A dentist used to be the person you would only see when you had a toothache or when you needed to fill a cavity. Those were the days when most people would limit the work of dentists to very mechanical tasks like drilling and filling. This utilitarian approach to dentistry has undergone an extensive change in recent decades. Today, many people visit their dentist not because they have to, but because they want to.

The consumer’s quest for a beautiful smile is what drives the billion-dollar cosmetic dental industry. From teeth whitening to dental implants, more patients than ever are looking to their dental practices with aesthetic goals in mind. Cosmetic dentistry is not a new dental discipline, in the strictest sense. In fact, it offers a multi-disciplinary host of treatments with the common aim of improving the beauty of one’s smile. Although the aesthetic goal is primary, many of the cosmetic treatments also restore health and functionality to your teeth. Cosmetic dentists, like all dental care professionals, still take into account the various aspects of your oral health when attending to your cosmetic needs.

In a broad sense, cosmetic dentistry encompasses all dental treatments focused on enhancing the beauty of your smile, including restorative procedures that have a strong aesthetic component like dental implants and composite fillings. Of course, you can also opt for purely cosmetically driven treatments like teeth whitening and dental veneers. In this article, we will show you some of the common issues and how you can treat them with cosmetic dentistry:

Porcelain veneers

Dental veneers offer one of the most direct ways of correcting your dental imperfections. They are essentially thin laminate shells that are bonded to you teeth to cover up your dental flaws like stains, chips, cracks and gaps. Porcelain veneers allow you to transform your smile without having to undergo surgical procedures.

The porcelain material is ideal for veneers because it mimics the look, texture and translucency of teeth enamel. Not only do dental veneers mimic the natural glint and lustre of sparkling teeth, they can be colour-matched to the exact shade you need – as precisely determined by your cosmetic dentist using advanced shade guide systems. In fact, porcelain veneers look so natural that they can blend in seamlessly with your healthy teeth.

Your porcelain veneers do not just look good when they are initially applied, they are built to withstand prolonged and excessive use without sustaining damage. The laminate shells also safeguard your existing teeth by providing an additional layer of protective cover.

If you are getting dental veneers to conceal your stained teeth, you will be glad to know that the thin and translucent material has a stain-resistant surface. That’s good news for red wine and coffee drinkers who are afraid of staining their dental veneers. Of course, your dentist would still advise you to cut down on your intake of stain-causing beverages to preserve the bright sheen of your veneers for longer, but the stain resistant material means that you won’t have to stop completely.

For all its benefits, it is important to note that dental veneers are not for everyone. It is a pure cosmetic treatment designed for patients whose teeth are still in good working condition but they are not completely happy with the look of their smiles.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening presents one of the easiest and most popular ways to transform a smile. Thanks to a broad range of over-the-counter (OTC) products from toothpastes to bleaching kits to dental strips – and a litany of advertising campaigns to promote them – teeth whitening may very well suffer from media over-exposure. However, it must be said that not all teeth whitening products will deliver the results as advertised.

First of all, the varying composition and concentration of active whitening ingredients means that the whitening results are not consistent. Second, most of them would require routine use hence discipline on your part to follow through the daily applications is critical to success. Lastly, results also depend greatly on the original condition of your teeth as well as extent and nature of the stains.

If you happen to be time poor or lack the discipline, you would benefit greatly from the Zoom chairside laser teeth-whitening treatment. Compared to whitening kits that take days to weeks to achieve the purported results, the Zoom in-office whitening can whiten up to 10 shades within a single dental appointment of around an hour.

The Zoom system is able to remove tough stains by unleashing a powerful Ultra-Violet activating light to oxidize the specially formulated Hydrogen Peroxide whitening gel that is applied to the surface of your teeth. The method produces a breakthrough stain removing process that works on intrinsic as well as extrinsic stains.

Dental implants

If you have lost one of more permanent teeth, you can opt for a dental implant treatment to restore the beauty and function of your original teeth. Dental implants represent an alternative teeth replacement treatment to dentures or bridges. In fact, dental implants are known to provide the truest form of teeth replacement simply because they look and feel like your own natural teeth.

Dental implants are basically small titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the patient’s jaw to replace the original roots of the missing teeth. Left undisturbed, the root-like posts will biologically fuse with the jawbone to provide a very stable anchor for the prosthetic teeth – that are screwed onto the implants via connective parts known as abutments. The implants replace your missing teeth deep into the roots, so you’ll never have to worry about them slipping or falling out, which can occur with removable dentures.

Although implant dentistry is considered a restorative procedure, the treatment is often lauded for the aesthetic component of its prosthetic teeth. Advances in dental technology have produced implant-supported prosthetic teeth that mimic the shape, size and colour of your natural teeth. Through the expert work of a great cosmetic dentist, your implanted teeth will look as natural as it feels in your mouth.

In conclusion

One of the biggest benefits of cosmetic dentistry is that it produces results. Without fear of exaggeration, the breath and depth of treatments that a cosmetic dentist is able to deliver, has increased exponentially in recent years. You may even go as far as to claim that there isn’t an aesthetic dental problem that hasn’t been addressed by modern cosmetic treatments. Of course, as with any medical procedure, you would need to consult with your dentist to weigh the pros and cons before deciding on a cosmetic treatment. The good news is, there are many treatment options that you can choose from.