The term "cosmetic dentistry" is misleading. While one of the primary focus areas is on improving the appearance of the smile to enhance overall facial appeal, the improvements also affect dental health as a whole. To understand the role of a cosmetic dentist, we need to know what it is that she does. The first point to note is that there is no specialization in "cosmetic dentistry" recognized by the American Dental Association. The education and training that a cosmetic dentist receives and the skills that she uses are the same as those of other dentists. Cosmetic dentistry is one of the focus areas of dentistry and a cosmetic dentist is capable and qualified to perform all dental procedures.
This is the most common and basic of cosmetic procedures. Time, age, dietary habits, health issues, smoking, etc. all join together to stain teeth and reduce brightness. Teeth whitening is done after the teeth are cleaned. Bleaching and other methods are used to make them whiter and brighter. While toothpaste may help reduce staining, only teeth whitening can have a real impact on the appearance of the teeth.
When teeth are chipped, damaged, crooked, have gaps between them or are deeply stained, these issues affect the smile and overall appearance. Hence, dental veneers are placed over the affected teeth to make them look white and undamaged. The veneers are made from ceramic materials, porcelain or resin and are custom-made to match the natural teeth of the patient. Once the veneers are in place, they cannot be distinguished from natural teeth.
A crown is like a cap that fits over the top of a damaged or decayed tooth. This cap helps to protect the tooth from further damage and/or more breaking. Dental crowns are also used to cover badly misshapen teeth and teeth that are so badly discolored that whitening procedures are ineffective.
When teeth are so badly damaged or decayed that they cannot be saved, they must be removed to protect adjoining teeth and to stop infections. The gap is then filled with a dental implant which, as the name implies, is an implant that is inserted into the bone socket of the removed or missing tooth.
When a tooth is too decayed to accept a normal filling, special fillings are made in a laboratory and bonded to the decayed tooth. An inlay is done by bonding the material or special filling to the center of the tooth and an on lay is used to cover the tooth surface.
Cosmetic dentistry is not just a matter of vanity. Your appearance is made up of many components and your smile is among the most important. Problems here can affect your image and your professional, social and personal life. Cosmetic dentistry is the way to remove the problems that reduce the impact of a smile. To learn more about cosmetic dentistry and how it can improve your smile and dental health, contact a dental office in San Jose or where you live.