A cosmetic dentist is a general dentist with an added dimension. Besides performing the functional requirements of a dentist, the cosmetic dentist pays close attention to the appearance of the dental work. Cosmetic dentistry is not generally taught in dental schools as part of the normal curriculum. A cosmetic dentist, in addition to qualifying as a dental graduate needs to pursue additional training after graduation and undergo specialist accredited training in the field. Cosmetic dentistry covers a multitude of procedures that improves the beauty and health of one's smile. Cosmetic dentistry can be as simple as re-contouring of one or more teeth or as comprehensive as an aesthetic and functional rehabilitation. Cosmetic dentistry can brighten a dull teeth, whiten stained teeth, close gaps between teeth, repair chipped teeth, mask metal fillings and straighten crooked teeth.
- When a person's teeth are short or long, stained or chipped, misaligned or over crowded, a cosmetic dentist renders multiple cosmetic dentistry treatments and transforms the unattractive smile of a patient.
- A cosmetic dentist places porcelain veneers over the teeth to mask virtually any cosmetic problem.
- A cosmetic dentist can remove the coffee, tea and cigarette stains from the teeth. These stubborn stains cannot be removed by brushing alone. Special teeth whitening procedures can help eliminate these superficial stains. Staining caused in teeth due to aging or medication usage can also be removed.
- A cosmetic dentist addresses minor cosmetic issues including jagged or chipped teeth and noticeable gaps between teeth. Dental bonding is an ideal solution for such minor imperfections. The cosmetic dentist uses a tooth bonding material and masks these imperfections.
- Tooth decay is one of the commonest of problems among all ages. A cosmetic dentist recommends filling the cavity with tooth colored white filling or reinforces the tooth with dental inlays or onlays.
- For a severely cracked and damaged or fractured tooth, when filling or dental inlays or onlays do not work, a cosmetic dentist uses 'dental crown' or caps.
- Old and unsightly crowns can also be replaced with ultimate all-ceramic crowns.
- A cosmetic dentist provides viable treatment options for patients with missing tooth or more teeth. 'Dental implants supported by dental bridges' are the most modern permanent solution to this problem. Sometimes patients can also opt for full and partial dentures.
- The modern alternatives of 'invisalign invisible braces' are used by cosmetic dentists in place of traditional metal braces to attend to crooked, misaligned or overlapping teeth.
- A cosmetic dentist renders gum disease treatment for painful, swollen or inflamed gums. A 'gummy smile' or excessive uneven gums are often helped with a 'gum life procedure'.
- Excessive tooth wear and grinding are often linked to jaw joint problems and headaches. A cosmetic dentist helps to alleviate these problems by using 'occlusal splint' or in severe cases treat with full oral rehabilitation.
- Depending upon the unique aesthetic needs and physical characteristics that change with age, the cosmetic dentist adopts useful procedures that are more suitable for achieving the look an individual desire.
- 'Combined techniques' are frequently used in smile design to create an ideal and natural looking smile. An example is 'bleaching' may be followed with 'minor orthodontics' and completed with porcelain veneers.
Techniques adopted by a cosmetic dentist
A cosmetic dentist adopts latest dental techniques to improve the treatment and reduce the 'chair time' of the patient. Some of the latest techniques are:
- Laser technology that adopt a 'no drill' technique
- Digital x ray technology
- Computerized anesthetic delivery
- Diagnodent-laser cavity detection
- Tooth whitening
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