Cosmetic dentistry is the branch of dentistry that involves correcting crooked, chipped, misaligned or discolored teeth. Cosmetic dentistry improves people’s smiles, increases their self-confidence and motivates them to practice better oral hygiene.
Some procedures are strictly cosmetic, such as teeth whitening or porcelain veneers. Many procedures that fall under the definition of cosmetic dentistry, however, have clear advantages to the strength and health of the teeth and mouth.
Issues that make teeth look bad, such as decayed teeth, broken teeth, or missing teeth, generally lead to further deterioration of the health of your mouth. Replacing missing teeth with dentures or implants, getting broken teeth capped with crowns, or filling in gaps between teeth with bonding material will strengthen your teeth, help you to chew better and in-turn improve the entire condition of your mouth.
Some cosmetic dental procedures include:
The most strictly cosmetic of cosmetic dental procedures, teeth whitening can be beneficial for anyone who is embarrassed by stained or yellow teeth.
Veneers can change the appearance of chipped, misshapen or cracked teeth. They can also change the color of teeth. They are permanent and non-reversible, but they are too thin to provide any additional tooth strength.
Dental crowns are the solution for teeth that are too severely damaged for veneers. A crown covers the tooth all the way around and restores it to a full and healthy state.
Dentures or Dental Implants
When teeth are lost or so severely damaged or decayed that they cannot be saved, they can (and should) be replaced with false teeth or dental implants. Dental implants involve the surgical placement of metal posts into the gums, which are then topped with artificial teeth. While dentures are less invasive and less expensive, implants are a more stable and permanent solution.
Composite resin fillings come in natural-looking shades that match your teeth. They also eliminate the metallic taste that some people experience with traditional fillings.
You should never let the word “cosmetic” make you think that these dental procedures are not important. Remember that great smiles and healthy teeth go together; if you have one, you’re much more likely to have the other.