What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry at missouri river dental is a field of dentistry that helps people restore the appearance of their teeth. While many cosmetic dentists complete additional training and education in cosmetic dentistry procedures as advances develop, the field is not one of the dental specializations that is recognized by the American Dental Association. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is an organization that serves as a resource for patients who are considering a cosmetic dentistry treatment and want to gather information as they plan. Good cosmetic dentists focus on the patient’s oral health and overall health and provide treatments that deliver impressive aesthetic benefits in tandem with clinical improvements, enhancing the overall health and appearance of the patient and improving their confidence and self-esteem.


Even the most minor cosmetic dentistry treatment can have dramatic effects on a person’s appearance and improve their sense of well-being. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can be as simple as a basic tooth whitening or as complex as dental implants that replace missing teeth, with a comprehensive array of treatments in between. Cosmetic dentistry is defined among dentists as the methods and treatments whose primary purpose is improving the appearance of the patient’s teeth and their smile. Cosmetic dentists are also qualified general dentists and will address any dental needs that may require treatment in order to proceed with cosmetic procedures, with the ultimate goal of strong and healthy teeth that are also beautiful and white.


Some cosmetic dentistry procedures require restorative dental treatments to establish a foundation for cosmetic restoration. For example, dental implants are placed by oral surgeons, and when they have healed, they are used to support dental crowns. Dental crowns have cosmetic aspects but are part of a restorative dental procedure. Dental veneers, on the other hand, are strictly cosmetic. Dental veneers are very thin, translucent layers of medical-grade ceramic that are bonded to the surfaces of the teeth with dental adhesive. Dental veneers can be used to mask imperfections on the natural teeth, like severe discolorations, chips, or cracks, or they can be used to cover gaps between the teeth. Many celebrities have dental veneers simply because they want a more consistently white, luminous smile with perfectly shaped and ideally sized teeth.


Teeth whitening procedures also fall into the field of cosmetic dentistry. As a person ages, the enamel on their teeth loses its shine, and the effects of this are more noticeable when the teeth stain because of a lifetime of habits and choices. Drinking coffee, tea, and wine can stain the teeth, and smoking cigarettes stains the teeth and can also cause damage to the gum tissue, and some teeth whitening procedures can brighten the teeth by two or more shades. In-office whitening treatments are generally more effective than at-home treatment options.


While braces are usually used for orthodontic treatment, some dental alignment treatments are cosmetic in nature. For people with mildly crooked teeth, it may not be medically necessary to correct the alignment, but clear aligners like Invisalign can give them the final push they need toward perfection. Dentists may also perform a cosmetic procedure called gum contouring, in which they modify the shape of a patient’s gums to improve the appearance of their smile. This may be done for patients who have excessive gum tissue that interferes with the appearance of their teeth and creates a gummy smile, or it may be necessary as a follow-up procedure to restore the shape of the gum line following more-invasive dental treatment.


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