Smile, Please: The New World of Cosmetic Dentistry
Today, a movie star smile is within anyone’s reach thanks to the latest advancements in cosmetic dentistry.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is a field of oral care that focuses on the appearance of the mouth. Through a range of different techniques, dentists work to improve the aesthetic appeal of the mouth, teeth, and smile.
While most treatments in this field of care are elective, that does not mean they are unnecessary. A bright, attractive smile can be an important part of social and professional success—or a path to greater self-esteem.
Those who have come to rely on cosmetic dentists tend to have a high opinion of what they do. As ArtLab Dentistry patient, Eric Roberts, LA Actor, says “…They are artists, healers, experts, innovators all rolled into one.”
General Dentist vs. Prosthodontist (A Cosmetic Dentist)
A general dentist is trained to handle all routine dental procedures, including cleanings, fillings, and root canals. It takes several years of additional training for a dentist to become a Prosthodontist—a dental specialist who focuses on the careful restoration and replacement of teeth.
It is wise to consult a prosthodontist before a tooth replacement or oral surgery. While every dentist cares about restoring the function of teeth, the extra training that prosthodontists receive gives them special insights. They focus on how to make new teeth both beautiful and effective over long periods of time.
Because of this focus, prosthodontists are associated with many cosmetic dentistry-related treatments including dental veneers, crowns, and bridges.
7 Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Improve Your Smile
The field of cosmetic dentistry now includes tested treatments to address nearly every major problem with the appearance of teeth. Using dental implants, porcelain veneers, dental crowns, bridges, teeth shaping, dental bonding and teeth whitening, cosmetic dentists can restore teeth to like-new condition.
Dental implants are artificial replacements for missing teeth. Unlike earlier types of false teeth, they are permanently fixed into the surrounding tissue and bone. These implants can be sculpted and shaded to match the surrounding teeth. When planned and installed by a professional, an implant is almost indistinguishable from a real tooth.
It is possible to implant either a single tooth, a few teeth, or an entire set of top or bottom teeth. The patients with the most compromised teeth may opt for All-On-4 Dental Implants that anchors an entire set of teeth on four (4 or more) fixed implants per arch. The promise of this procedure can be best understood by reading the All-On-4 Dental Implant Assessment and Guide—complete with our online cost estimate.
Porcelain veneers are custom-made shells that fit over teeth to cover up damage and present an unblemished, but natural look. While veneers can be made from a variety of different materials, the finest veneers are manufactured from medical-grade ceramic.
Cosmetic porcelain veneers are an exceptionally-realistic cosmetic solution for teeth that are cracked, discolored or stained. They have the appearance of real teeth and stay in place permanently once they have been applied.
Dental crowns are covers or caps that can be placed over teeth to restore the proper size or function after chips have removed some of the structure. Crowns can also be used to cover large cavities and wear from grinding. While crowns may be installed for purely functional purposes, they can also be colored and sculpted to achieve a pleasing cosmetic look.
When the damage extends across a missing tooth or several missing teeth, a dental bridge across healthy teeth can provide the support for a false tooth. Like most modern cosmetic treatments, dental crowns and dental bridges can be built to closely match the color and size of existing teeth.Dental crowns and dental bridges can be built to closely match the color and size of existing teeth.
Teeth shaping—also known as teeth contouring—is a cosmetic procedure where teeth are given a more pleasing shape through adjustment. Tooth enamel is removed with a laser or a drill and then smoothed and polished to restore the shine of the original tooth.
Teeth shaping is used as a treatment for problems such as long, misaligned and misshapen teeth. It is one of the most affordable treatments for correcting teeth when it is an applicable treatment for patients who are candidates for this treatment.
Dental bonding is a corrective cosmetic treatment where a permanent bonding resin is added to existing teeth to add more mass. After the resin dries, the tooth is carefully sculpted to create the ideal look. Dental bonding is an effective treatment for teeth that have decayed or been chipped or fractured.
Not only is this procedure effective, but it can also be completed in a single office visit.
Teeth whitening is a procedure that can dramatically improve the color and brilliance of the teeth. Whitening has been around for many years but is now more effective than it has ever been before.
Whitening can be one of the most effective treatments for teeth darkened by age, tobacco or coffee. It is not effective on teeth that have other problems that must be resolved such as cavities or chips.
Orthodontics refers to the family of treatments that align teeth. This treatment is far more advanced than it has been in the past. Braces used to be bright and noticeable, but they’re now almost invisible when applied correctly. Steel braces have been replaced by braces with ceramic brackets that match the color of the teeth.
In addition to an improved appearance, braces have become more comfortable and no longer require the same long adjustment period.
Teeth can also be straightened with clear aligner system called ClearCorrect. They are clear trays worn for 22 hours a day. They are comfortable and less noticeable and have the ability to be removed at mealtimes, and for cleaning, and allow for more thorough oral care.
Better tooth alignment can be as important to self-esteem as it is to career advancement. Chad Wood, LA Celebrity Hair Stylist said of his orthodontic treatment with Dr. Reshad of ArtLab Dentistry: “One of the best decisions of my life.”
"Patients can even get a brand new smile in a single day with attractive and functional provisional teeth while their final restorations are being crafted."
--- DR. MAMALY RESHAD, DDS