance. Our dentists are located in Anaheim, California. Call us today at 714-995-4000 to schedule a consultation with us.