Cosmetic Dentistry: What It Is, Procedures & Types


Cosmetic dentistry is growing in popularity as it becomes more accessible and affordable. Not long ago, cosmetic dentistry was seen as something reserved for the rich and famous, but today, more people have access to a wide range of treatments to transform and upgrade their smiles.

If you’re thinking about changing your smile with the help of cosmetic dentistry, you might be wondering about the best type of treatments to transform your smile. In this guide, we're exploring cosmetic dentistry in more detail and outlining some of the treatments available so you can make an informed decision about how to upgrade your smile.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Dentistry can be split into three main categories: preventative, restorative and cosmetic.

  • Preventative dentistry is all about keeping your smile healthy and avoiding things like decay and gum disease.

  • Restorative dentistry is about restoring the function of your smile when something goes wrong, such as covering a damaged tooth with a crown.

  • And cosmetic dentistry is all about improving the appearance of your smile.

While cosmetic dentistry might help to restore your smile and it could even help to improve your oral health, the primary focus is on the aesthetics of your smile.

An example would be orthodontics for minor imperfections. From a purely practical standpoint, you might not need the procedure to have a fully functioning bite. But from an aesthetic standpoint, you might feel more confident if your smile was a little bit straighter.

How does cosmetic dentistry help?

How does cosmetic dentistry help?

Cosmetic dentistry can address a wide range of issues that might be considered imperfections. While some people like a unique smile, others would prefer a uniform smile that meets current beauty standards.

The stereotypical perfect smile is straight with no gaps or overcrowding. It’s also a bright white shade with no signs of staining. It’s also free from chips, cracks or thinning enamel. Every cosmetic journey is unique to the patient and could include a wide range of treatments to help achieve a specific look. Let’s explore these treatments in more detail…

Procedures for replacing teeth

Missing teeth can seriously damage your confidence, which is why treatments to address missing teeth are so popular. The treatment you choose will typically depend on the size of the gap and the cause of the issue.

  • Orthodontics may be used to close gaps in the smile. This includes treatments like fixed metal braces or Invisible treatments such as Invisalign.

  • Veneers are also commonly used to hide gaps in the front of the teeth. A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that fits over the front of the teeth and is cemented in place. It could help to hide small gaps and give the appearance of an evenly spaced smile.

  • Bridges are commonly used as a restorative treatment but can also be used cosmetically. A bridge is an artificial tooth supported by two crowns at either side.

Procedures for straightening teeth

Procedures for straightening teeth

Some people are blessed with naturally straight teeth, but not everyone will enjoy a straight smile. Your teeth will fall into the easiest alignment, but this can be changed either by addressing the actual alignment or your teeth, or by changing the appearance of the alignment.

  • Orthodontics such as braces and clear aligners are popular for straightening the teeth and achieving a perfect, straight smile.

  • For those who don’t want to wait for treatment, you could choose veneers to give the appearance of a straighter smile.

  • Composite bonding can also be used for single teeth or multiple teeth to give the appearance of a straighter smile in just one visit. This is a highly cost-effective treatment plan that is growing in popularity.

Procedures for brightening teeth

Procedures for brightening teeth

Teeth can become dull and discoloured over time after absorbing staining particles from food and drink. Teeth can also be discoloured as a result of injury or decay. Thankfully, there are ways to brighten your smile, including:

  • Professional teeth whitening uses chemicals to penetrate deep into the tooth and break down the bonds in the staining particles so they can be washed away. There are many different teeth whitening methods available, including at-home and in-chair options.

  • Veneers and crowns may be used to conceal teeth that cannot be whitened with teeth whitening methods. This is typically because the tooth is damaged as a result of decay or trauma.

  • Composite bonding is another method for whitening the teeth that is much cheaper than veneers or crowns. This method involves applying a resin directly to the teeth and then curing it once the desired shape is achieved.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many methods available for improving your smile. The first step in choosing the right cosmetic dentistry treatments for your needs is to book an initial consultation. This is your opportunity to discuss your concerns and learn more about potential treatments.

Are you ready for your dream smile?

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