For some patients, cosmetic dentistry is more necessary than some people think. The term often conjures up procedures that are superficial and not medically necessary. In many situations this may be true, but that doesn’t mean that cosmetic dentistry is any less valuable to dental patients. In reality it is often the only solution a patient has to restore the appearance and function of some or many of their teeth. There are numerous situations that can call for a cosmetic dental procedure, and in some cases they are not all intended purely for vanity.
A patient who suffers from a traumatic accident, such as a car wreck or a sports related accident, may experience some tooth damage. Any force striking the facial area can cause a chipped or cracked tooth. In some situations, this can make chewing and regular speaking difficult for the patient. Even though the patient’s life may not be in danger, they are still suffering from the result of dental trauma. A cosmetic dentist can repair broken or misshapen teeth by rebuilding them. The process requires a bit of creativity and a lot of skill because the dental professional must be capable of producing results that look natural and blend perfectly with the patient’s existing undamaged teeth.
Teeth whitening is one of the most talked about procedures in cosmetic dentistry. This processes includes bleaching teeth so they achieve a whiter surface appearance. This is one of the most common procedures a cosmetic dentist performs. In fact it has become so popular that some companies sell kits that allow patients to whiten teeth at home. While these kits can be effective for minor discoloration, patients should always proceed with caution and consult their dentist before beginning teeth whitening. The safest and most effective way to whiten teeth is to have a dental professional handle the procedure in their office.
Along with the color of teeth, cosmetic dentistry also focuses on the shape and size of teeth. Some patients undergo gum lifts, which involves lifting and re-sculpting the gum line to a more aesthetically pleasing position. Shifting the position of the gum line allows the cosmetic dentist to improve symmetry and make teeth look longer.
Some patients experience tooth wear over time as a result of excessive jaw grinding. Although the actual change may be gradual and minimal at first, this can eventually cause the shape of the patient’s face to change. Cosmetic dentistry offers patients a solution by opening up their natural bite. Along with maintaining the patient’s face shape, this procedure can also be used to fill out visible wrinkles.