Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry focusing on improving the appearance of your teeth, mouth, and smile. It is often used to correct oral issues, such as discoloration, gaps, chips, misshapen, misalignment, and crowded teeth. While it is beneficial for aesthetic reasons, it offers many health advantages.
This article will discuss some of these, how cosmetic dentistry differs from general dentistry, and the common procedures in both practices.
Cosmetic Dentistry Vs. General Dentistry
General dentistry deals with preventing, detecting, and treating oral diseases and issues that affect the health of your teeth and gums. This includes:
- Dental fillings
In short, general dentistry focuses on the health of your teeth and gums, while cosmetic dentistry is more focused on improving their appearance. It’s best to understand this significant difference to know which type of dentist to consult. Some clinics offer a full range of general, surgery, and cosmetic dentistry services, such as this dentist in Albuquerque.
What Are the Procedures in Cosmetic Dentistry?
Here are the most common treatments involved in cosmetic dentistry:
- Teeth whitening. This procedure uses whitening agents (hydrogen or carbamide peroxide) to lighten teeth. The results are often immediate, but you may need more than one session if your tooth stain is severe. Visit https://essenmacherdental.com/cosmetic-dentistry/ to know more about how it works.
- Veneers. Veneers are thin shells (usually made of porcelain) that cover the front surfaces of teeth to change their shape, size, and color. They can also be used to correct minor chips or cracks or to close gaps between your teeth.
- Dental implants. While it may also consider restorative dentistry, a dental implant is one way to improve your teeth’s appearance. It is a long-lasting method (up to 25 years) of replacing one or more missing teeth. It involves surgically placing the implants on your jawbone and affixing replacement teeth (crown, bridge, or dentures) over them for a natural look. You may visit this page to find out more about dental implants.
- Dental bonding. This is a popular way to restore chips or cracks in your teeth, which often requires minimal preparation. It is made of tooth-colored resin that your dentist applies to your tooth and then solidifies with a laser or ultraviolet light to bond it to your teeth. Your dentist will finish the process by trimming, shaping, and polishing for a more natural look.
- Dental crowns. Depending on your preference, these can be made from various materials like porcelain and ceramic. The treatment aims to cover an entire tooth to address severely discolored or misshapen teeth. It may also be used to hold a cracked tooth together and protect a damaged one.
- Inlays and Onlay. These are also called indirect fillings, made from different materials, such as gold and porcelain. Your dentist will bond it to the midpoint of your decayed or damaged tooth (inlay) or other areas, which is called onlay.
How Does Cosmetic Dentistry Benefit Your Oral Health?
- It prevents tooth decay. If you have crooked or gaps in your teeth, cleaning them is more difficult, which can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Correcting these issues with cosmetic dentistry, like dental crowns, allows you to brush and floss more effectively.
- It helps prevent jawbone loss. Unaddressed tooth loss for a long time can lead to jawbone deterioration. A cosmetic dentistry treatment like implants can help prevent this by supporting the surrounding jawbone tissues.
- It helps reduce gum diseases. If you have gaps between your teeth, food particles can become trapped, leading to gum disease. By closing these gaps with dental bridges, you can reduce the risk of developing gum disease.
- It helps preserve the remaining tooth. Teeth are held in position by their roots and surrounding teeth. If you lose one tooth, the neighboring tooth can shift into the space left by the lost tooth. This results in misalignments and tooth damage. A dental implant or bridge can replace the missing tooth or bridge the gap to prevent other surrounding teeth from shifting.
The Bottom Line
Cosmetic dentistry can help improve your smile’s aesthetics and prevent future oral health problems. Consult your dentist to determine which treatment is best for your condition.