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What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
What does cosmetic mean in dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a term used to refer to a variety of dental procedures that focus on improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, gums, and bite. These smile enhancing procedures can include dental bonding, veneers, bonding, crowns, teeth whitening, implants, bridges, gum reshaping, orthodontic treatment (such as Invisalign or braces), or even a complete smile makeover. The overall goal of cosmetic dentistry is for a dentist to help his or her patient create a beautiful, natural looking smile.


What Is the Difference Between a Dentist and a Cosmetic Dentist?

The difference between a dentist and a cosmetic dentist is that a cosmetic dentist is simply a normal dentist who specifically focuses on improving the appearance of people’s teeth. Most normal dentists offer a number of cosmetic dental procedures, but for a regular dentist to call himself or herself a cosmetic dentist, this would usually imply that they offer a lot of procedures that improve how their patient’s teeth look and spend a lot of their time performing these types of procedures.

Normal dentistry also predates cosmetic dentistry with general dentistry tracing its origins back to Egypt around 3,000 BC while there is currently only evidence of cosmetic dentistry being practiced as early as 700 BC.

What is the Most Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedure?

The most popular cosmetic dental procedure is teeth whitening or tooth bleaching. A lot of people like this option because it’s fairly quick, simple, readily available, and affordable. In fact, it’s possible for a cosmetic dentist to lighten someone’s teeth up to 10 shades brighter in just a single one hour teeth whitening session. The results don’t last forever, though, and fade over time. Anyone can buy tooth whitening or bleaching kits at stores, on the internet, or from a dentist’s offices. However, the best results are obtained from having the procedure done professionally in a dental office. Dentists have the best equipment and safest procedures that will produce the best results.

For someone who has badly stained or imperfect teeth, a permanent tooth whitening option could be to get porcelain veneers. They don’t stain as easily as regular teeth, you can choose your shade of white, and they look very natural. You can learn more about this option below. If this is something that interests you, then it’s something you could discuss with your dentist.

What Are the Different Types of Cosmetic Dentistry?

In addition to teeth whitening, there are many other types of cosmetic dentistry. Some of them include the following:

  • Dental veneers: these are thin shells that are customized to fit over the visible, front surface of teeth. They are used to address a number of issues including chipped, stained, or misshapen teeth.
  • Dental bonding: this is a cosmetic procedure where a tooth colored material is applied to a tooth, sculpted into the desired shape, it hardens, and then is polished to look natural. This treatment is used to fix broken, chipped, or discolored teeth.
  • Dental implants: these are artificial tooth roots surgically placed in or on the jawbone that provide a stable, permanent base for artificial replacement teeth called crowns.
  • Orthodontics (braces or Invisalign): this is a procedure used to slowly straighten crooked teeth or move teeth back into a desired position. This can be done to improve the overall look of teeth but also to correct bite issues or fix overcrowding of teeth at the front of the mouth.

If You’re Considering a Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure, Speak with Your Dentist or a Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry can do wonders to the look of one’s teeth and smile. If this is something you are considering, speak with your dentist or a cosmetic dentist that you are impressed with. Depending on the final result you are looking for, there could be a number of different ways a dentist or cosmetic dentist could approach the job and some options may cost a lot more than others. Having a discussion about your end goal, the options available, and then the budget you can afford will help your dentist come up with a treatment plan that will work for you.

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