A cosmetic dentist specializes in the appearance of your teeth. They are trained as dentists and perform many of the same functions, but their emphasis is on how your teeth, gums, and mouth look. Cosmetic dentistry has grown considerably over the past few decades as more people want to improve their smile. A dentist who specializes in this field will offer services such as teeth whitening, veneers, and restoration procedures that are designed to create a more youthful appearance to your smile.
To become a cosmetic dentist, specialized courses are needed and frequent training on the latest techniques. Such courses are provided year-round to ensure that the dentist knows the techniques and has access to the latest equipment.
cosmetic dentistry benefits
many great benefits to cosmetic dentistry are:
- Improved appearance :Of course, looking better does have its advantages. An improved appearance makes us feel better about ourselves. This has many benefits, from the way we interact with others to our own feelings of self-worth.
- Improved self-confidence: The benefits of improved self-confidence aren’t easy to measure. Our self-esteem impacts every aspect of our lives, from our personal relationships to our professional careers. We want to smile on the inside, but we want that smile to be reflected on the outside as well. Cosmetic dentistry treatments improves the appearance of chipped or cracked teeth which in turn improves self-confidence.
- Improved diet :Having a tooth missing makes it difficult to chew some types of food. Having several missing teeth greatly impacts the way we eat. An uneven bite may prevent us from chewing properly which makes digestion more difficult. Dental problems that seem minor can impact our entire daily food intake. A healthy diet not only improves physical health, but mental health as well.
- Improved dental health :Cosmetic dentistry improves our appearance but also protects against future dental issues.
- Improved financial outlook :Preventive dental care is about avoiding future problems. As an added bonus, avoiding expensive dental procedures saves money. Dental implants protect bone and gum tissue and prevents teeth from shifting. Left unchecked, this may lead to bigger problems.
What are the different types of cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry comes in a wide range of treatments. These include:
Dental implants are used to replace teeth that are missing in your mouth. They can be used for a single tooth or for multiple teeth, which is the nice thing about them. An artificial tooth root is implanted into the jaw bone to create a solid foundation and then an abutment and crown is affixed to it. Patients who receive dental implants must provide proper care for them such as good oral hygiene to avoid failure of the implants and gum disease.
Made from a ceramic material, veneers are a wonderful choice for patients who want to hide flaws on their teeth. Veneers do look natural and no one will be able to tell the difference between your natural tooth and the ceramic. Most patients choose this procedure for cracked, damaged, or discolored enamel on a tooth.
Inlays and onlays
Known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays work to protect your tooth when your tooth cannot support a traditional filling. The inlay is placed onto the surface of the tooth while the only covers the entire tooth’s surface. Both options are made from a composite resin and work to strengthen and support your teeth.
Arguably one of the most common dental procedures, teeth whitening is perfect when you want that beautiful white glow to your teeth. Over time, teeth become stained from the things we eat, and drink and whitening procedures can lift and remove those stains. Usually done in office or as a take home kit, the whitening process is simple and easy, and you will see immediate results in most cases.
Composite bonding is used when you need to have a tooth repaired due to being discolored, decayed, or damaged. When you come into our office, the damaged or decayed area of the tooth is removed, and the composite is applied directly onto the tooth. The composite is activated with a light that makes it easy to shape to the tooth. Once hardened, the tooth looks natural. Bonding is one of the most economical ways to correct a cosmetic problem with a tooth.
Is cosmetic dentistry safe?
Cosmetic dental procedures are very similar in process to regular dental procedures. The only difference is the end result. Cosmetic dentistry aims for a more aesthetically pleasing smile and regular dental work aims for dental health. Because their processes are so similar, they pose the same amount of risk, and that’s very little.
- Invisalign, as well as metal braces, pose probably the least risk of the dental procedures available.
- One of the only side effects of teeth whitening is increased sensitivity to teeth overtime. This can be curbed by your dentists by applying less bleach to the formula and customizing your treatment as much as possible.
- Sometimes when veneers are applied in conjunction with a dental implant, the tooth needs to be shaved down and restructured. This procedure can be complex and the dentist can cause trauma to the tooth which could result for the need of a root canal down the line. These are rare instances, but there have been cases reported.
So you see, cosmetic dentistry poses almost the same risks as any old dental procedure. As long as you consult the right cosmetic dentists, you will be in the best, capable hands.
Choosing the best cosmetic dentist
There are numerous criteria upon which you can select a cosmetic dentist. For some patients, it comes down to convenience and cost. But if you’re looking for the best cosmetic dentist that will help you achieve your best smile, evaluate candidates on these points:
Training & Education in cosmetic dentistry
Very few dental schools provide general education in cosmetic dentistry. Therefore, it is essential that a dentist pursue post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry to master the principles. There are numerous, well-respected cosmetic dentistry education programs.
Skill & Experience in cosmetic dentistry
In addition to education and hands-on training, it is important to know how many years of experience a dentist has practicing cosmetic dentistry. Also ask the dentist how much of his or her practice is devoted to cosmetic dentistry. While there is no specialty in cosmetic dentistry, those who strive to be the best in their field see a significant volume of patients for cosmetic and restorative dental treatments. As with any craft, the level of skill often corresponds with the number of years of experience. That’s not to say that a new dentist can’t provide excellent cosmetic dental treatment.
Before-and-After photos & patient testimonials
Ask to see examples of cosmetic work completed by the dentist. You can also search online for reviews and testimonials and even ask the dentist if you can speak with a few of his or her patients.
But what it all comes down to is how comfortable do you feel in the practice. If the dentist and staff make you feel comfortable and well cared for, you’re sure to have a great experience.