A beautiful smile enhances ones confidence and self esteem. Smile is best thing we can do with our lips. Smile can bridge gap between strangers and make enemies & friends. Teeth play an important role in making a smile attractive and beautiful. It is not the perfect teeth that are important but the presence of various teeth, gums, lip line and curvature of mouth in harmony. It is the relation that these components of smile i.e. teeth, gums, lips, amount of teeth shown etc share that makes a smile the perfect smile. Dental science today has made advances in the field of cosmetic dentistry to be able to give the patients a pleasing smile by altering, repositioning and reorganizing teeth. Teeth can be worked on without any harmful effects, to give a better esthetic appeal.
The Perfect Smile
Cosmetic dentistry is general dentistry plus art. It deals with the general dental work along with close attention to the appearance. Cosmetic dentistry deals with the aesthetics and function side by side.
Who is a cosmetic dentist
A cosmetic dentist is a person who after his dental school training has received special training in cosmetic dentistry. A cosmetic dentist is a dentist who has an artistic inclination. With his artistic skill and passion for beauty, a cosmetic dentist along with knowledge of various cosmetic materials and training in their manipulation, works to create a beautiful smile.
Smile Line Enhancement
Smile is the way to ones heart. It can disarm the strongest opponents. To get that picture perfect smile, various smile enhancement options are available in cosmetic dentistry. These range from teeth whitening to receiving veneers and crowns to orthodontic and surgical procedures to get a beautiful smile.
Teeth bleaching is one of the most common procedures of cosmetic dentistry. It whitens and brightens the discolored or stained teeth. Bleaching or teeth whitening procedures provide good results in cases of staining or discoloration due to injury, eating or drinking habits, root canal treatment, etc. results have not been so attractive in cases with discoloration due to certain medications such as tetracycline or staining due to excessive consumption of fluorides due the formative stages of tooth development. The dental stains can be divided into following types:
Extrinsic or Superficial Dental Stains
These stains are present superficially on the tooth structure. Sources of extrinsic tooth staining include cigarettes, coffee, tea, tobacco chewing, or certain foods that contain lots of spices. Milder forms of extrinsic stains may easily be removed with certain toothpastes while others will require professional treatment.
These stains are present embedded in the tooth. These include stains due to certain medications, fluorides, injury or structural maldevelopment. These stains cannot be removed by simple brushing and flossing. Professional treatment is mandatory.
Teeth whitening is one of the most important cosmetic dentistry procedures. There are many ways of teeth whitening. Teeth whitening can be done the user at home or from dentist. There are lots of teeth whitening OTC products available in the market. The various ways of teeth whitening are discusses as under.
The two most commonly employed techniques of tooth bleaching are;
In Office Treatment
In this the dentist does a thorough oral prophylaxis and applies the bleaching agent on to the discolored teeth carefully protecting the gums and other oral tissues. The Chair side Whitening System, as it is commonly known, is a safe, fast and very effective tooth whitening treatment.
The professionally supervised home tooth bleaching/whitening treatment is easy and simple, relatively inexpensive and equally effective as compared to the in chair side tooth whitening treatment. It just takes longer time to show desired results. In this treatment technique, the dentist makes clear plastic trays custom made for the patient which acts as a splint to keep the whitening gel in contact with the teeth for a longer period. The patient places the gel in the tray and wears it for the prescribed period of time i.e. couple of hours during the day or overnight. The desired result is obtained within two to four weeks depending upon the amount of stains presents. The dentist keeps a check on the progress of bleaching treatment with follow up appointments.
All bleaching gels contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. It is nascent oxygen released by peroxide that helps in bleaching. The peroxide concentration used in office treatment is much more than that used in at home bleaching treatment, as a result the desired result is obtained in a shorter duration of time.
Cosmetic Dental Contouring
The cosmetic dentist can shape or contour the tooth/teeth to improve the appearance of the tooth/teeth. It is also known as slenderizing, enameloplasty or re-contouring. It can be used to correct a chipped or cracked tooth, crooked teeth or overlapping teeth. It can be used to alter shape or length of the tooth by few millimeters. It cannot be used to correct large discrepancies as the lost enamel is irreplaceable.
Cosmetic Dental Veneers
Cosmetic dental veneers are made of porcelain or ceramic that are bonded to the front surface of the anterior teeth to improve their aesthetics. The porcelain veneers are thin translucent facings that are laboratory fabricated and bonded on to the carefully prepared tooth to create the perfect smile. The tooth is reduced slightly to receive a veneer. These are tooth like and cannot be distinguished from the tooth easily. The porcelain is very tough and stain resistant and thus don't discolor. The only disadvantage of the cosmetic dental veneers is that they very technique sensitive and if broken they cannot be repaired or patched; the whole veneer has to be replaced.
In comparison to traditional crowns, veneers are much more conservative of the tooth structure, more aesthetic and less irritating to gums and other oral tissues. The cosmetic dental are first choice while doing a smile enhancement procedure. They offer superb results in cases of tooth misalignment, gaps and correction form, shape or shade of tooth.
Cosmetic Dental Lumineers
Cosmetic dental lumineers are extra tough wafer thin porcelain veneers that are bonded to the front of the teeth without having to reduce or grind the tooth structure as done with porcelain veneers. They are less technique sensitive than veneers. These can be easily removed if someone wants to without any side effects on the tooth.
Cosmetic Dental Crowns
Dental crowns have been in use since a very long time. Metal ceramic crowns that have been used for long are now slowly been replaced by the more aesthetic all porcelain crowns. Still at times the metal foundation is required in back stress bearing areas. In teeth that badly broken down by caries or loss of tooth structure, fractured teeth or rot canal treated teeth, dental crowns are the best treatment modality.
Cosmetic composite restorations are tooth colored fillings that have replaced the old silver amalgam fillings. These are available in different colors and can be easily matched to the tooth color making them totally indistinguishable to the normal eye. These are used to fill carious defects, chipped or cracked teeth, correct stained areas, and fill small gaps. They are comparatively less expensive than veneers and crowns. Though costly and more technique sensitive than the silver amalgam fillings these are far more aesthetic than them.
Dental bonding is used to correct gaps between teeth, chipped teeth or cover discolorations. It can also repair fractures and can be used to re- shape teeth. This is generally used for smaller defects. It is a direct technique that requires artistic skill, time and patience of the cosmetic dentist to create a beautiful result by matching colors and shaping and polishing teeth without any outside help. The dental bonding procedures are very successful in cases of small defects but they are not useful for large smile makeovers. The procedure is very time consuming and thus very expensive. And the larger areas tend to abrade faster and lose their luster earlier than the small ones.
Invisalign or invisible braces are an aesthetic option available to those who are a candidate for orthodontic treatment for getting their crooked teeth corrected to get a beautiful and pleasing smile.
Dental jewellery is an excellent way to add sparkle to your smile and stand out of the crowd. It is available in two colors: crystal and sapphire blue. Putting a dental jewellery is a painless procedure and is totally non invasive. The dentist fixes the dental jewel on to the tooth with a bonding agent. It is usually attached to the upper front teeth. The jewel does not harm the tooth and does not have any deleterious effects on the dental tissues. The dental jewellery adds a sparkle to ones smile. This oral fashion statement is slowly gaining popularity among the youngsters specially the males. If someone wants to get his/her dental jewel removed, it can be easily removed without any side effects on the tooth. And also it can be later re-fixed, if desired.
Crown Lengthening Procedures
In cases with short teeth, the cosmetic dentist can create an appearance of longer and symmetrical teeth by either orthodontically extruding the tooth or surgically incising a part of gum tissue along with small amounts of underlying bone.
Gum lift procedure
Gum lift is a cosmetic dental surgical procedure that raises and shapes the gum line. The procedure involves reshaping of gum tissues and/or underlying bone to improve the appearance of the patient with gummy smile. The gum lift procedure can also be used to create an appearance of more symmetrical teeth.
Artificial Pigmentation in Gums
Very dark or very light gums can be unaesthetic. At most times it is the melanin pigmentation that causes the dark gums. At other times it may be due to some medications which can cause over /under pigmentation. The cosmetic dentist can artificially add pigment to the light colored gum tissue or bleach the darker ones to create a beautiful and esthetic smile. It is simple procedure and can be completed within a short duration. It has shown desirable results.
Cost of Cosmetic Dental Treatment
The cost of cosmetic dentistry is very variable. It varies from place to place and from dentist to dentist, depending upon the expertise of the cosmetic dentist. We would specially warn you not to go to a dentist because his fees is less or more, check out his expertise and training in the field of cosmetic dentistry before going to him.
An estimated average cost of cosmetic dental treatments is cited below to give you and idea about the cost of cosmetic dentistry:
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