Cosmetic dentistry is a method of giving people a more aesthetically pleasing smile by correcting problems with teeth and gums. These dental treatments are not just about making you beautiful though.
Cosmetic dentistry is also used to restore facial symmetry for someone who has been in an accident or suffered severe damage to their teeth.
A Brief Account of the History of Cosmetic Dentistry
Most people do not realize that cosmetic dentistry dates back to 700 B.C.
During that time period, the Etruscans made dentures for people who had lost their teeth. They used bone and ivory, and even teeth from dead animals and dead people to create these.
These types of dentures were made through the 1800s.
In the 1800s people practiced some teeth whitening techniques, but they were not granted fabulous results.
In the 1900s hydrogen peroxide began to be used by dentists in their offices. In 1989 two dentists introduced the at-home teeth whitening trays.
In the 1930s dental veneers were used to make the teeth of movie stars look perfect. These veneers were temporary fixes. In 1982 dental technology improved and the veneers could then be bonded permanently to the teeth.
In 1937 a dental implant that screwed into the bone of the patient was invented. In 1952 technology revealed that titanium was compatible with bone and by 1965 the majority of dental implants were created from titanium.
How does Cosmetic Dentistry Differ from General Dentistry?
General dentistry involves fixing tooth problems that are causing the patient pain. This type of dentistry focuses on tooth extractions, filling cavities, and doing root canal procedures.
General dentists have a first priority of the amount of pain a tooth might be causing the patient. They are concerned with how your teeth look, but their main focus is on relieving pain.
Cosmetic dentists are more concerned with the look of the teeth than they are with anything else.
Cosmetic dentists are concerned with pain a patient may be suffering, but for extractions and fillings, they will often refer you to a general dentist.
Cosmetic dentists are concerned with appearance, but for teeth that are out of line or crooked they are going to refer the patient to a specialized cosmetic dentist called an orthodontist for bracing and other straightening treatments.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of the teeth. There are seven specific procedures the dental staff uses to address appearance of the teeth.
This is often referred to as bleaching. It is done to remove stains and can even be done at home.
Composite materials or porcelain is used to create covers for teeth. The coverings are cemented to the tooth and cover up stains that whitening cannot correct, and chips or gaps between the teeth.
These are special devices created to replace teeth that may be missing. Unlike traditional dentures that fit on top of the gums, the implants are secured in place and are not removed by the patient after their insertion.
Orthodontists deal with severely crooked teeth, but any cosmetic dentists may fill a tooth or file a tooth to give it a more aesthetic shape.
Did you know?
1) The most popular form of cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening.
This procedure is very affordable and non-invasive. It also makes a huge difference in your appearance because it removes the stains and discolorations from your teeth.
2) Cosmetic dentistry procedures are mood enhancers.
After people have these procedures done, they report feeling happier and having an elevated mood.
3) Your smile is the first thing 47% of people notice about you.
Your teeth are often hidden by closed lips, but when you smile, they are visible. 47% of the people we asked said that they notice a person’s smile before they notice anything else about them.
4) Sensitive teeth will not stop you from whitening your teeth.
A lot of people have been told that they cannot have their teeth whitened because they have sensitive teeth. This is not the truth. See a cosmetic dentist if you have sensitive teeth and let them tell you what they can do for you.
5) some of the over-the-counter teeth whitening kits harm your teeth.
Some of the kits sold for at-home tooth whitening can harm the enamel of your teeth. You should check with your dentist to make sure the kit you are using will not harm your enamel. Your dentist can also instruct you on how often you can use these treatments.
The Cost of Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Often people assume that cosmetic dentistry will be too expensive so they avoid even talking to a dentist about these procedures.
Let’s look a little closer at typical costs of some of the procedures and maybe put your mind at ease.
Teeth whitening performed at the office of the dentist may cost as much as $500 depending on the severity of the stains and discoloration.
Dental veneers will cost between $500 and $1,300 per tooth.
Dental bonding will cost between $100 and $400 per tooth. This is done to repair teeth that may be broken or decaying.
Dental crowns cost between $650 and $1,200 per tooth. They cover a decayed or damaged tooth completely. You may hear these items called “caps” for your teeth.
Implants cost between $1,250 and $3,000 per tooth. This procedure replaces a missing tooth and restores your smile and your ability to eat properly. Implants are different from dentures because you do not have to worry about the implant getting loose or falling out of your mouth while you are eating.
Reasons to see a cosmetic dentist
One of the top reasons for having cosmetic dental procedures done is to improve your oral health. Missing or decaying teeth can cause health problems in the future. If you address the problem now you prevent future complications.
Cosmetic dentistry boosts your confidence because you are no longer ashamed to smile and no longer fear being judged because of bad teeth.
You get to feel better, you get to prevent health conditions, and you get to look your best.
Article by Born Realist