Whereas traditional or general dentists focus on maintaining your oral health and protecting your mouth from disease and damage, cosmetic dentistry specialises in improving or restoring the general appearance of your teeth, mouth and gums. While cosmetic dentistry may not deal with threats to one's health, it does allow a person to fix things that may be making them feel self-conscious or uncomfortable and in that sense works towards psychological well-being. Usually, this involves procedures that give your teeth and gums a natural and healthy look, ranging from dental fillings following teeth decay to complete mouth reconstruction. Here are some of the common treatments offered by cosmetic dentists.
1. Inlays and onlays
Unlike the usual dental fillings, which are moulded into the mouth during a visit to the dentist, inlays and onlays are indirect fillings, specially created in a dental laboratory on a case-by-case basis using porcelain or other materials. After construction, a dentist fits them into the patient's mouth using an adhesive bond. This procedure helps to restore the appearance of teeth following decay or other damage.
2. Teeth whitening
As the name suggests, cosmetic dentists also offer services to combat teeth discolouration or yellowing. Whether hereditary or the result of a high sugar and starch diet, yellow teeth can be gradually whitened using either over-the-counter pastes, powders and mouthwash or more intensive teeth-bleaching procedures performed by a professional. Whiter teeth often come with a great boost to a person's confidence and smile.
3. Composite bonding
Similar to inlays and onlays, composite bonding restores damaged or chipped teeth. A cosmetic dentist uses a material that has the appearance of natural dentin and enamel, which they apply onto a cavity and then mould into shape. After the material is hardened with the help of a high intensity light, it's practically impossible to tell that there was anything broken in the first place. This procedure can also be used to fix discoloured teeth. Dental veneers work similarly.
4. Tooth implants
Used to improve dental appearance following the loss of one or more teeth, dental implants are artificial but natural-looking teeth that can be implanted into the mouth by a dentist. This generally improves the appearance of your smile and is sometimes used as part of larger "smile-makeover" packages.
5. Complete mouth reconstruction
Sometimes, a patient's dental problems extend beyond the look of their smile. In cases where your muscles, teeth, bone structure or bite impact the correct functioning and overall appearance of your mouth, a dentist may suggest total mouth reconstruction. In this day and age, many advanced materials and procedures exist for this to be a safe and viable option that, like all treatments listed here, can ultimately make you feel better about yourself.
As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.