What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry can enhance your smile and beauty

Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry with focus on improving the appearance of your teeth and gums to enhance your smile and beauty. Cosmetic dentists concentrate on straightening and whitening your teeth to correct imperfections in your smile.

Why Seek Cosmetic Dentistry?

Different people have different reasons for seeking cosmetic dentistry. Some do it because they were born with a less than perfect smile and want to fix their concerns. Others want to reverse the damage done to their teeth over the years due to wear-and-tear or possibly an accident. Still others choose to seek cosmetic dentistry to improve their overall appearance and get that perfect white, straight set of teeth they've been dreaming of. Whatever your reason may be, cosmetic dentistry has a viable solution for you to enhance your smile.

How Does a Dentist Become a Cosmetic Dentist?

There’s no special certificate or board approved training for becoming a cosmetic dentist. Experience is very important to cosmetic dentistry. Most dentists only get into cosmetic dentistry after a decade or two in the dental field. Cosmetic dentists use better equipment, more expensive laboratories and seek additional training and continuing education courses to enhance their understanding of cosmetics. Naturally, cosmetic dentists charge a premium for their services, but patients understand that they are paying for a higher quality of work.

What are Some Examples of Cosmetic Dental Treatment?

Cosmetic dentistry does more than whiten and straighten teeth, it focuses on treating your entire mouth. As a result, it may involve an entire team of dental specialists including periodontists, orthodontists and oral surgeons in order to address all of your dental needs. Here are some examples of common cosmetic treatments you may expect to receive from your dentist:

Dental Cleaning

Cosmetic dentistry usually starts off with a thorough dental cleaning. After all, you need healthy gums in order to support your teeth! Some of you simply need a regular dental cleaning while others require a deep cleaning, possibly with the use of irrigation, laser or even delivery of local antibiotics. It all depends on how much plaque and tartar buildup you have on your teeth and the status of your gums.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most affordable and effective cosmetic dentistry treatments. If your teeth have stained over time, a simple tooth whitening may be all that is required to get your beautiful smile back. For patients receiving Porcelain Veneers, tooth whitening is used in conjunction to brighten remaining teeth in order to allow your dentist to deliver whiter Porcelain Veneers which better match your natural teeth.

Clear Braces

Clear aligners can straighten your teeth without the need for traditional braces. Clear aligners are nearly invisible and are much less painful to wear as compared to braces. Also, you can take aligners in and out, which means you can continue to eat and brush your teeth as you normally would throughout treatment. Clear braces are an excellent choice for those who want to straighten their teeth and suffering from mild to moderate teeth crowding.

Dental Bonding

Dental Bonding is used to fix minor cracks and damages to your front teeth. Bonding is easy, affordable and effective, especially for repairing minor defects. The only problem with bonding is that it tends to stain over time, which makes it less than ideal for repairing larger and more visible defects.

White Fillings (Composite)

White fillings are used to fix cavities and replacing old, broken silver fillings. White fillings blend in with your teeth and further enhance your smile.

Inlays, Onlays & Ceramic Crowns

Metal-free restorations such as inlays, onlays and ceramic crowns are used to repair larger fractures and severely broken teeth. These restorations are one piece ceramic and do not contain any metal, which makes them more aesthetic, more durable and easier to clean as compared to traditional metal-fused-to-porcelain crowns

Porcelain Veneers & Lumineers  

Porcelain Veneers or Lumineers are the most common cosmetic treatment used to improve the appearance of front teeth. Typically, 6 to 8 Porcelain Veneers or Lumineers are placed on front teeth to give you that perfectly white and straight smile you've been dreaming of. You can even straighten slightly crooked teeth by placing enough Porcelain Veneers or Lumineers on your front teeth to bypass orthodontic treatment.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are used to close large gaps created by missing teeth by connecting adjacent teeth together. Typically, a dental implant is preferred over a bridge, however there are still instances where placing a dental implant is not recommended and bridge is the preferred treatment of choice.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the treatment of choice for replacing missing teeth and severely damaged ones. Dental implants have become very simplified and affordable and have pretty much replaced dentures in most cosmetic dental practices. Keep in mind that you can’t have a healthy, beautiful smile without replacing missing teeth to stabilize your bite.

Elective Tooth Extraction

Believe it or not, tooth extraction is an integral part of cosmetic dentistry as well. Removing problematic teeth helps eliminate crowding issues, food traps and source of dental infection. Leaving undesirable teeth and impacted wisdom teeth in your mouth can create issues down the line. Removing these extra teeth stabilizes your bite and prevents future bite collapse.

Tooth Contouring

Tooth contouring, known as enameloplasty, helps eliminate any sharp edges and addresses minor imperfections in your bite and appearance. Tooth contouring is often times reserved towards the end of your cosmetic treatment in order to help bring everything together.

Cosmetic Gum Surgery

If you have a gummy smile or short teeth, you may have to trim your gums prior to addressing their appearance. Gum contouring eliminates excess gum tissue and repairs areas with gums defect. Cosmetic gum surgery is often times performed in conjunction with Porcelain Veneers to give you a beautiful, bold smile with more teeth showing and less gum tissue visible.

How do I Find a Good Cosmetic Dentist?

Finding a good cosmetic dentist requires some homework. You must do some research to find yourself an experienced and reputable dentist. Look for one with a nice website, good online reputation and located in a nice part of town. Once you've found a dentist you like, schedule a cosmetic consultation and speak directly to the dentist. Ask questions and express your concerns in order to get an idea if he or she is the right fit for you. It's important to have your questions answered and to feel comfortable and at ease with your dentist. A good dentist always takes the time to listen and answer all of your questions and guides you in the right direction so that you can make the best possible decision for your teeth and overall health.
Brush 'n Floss Yo Teeth!
Ali John Jazayeri, DDS


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