Cosmetic dentistry is generally understood as dental work that improves the appearance of your smile. But this doesn’t mean cosmetic dentists disregard your oral health. All dentists are licensed to care for your overall health of your teeth and gums. Cosmetic dentistry is not an official dental specialty, rather a special emphasis certain general dentists place on not only the health of your smile, but the appearance as well.
When you visit your dentist, they should give you an overall evaluation of your oral health along with a recommended plan for treatment. Dentists who focus on cosmetics don’t stop there. Once your mouth is healthy, they go the extra step to make your smile even more beautiful.
Why see a cosmetic dentist?
A good general dentist should be able to evaluate your oral health and inform you of any issues you may have. However, there could be several treatment options available to you. By working with a cosmetic dentist from the beginning, they may be able to offer you treatment options that will minimize any negative cosmetic effects. With their unique perspective on esthetics and familiarity with the latest techniques, they may even be able to treat your oral health issues and improve your smile all in one treatment.
For someone who has struggled with unsightly teeth, a beautiful smile can be life changing. People who are proud of their teeth have more confidence, smile more often, and have a more positive attitude. Studies have even shown improved career success among people with great smiles.
What procedures do cosmetic dentists offer?
Dentists who focus on cosmetic dentistry usually offer general dental treatment such as periodic cleanings & exams, fillings, root canals, crowns, and other restorations. In addition to general dentistry, they may also offer:
- Tooth Whitening – Tooth whitening can remove stains from coffee, tea, tobacco, or even medication. The procedure can be performed in-office, or with take-home whitening trays molded perfectly to your teeth. A cosmetic dentist can help you choose the best tooth whitening system for your needs.
- Porcelain Veneers – Porcelain veneers are translucent porcelain laminates that permanently cover the front of your teeth, covering stains and correcting discolored, worn-down, chipped or cracked teeth. A small amount of enamel is removed to make the veneer fit seamlessly on your tooth.
- Lumineers – Similar to veneers, Lumineers go on top of your teeth without removing any enamel. They offer a less-permanent option for people who do not want to remove any enamel, but may not be quite as durable or natural-looking.
- Porcelain Crowns – Used when teeth have been badly damaged or lost enamel, porcelain crowns cover the remaining tooth offering strength, protection, and a beautiful smile.
- Cosmetic Bonding – This procedure uses a composite resin bonded to your tooth and sculpted to improve appearance, repairing chips, closing gaps, or whitening teeth.
- Cosmetic Contouring – Both tooth contouring and gum line contouring can smooth out irregularities and improve the look of your smile.
- Dental Implants – Dental implants offer a secure anchor for beautiful, secure tooth restorations, whether it’s for a single tooth or replacing multiple teeth.
- Smile Makeovers – Cosmetic dentists may use a combination of techniques above to complete your smile makeover and give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Your dentist will need to evaluate your teeth before presenting the best options for you.