The field of cosmetic dentistry has expanded in the past ten years to include new procedures for creating improved appearance of the teeth. The results of cosmetic dentistry can often be viewed in a greatly enhanced smile. While the standard procedures of cosmetic dentists are often thought to be tooth whitening or veneers, cosmetic dental specialists are able to provide many additional services. Professionally performed cosmetic dentistry can even improve self-esteem, and self-confidence through cosmetic improvements along with treatment for functional problems such as malocclusions.
One of the most common reasons that people visit a cosmetic dentist is to correct gaps between the teeth. Most individuals believe that the only way to fix this problem is with braces but a cosmetic surgeon can use other procedures for this problem as well. The best procedure to use will be determined through a collaborative effort of the patient and dentist based on all relevant factors.
Methods used to fix gaps between teeth include:
- Porcelain Veneers – can be used to fix abnormalities in the tooth exterior by shaping the tooth to the desired size such that it naturally fits in with the surrounding teeth
- Bonding – uses a thin layer of plastic to establish the desired shape; a bonding material is used to fix the plastic to the tooth which is shaped until it has the desired appearance; the finished tooth is polished to provide a natural look; other damage can also be fixed during this procedure
- Braces (Traditional of Invisilign) – the most frequently used method for truly removing spaces between teeth; the type of braces used, additional procedures and pre or post interventions required depends on the size of the gaps and whether there are additional problems that need correcting
Cosmetic dentistry has evolved into a specialization which includes specific aesthetically oriented procedures aimed at approving appearance as well as corrective interventions for misaligned teeth. It is best for patients to make a wish list of everything they want to change. Some of these may not be realistic but it is better to provide the dentist with a complete picture of the results the individual desires. Often, experienced cosmetic dentists have methods that can be used to approximate the desired outcome. The cosmetic dentist may also recommend additional procedures if they seem warranted.
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, while there are many experienced cosmetic dentists available, it is crucial to select the right one that best fits the individual’s needs. The most important things to look for when selecting a dentist is the sense that the dentist listens to them and takes their desires, needs and concern into account. It is critical for patients to feel they can communicate freely with their dentist and that the dentist has their best interests at heart.
Of course, just like with any cosmetic procedure, be sure to talk to an appropriately licensed and board-certified medical professional prior to undergoing any treatment. This will best assure you’re receiving safe care that should produce optimal outcomes.