Cosmetic dentistry is an ever evolving term. In the early days of dentistry, anything that restored a tooth to proper function utilizing proper tooth form was considered cosmetic dentistry.
Today, cosmetic dentistry is considered to be anything that restores teeth to proper form and function with proper shape and color to the ideal relative to the general population. This can include anything from a routine filling to dentures to dental implants.
Routine fillings are now considered cosmetic due to the advancements in dental materials. In the early days of dentistry, we could only restore teeth with either silver fillings or with gold. Nowadays, we can restore teeth with tooth colored fillings or even full coverage tooth colored crowns.
Dentures may even be seen as cosmetic. Dentures are no longer just a set of “clickers”. A well made, good fitting set of dentures can restore your missing teeth to the proper form and function with proper shape and color according to what is considered normal in society. When combined with dental implants, dentures can even be utilized in a fashion that more closely resembles natural form and function.
Dental implants may also be considered cosmetic dentistry in many lights. The initial function for which dental implants were utilized was the restoration of one missing tooth. This would allow a single tooth to be replaced without the violation of adjacent teeth. The tooth could be restored in the proper position, with the proper function, and now with the appropriate color to match the rest of your teeth. When combined with other dental procedures, such as dentures or bridges, to give better stability to the restoration, this, yet again, increases the functionality closer to natural.
Humans in general are always looking for brighter, shinier, and better looking. A couple procedures that can be included in this are veneers and tooth whitening.
Veneers are utilized when the shape and color are not ideal. A thin layer of porcelain is overlain one’s teeth to restore the tooth to the ideal shape and color.
Tooth whitening is utilized when the form and function of the natural teeth is appropriate, but the color is not as white as one desires. There are many different ways to whiten natural teeth. This can be explained to you in detail by Dr. Whisenant at your comprehensive treatment planning appointment.
Cosmetic dental procedures should be utilized in addition to traditional dental treatments, or to “cover up” a bad dentition. This, also, can be explained in detail by Dr. Whisenant at your treatment planning appointment.
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