MediCenter
  • Cosmetic Dentistry

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry aimed at creating a positive change to your teeth and to your smile. Most think of tooth whitening or veneers when cosmetic dentistry comes to mind, but a cosmetic dentist can provide much more.
A skilled, experienced cosmetic dentist can help to improve your appearance, your smile, even your self-esteem, and confidence. Today, cosmetic dentistry has continued to evolve to where cosmetic dentists can address functional and esthetic patient concerns.

Your First Appointment

While we all feel we know a beautiful smile when we see one, there is no perfect smile. That’s because each person has a different perception of what is beautiful; you and your cosmetic dentist may even have a difference of opinion. So it’s important that you discover what you really like and then communicate that to your dentist.
While we all feel we know a beautiful smile when we see one, there is no perfect smile. That’s because each person has a different perception of what is beautiful; you and your cosmetic dentist may even have a difference of opinion. So it’s important that you discover what you really like and then communicate that to your dentist.

The Dentist’s View

Studies have been conducted to determine what dentists and other dental professionals see, and what the patients see, when looking at a beautiful smile. While non-dentists typically focus on a single element, cosmetic dentists look at the entire complex–the lips, gums, teeth, bite, face, personality type, hair and skin color, and more. They examine the smile and analyze the length of the teeth, how the teeth line up with other facial features, gum-to-lip distance, and other characteristics.
While it’s important for dentists to listen to their patients to understand what is desired, it’s equally crucial for patients to listen carefully to their dentists to understand what procedures are being suggested and what they entail. It’s this attention to dental details that can create an appealing smile—and great results.

  • Some procedures which are within the envelope of Cosmetic dentistry are:
Inlays/Onlays

Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays made from porcelain or composite materials are a long-lasting yet cosmetic way to provide a "filling" to teeth with tooth decay or similar structural damage. Whereas dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory before being fitted and adhesively bonded into place by your dentist.

Composite Bonding

Chipped, broken, discolored or decayed teeth may be repaired or have their appearance corrected using a procedure called composite bonding. A dental composite material with the look of enamel and dentin is applied into the cavity or onto the surface of a tooth, where it is then sculpted into shape, contoured and hardened with a high-intensity light. The result is a restoration that blends invisibly with the remainder of the surrounding tooth structure and the rest of your natural teeth to create a healthy, bright smile.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is perhaps the most commonly recommended cosmetic dentistry procedure. Teeth are often stained from smoking, food, drink (coffee, tea or red wine) or poor oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth can enhance the appearance of your smile.

Dental Veneers

Composite or porcelain laminates that are adhesively bonded to the surface of a tooth to correct and repair chips and cracks will improve a worn appearance or severe tooth discoloration. Veneers may also be recommended if you have gaps in your teeth or if you have not had success with teeth whitening. Evaluate porcelain veneers cost and determine whether dental insurance may offset the cost.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used as a part of prosthetic (artificial replacement) dentistry in order to compensate for tooth loss. Often the result is not only an enhanced smile, but also a more youthful appearance, since missing teeth cause the face to collapse, making you look older.

Smile Makeover

Smile makeovers involve a comprehensive assessment of your smile esthetics in order to improve its overall appearance. Typically one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental veneers, dental implants, gingival sculpting and teeth whitening, will be required for several teeth in both the upper and lower arches in order to achieve the look you want.

Full mouth reconstruction

While consulting with you about a smile makeover to primarily improve the esthetic appearance of your smile, your dentist may discover that there is a need to provide necessary treatment to correct functional problems with your bite, muscles, teeth and bone structure. If you need full mouth reconstruction, the materials available today make it possible for your dentist to provide you with durable, functional and clinically sound treatments that also look natural.
Cosmetic dentistry offers many options for people who are unhappy with their smile. If you are one of these people, we encourage you to read our comprehensive cosmetic procedure articles to learn about the various treatments available to beautify your smile.