Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of teeth, gums and/or bite. It primarily focuses on improvement in dental aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment and overall smile appearance
Cosmetic dentistry may involve:
the addition of a dental material to teeth or gums – examples: bonding, porcelain veneers (laminates), crowns (caps), gum grafts
the removal of tooth structure or gums – examples: enameloplasty, gingivectomy
neither adding nor removing dental materials, tooth structure, or gums – examples: teeth whitening (bleaching), laser whitening, gum depigmentation
straightening of teeth accompanied by improvement in appearance of face– orthodontics veneers, dental laminates - conservative
Whitening, or "tooth bleaching", is the most common cosmetic dental procedure.
Laser whitening is a teeth whitening technique in which gums are covered with a rubber dam and a bleaching chemical is applied on the teeth. A beam of argon laser, which is intended to accelerate the process of bleaching,
Tooth reshaping removes parts of the enamel to improve the appearance of the tooth. It may be used to correct a small chip, or to alter the length, shape or position of teeth, as well as when there is tooth size discrepancy;
Bonding is a process in which an enamel-like dental composite material is color matched, applied to a tooth's surface, sculpted into proper tooth contour, hardened and then polished. An examples of a bonded restorations are inlays and onlays, which are used to repair decayed & cracked teeth. Teeth damaged by small to moderate decay, erosion, or small fractures can be repaired with direct composite restorations bonded to the teeth. Aesthetics are especially critical in anterior composite restorations
Dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Teeth on both sides of the space left by the missing teeth are prepared.
Veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made porcelain laminates that are bonded directly to the teeth. They are an option for closing gaps, enhance the shape, or change the color of teeth that do not respond well to whitening procedures. In the majority of the cases, some level of tooth reduction is necessary for optimal results.
Dental implants are prosthetic replacements for missing teeth. According to ICOI (International Congress of Oral Implantologists) there are commonly three parts to what it is described as an implant: the implant device which is predominantly made of titanium (which is inserted into the bone), the abutment, and a dental crown or a denture which are connected to the implant through the abutment.
A gum lift is a cosmetic dental procedure that raises and sculpts the gum line. The procedure involves reshaping the tissue and/or underlying bones to create the appearance of longer or more symmetrical teeth.
Invisalign treatment is being used as an alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign helps in treating spacing, crowding, and overlapping teeth to create the smile patients desire.
Bite reclamation is for patients who have had years of excessive wear to their teeth due to grinding or acid reflux can alter their vertical dimension. This gives them a closed or shorter look to their face and smile.
In the past, dental fillings and other tooth restorations were made of gold, amalgam and other metals—some of which were veneered with porcelain. Now, dental work can be made entirely of porcelain or composite materials that more closely mimic the appearance of natural tooth structure. These tooth-colored materials are bonded to the underlying tooth structure with resin adhesives. Unlike silver fillings (amalgams) they are entirely free of mercury. Cosmetic dentistry has evolved to cover many new procedures and new dental materials are constantly introduced.