Cosmetic dentistry is not the same thing that probably comes to your mind when you think about visiting the dentist. It is actually a lot different and is becoming wildly popular. Most medical dentists are beginning to specialize in many of the procedures that are now commonly referred to as cosmetic dentistry. The difference between the two is not recognized as a separate medical classification, it merely refers to the procedures in dentistry intended to make you look better. Here are some of those procedures.
Teeth whitening is one of the most common reasons people visit the dentist. When your teeth become stained from poor eating habits or bad oral health, whitening is one of the ways to get them looking back to normal. Dentists will bleach the teeth with a chemical mix that will restore the natural color of the tooth.
Dental bonding is a procedure where a dentist applies a tooth colored material to one of your teeth and bonds it together with a visible light. It is meant to improve the appearance of your teeth. Bondings are meant to replace crooked or cracked teeth, to close the gap between teeth,to repair decaying teeth, or just to improve the appearance of discolored teeth.
These are the most literal of any medical term you will find. Dental bridges literally bridge a gap between two teeth if the one in between them is missing. They can help restore chewing, eating and smiling abilities, maintaining the shape of your mouth, and keeping your other teeth from moving out of position.
Veneers are a small material that a dentist will place over your teeth to improve the aesthetics of your smile. They also can be used for medical purposes. Veneers can help protect your teeth from irreparable damage to it’s surface. They can be either permanent or nonpermanent and are usually given to those in their sixties or later.
Gum lifts are a procedure that your dentist can provide that will give you a more aesthetically pleasing smile. It is essentially a facelift for your gums, much like the way people are unhappy about their wrinkles or saggy eyelids, having very prevalent gums in a smile can cause that person to become unhappy or self conscious. A gum lift can also help with medical problems too. One common problem dentists see regularly are cases of gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It can be cured with good oral hygiene, but sometimes that isn’t enough. If the gums continue to hang over the teeth in places that could permanently damage them, a dentist might recommend a gum lift, to cut back some of that extra material in your mouth.
There are a lot of reasons to visit your dentist, and cosmetic dentistry has really taken that to the next level. No longer are dentists only in the health game, but they have entered the beauty game as well. If cosmetic dentistry is something that you might be interested, chances are, your current dentist is already practicing these procedures.
Dr. Shahram Arzegar is the head dentist at Lifetime Smiles Pediatric and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Austin, Texas.
Photo Credit: MoToMo (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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