Just as there are many different specialties in the field of medicine, there are numerous areas of specialization in dentistry. While general dentistry focuses on oral hygiene and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral disease, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth, mouth and smile.
Cosmetic dentistry also involves restorative dentistry. For example, fillings are a common procedure used to restore teeth that have become decayed. Today, dental fillings fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because patients are now able to select fillings that closely match the color of their natural teeth. In the past, people were forced to get the unsightly silver (amalgam) fillings. With advances in dental procedures and technology, no one will ever know that you have fillings in your mouth. Cosmetic dentistry allows people who have old fillings to replace them with newer, more attractive, tooth colored fillings to enhance the appearance of their smile and mouth.
Cosmetic dentistry includes a number of dental procedures, including:
· Teeth whitening. This has become the most popular cosmetic treatment by far. Teeth that are stained from smoking, food, beverages or poor oral hygiene can be whitened and brightened in just one visit.
· Dental fillings. As mentioned above, replacing unattractive silver fillings with tooth colored fillings is a popular way to give people the smile they dream of.
· Dental bonding. Dental bonding is used to repair chipped or broken teeth. It's a fairly simple procedure that involves applying a dental composite material to the surface of the tooth. It is then sculpted into shape, contoured and polished, making the flaw virtually invisible.
· Porcelain veneers. These are bonding to the surface of the tooth to replace cracks and chips and can also improve teeth that are worn or severely discolored. If you have gaps between your teeth or teeth whitening has not worked for you, then porcelain veneers may be your best option.
· Dental implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements and are used to compensate for tooth loss. Dental implants may not only improve your smile, but can also give you a more youthful appearance since missing teeth will cause your face to …collapse¯, making you look much older than you are.
Smoking and Cosmetic Dentistry
People who smoke are sometimes not good candidates for cosmetic dentistry procedures. Smoking is a leading cause of tooth loss, and smokers also have an increased risk for gum disease, loss of bone structure, inflammation of the salivary gland, and the development of lung, throat and oral cancer. Because of this, smokers face an additional set of considerations when looking in to cosmetic dentistry treatment. One major restriction for smokers involves dental implants because smoking increases the risk that the dental implant will fail to integrate with your bone tissue. Since smoking affects gum health, and unhealthy gums can lead to dental implant failure, often times smokers are not able to undergo the dental implant procedure. If you smoke and would want to have dental implants, you would have to quit prior to the treatment. Another problem for smokers is that any teeth whitening treatments would not last long because cigarette smoke would continue to stain the teeth.
If you live in the Braintree, Massachusetts area and would like to learn more about what cosmetic dentistry can do for you, please visit the website of