Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth and your smile. It involves procedures that are used to change the colour, shape and alignment of your teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry is generally considered to be an elective treatment and is not performed for reasons other than to improve your appearance.
Some procedures that may be used to improve aesthetics include:
- Teeth whitening (bleaching of the teeth)
- Porcelain veneers
- Reshaping the teeth: removal of enamel from a tooth to improve its shape or alignment.
- Bonding: using composite resin, a tooth-coloured dental plastic, to alter the colour, shape or apparent alignment of the tooth. It can also be used to close spaces between front teeth.
- Dental crowns and bridges
- Orthodontics- teeth straightening with braces or plates
- Dental implants
- Gum lift or reshaping procedures: a cosmetic procedure for the gums, to make the gums appear more uniform around the teeth, or to make the teeth look longer.
Before undergoing any cosmetic dental procedure, your dentist will carefully assess your teeth to determine which treatments will most closely meet your wishes and expectations. No single cosmetic dental procedure is perfect or effective for everyone, and some cosmetic procedures cannot easily be reversed once they have been performed. Occasionally, client expectations cannot be met within the practice, and specialist referrals may be required.
Some types of cosmetic dentistry involve an invasive or surgical procedure. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.