What There Is to Know About Cosmetic Dentistry

What There Is to Know About Cosmetic DentistryCosmetic dentistry is a term that has been…

What There Is to Know About Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is a term that has been used to describe dental procedures aimed at improving a person’s appearance by improving the health of his gums, teeth and smile. These procedures correct the simplest dental problem to severe ones.

Not only is it cosmetic, these types of procedures also improve the functions of the teeth, which include chewing food properly, as well as speaking properly. Medical practitioners who have been performing these dental procedures are called cosmetic dentists.

The Fields of This Type of Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry has been classified into two categories: orthodontics and prosthodontics. The field of orthodontics deals with studying and treating ‘bad bites’ or malocclusions. Bad bites may be due to tooth irregularity, jaw misalignment or both. Prosthetic dentistry has been popularly known as prosthodontics. This field deals with the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of oral appearance and function.

Cosmetic Procedures

There have been several procedures developed for the purpose of improving one’s smile and bite. Among these dental cosmetic procedures include teeth whitening (bleaching of the teeth), odontoplasty or enameloplasty (reshaping of the tooth), bonding (sculpting, hardening and polishing the tooth), gum lift (raising and sculpting of the gum) and bite reclamation (restoring bite that has been degraded due to acid reflux or excessive grinding). Putting in dental bridges to replace missing teeth can also be considered a dental cosmetic procedure. Other dental cosmetic procedures include putting in dental crowns, tooth fillings, porcelain onlays/inlays and Invisalign (a new type of removable teeth aligners that can be used as an alternative to dental braces).

Materials Involved in Dental Cosmetic Procedures

In earlier years, amalgams (metal alloys) and gold have been used as dental fillings. These have also been used in other tooth restorations before. However, concerns have been raised regarding the possible health risks that metal amalgams (such as mercury) bring. Studies have shown that exposure to mercury has increased the risk of acquiring medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. This has prompted the development of newer and safer materials to be used. Nowadays, materials that are being used for cosmetic dental procedures compose mainly of porcelain and other composite materials. These composite materials are safer, as these do not contain mercury. Porcelain, as well as other composite materials have also been considered better in terms of achieving physical results as these have been able to give a more tooth-like look. Having natural looking dental structures is what has always been preferred by both dentist and patient for cosmetic dentistry.