Cosmetic dentistry primarily involves improving a person's smile and facial appearance. It could involve the teeth, gums, cheeks, lips, or the bite of the patient. Accordingly, a change can be produced in the color, position, size or shape of the teeth, alignment of the teeth, contouring of the smile, etc. The end result is always a better facial appearance and improved confidence level of the patient.
Some common examples of cosmetic dentistry include:
- Teeth whitening: There are very few people who are happy with the color of their teeth. Everybody wants whiter teeth and therefore go for options like bleaching. This can be done either in the dental office or done at home. A word of caution though - go for teeth whitening only after the consultation with a dentist.
- Veneers, crowns: Just as the color of the teeth, the shape of the teeth also leaves a lot to be desired for almost everybody. Veneers are applied on the teeth after removing a thin layer of tooth structure. Minor reshaping and contouring of the tooth can also be done, especially to improve appearance in the front teeth.
- Tooth contouring/shaping: The edges of the teeth can be smoothened by mere shaping or contouring. There is no extra material that is added to the tooth here. In some cases, a thin layer of resin may be bonded to the tooth if required.
- Bridges: In cases the adjacent teeth shape, size, or color mismatch, then bridges can be done to even out the difference and produce a more corrected appearance.
- Braces: Braces are a big hit as they help correct misaligned teeth. However, the next step with invisible braces and ceramic braces is another step towards moving away from the traditional metal braces, which itself was not cosmetically received.
- Onlays and Inlays: Improper tooth shapes can be corrected with parts of the teeth that either replace only a small decayed portion or the entire crown portion to produce a more pleasing effect.
- Implants: Though fixed bridges do a very good job at replacing lost teeth, implants go to the next level in terms of the aesthetic replacement.
- Gingivoplasty: In cases where the gums have black spots, are too short, or are too long, the gums can be shaped to provide a better teeth visibility. The gums can also be sculpted to produce a more appealing gum line that shows off the teeth to give a more harmonious smile.
- Bite correction: In addition to braces, in some cases, bite correction may be required to smoothen out a sharp cusp or reduce the prominence of the canine.
With a number of corrections possible, cosmetic dentistry is here to stay - just as the drive to look good.