96 percent of adults believe that an attractive smile can make a person more appealing to a member of the opposite sex. Because of this, there is a rising trend in the dental industry: that of cosmetic dentistry. This article discusses what cosmetic dentistry is and what procedures a cosmetic dentist performs on his/her patients.
What exactly is cosmetic dentistry?
This is the area of dentistry that works on improving the appearance of a smile, but not necessarily the function. The aesthetics of a smile can be very important for many reasons. Following is a list of some of the procedures that are performed:
- Teeth whitening and bleaching. Many people believe that these are the same thing. However, this is an incorrect belief. While they are similar, there is a subtle difference between the two. Teeth whitening occurs when the dentist uses a gel, with a very high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, to restore the patient's teeth to their original luster. This gel removes stains from drinking coffees, sodas, and red wines and smoking or chewing tobacco products. Teeth bleaching involves brightening the teeth beyond their original luster. The end result is that the teeth are much brighter and whiter than before the treatment.
- Tooth bonding and veneers. These are used most often to cover teeth that are chipped or have cracks, have uneven lines, or rough enamel. They can also be used to replace missing teeth. Dentists will use a composite resin which is bonded to the teeth to correct these issues.
- Caps and crowns. These can be used to cover teeth that are so severely discolored that whitening and/or brightening cannot remove the stains, help protect a weak tooth, replace broken or worn teeth, or cover teeth that have had root canals performed.
- Enamel shaping. This can be done for teeth that are misshapen or have rough enamel. The dentist will lightly shave away small portions of the enamel to help correct these issues.
What does cosmetic dentistry do for a person's life?
There are many ways that having cosmetic dentistry procedures performed can help to improve the patient's life. Following is a discussion of the advantages of visiting a cosmetic dentist.
- Improve the patient's self-esteem. When the smile has several issues that affect the appearance, this can lower the self-esteem of the patient. Having these issues corrected can help improve their self-esteem.
- Help the patient look more professional. Especially for those who work in a professional industry, having a smile that is visually unappealing can limit their performance.
- Improve social life. When one feels poorly about their smile, their desire to attend social functions or spend time with friends may be limited. Visiting a cosmetic dentist can help improve these issues.
It is very important to keep in mind that cosmetic dentistry is not meant to replace regular tooth care. It is still necessary to brush and use mouthwash twice a day and floss at least once a day.