Cosmetic dentistry is the branch of dentistry that deals with the appearance of teeth. Some of the specific conditions that initiate a need for cosmetic dental treatment are as follows:
- Discolouration due to extrinsic or intrinsic staining
- Anomalies due to developmental disturbances
- Abnormal spacing between teeth
Some of the popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry are as follows:
One of the most basic cosmetic dentistry procedures, teeth whitening or teeth bleaching can be performed at dentist's office. Teeth whitening also is known as bleaching, is a non-invasive method of lightening dark or discolored teeth. Teeth whitening marketing has evolved into four categories: professionally applied; dentist prescribed; consumer-purchased or over the counter; and other non-dental options.
Indications of teeth whitening are as follows:
- Food Stains
- Cigarette smoking stains
- Yellowing due to aging of teeth
- Mild tetracycline stains
- Mild fluorosis
Porcelain veneers are thin bonded ceramic restorations that restore the facial surfaces and part of the proximal surfaces of teeth requiring aesthetic restorations.
Indications of porcelain veneers are as follows:
- To correct the color, shape of the tooth
- To create permanently white teeth
- To correct chipped teeth
- To close gaps between teeth
- To correct teeth position
- To redesign smile
Contraindications of porcelain veneers are as follows:
- On teeth with crowns or bridges
- On teeth missing most of their structure
Dental implants are used to replace teeth after tooth loss. The dental implant is an artificial fixture which is placed surgically into the jaw bone to substitute the missing tooth and its roots.
Indications of implant therapy are as follows:
- Edentulous upper arch
- Edentulous lower arch
- Multiple missing teeth
- Single tooth loss
Contraindications of implant therapy are as follows:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Long-term immunosuppressant drug therapy
- Blood dyscrasias and coagulopathies
- Regional malignancy
- Alcohol or drug addiction
- Severe psychological disorders
Inlays and Onlays
Inlay and onlay are like a filling. It is done in the laboratory and then bonded to the tooth.
Materials used for inlay and onlay are as follows :
- Cast metals like gold alloys, palladium silver alloys, base-metal alloys
- Tooth-colored materials like porcelain, composite
Indications for inlay and onlay are as follows:
- Large cavities
- Root canal treated tooth
- Teeth at risk of fracture
Contraindications for inlay and onlay are as follows:
- High caries rate
- Young patients
- Small cavities
Composite bonding refers to the repair of decayed, damaged or discolored teeth using material that resembles the color of tooth enamel. Here, a composite material is used to fill the cavities and cracks, which is later hardened with the help of high-intensity light. It gives a natural appearance as the filling looks exactly like enamel.
Cosmetic gum lift involves using a laser after administering the topical anesthetic. Following a gum lift, tissue heals quickly and with little discomfort.
Cosmetic dentistry seeks not only to improve the aesthetic appearance but to improve the patient’s self-esteem and should not be under-estimated.