Traditional dentistry, as we know it, is focused primarily on oral hygiene, as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases. On the other hand, cosmetic dentistry is focused more on the aesthetic aspects of a patient’s smile, mouth, and teeth.

Traditional dentistry, which includes general/family and restorative practices, deals with dental concerns that necessitate treatment, while cosmetic dentistry offers desired or elective services or treatments. However, cosmetic dentistry may likewise offer restorative services. Dental filling, for instance, is a common treatment option for decayed teeth. In the past, fillings were mainly done with amalgam, gold, or other materials that left noticeable marks on the teeth. These days, dental fillings are sometimes categorized under cosmetic surgery. This is because you can now choose the filling materials to use. These include composite materials or porcelain that can be made to match the color of your natural teeth; thus, contributing to a more confident smile. Many people today opt to go with teeth-colored filling to improve their overall look.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments Today

Onlays/Inlays – Sometimes called indirect fillings, onlays and inlays may be made from composite materials or porcelain. The procedure is a cosmetic, yet long-lasting way to restore a decaying or structurally damaged tooth. Regular dental fillings are typically molded into place inside the mouth of a patient during a normal visit to the dentist, indirect fillings are made inside a dental lab before the dentist can fit and bond them into place inside the mouth of the patient.

Composite Bonding – A procedure to restore discolored, decayed, or broken teeth, composite bonding uses enamel-looking composite material and dentin for application into the cavity or tooth surface. It is then sculpted, contoured, and hardened using high-intensity light. The restored teeth blend naturally with the remaining original teeth.

Teeth Whitening – Probably the most frequently recommended cosmetic dentistry treatment, teeth whitening involves bleaching the teeth that are typically stained from food, drinks, smoking, and poor overall oral hygiene.

Dental Veneers – Bonded adhesively to the tooth surface to repair cracks and chips, dental veneers are laminates made from porcelain or composite materials. This option is intended to fix severe tooth discoloration, or improve a worn tooth appearance.

Dental Implants – Classified under prosthetic dentistry, dental implants are used to compensate for lost teeth that cause your face to sag, and look older. The cosmetic procedure helps bring out a more confident smile, and restores a younger looking appearance.

Smile Makeover – The procedure involves total assessment, and overall improvement of your smile aesthetics, and achieve your desired look. It may require a single cosmetic dentistry procedure or more like dental implants, gingival sculpting, dental veneers, and teeth whitening.

If you are unhappy with the way you smile, ask your dentist what can be done about it. He will recommend the cosmetic dentistry treatment that is right for you.