Cosmetic Dentistry- Dental Aesthetics
Cosmetic Dentistry is the branch of Dentistry that addresses patients’ requests regarding the aesthetics (beautification) of their teeth. Patients often seek ways of whitening their teeth, or changing the shape or alignment of their teeth. Some people just want minor procedures done: others desire a full cosmetic makeover of their smile. The main distinction about Cosmetic Dentistry is that it involves procedures that are entirely elective: there is no reason to complete the treatment other than the patient’s desire to have it done.
All Australian Dentists have some level of knowledge and skill in Cosmetic Dentistry because many cosmetic dental procedures are taught in Australian Dental Schools. However, it is important to recognise that in Australia a ‘Cosmetic Dentist’ is not a specialist, because Cosmetic Dentistry is not considered to be a specialist field in Australia. Some dentists will have done additional training to hone their skills in Cosmetic Dentistry, and many dentists are extremely talented and skilled in dental aesthetics.
Changing the teeth to create a more aesthetically pleasing smile is not always a simple matter, and patients will sometimes discover that their particular circumstances require much more work than they anticipated to achieve the look they desired. Once you have explained your wishes, your dentist needs to do a thorough examination of your teeth, which will probably include recording your medical and dental history, x-rays, an inspection and impressions of your teeth to make study models. Only then will they be able to provide you with treatment options specially tailored to your individual situation.
There are a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can be provided by your Dentist- here are some of the most common:
There are a number of reasons why teeth tends to become discoloured. Ageing, smoking, constant drinking of coffee, tea, or other coloured beverages and the previous use of antibiotics during tooth development (tetracycline stains) can result in stained or discoloured teeth. In many cases, teeth can be brightened by a procedure called ‘Whitening’: this involves the use of a special whitening gel which removes stains and discolouration. While many teeth respond well to whitening, some teeth don’t- so your dentist will want to diagnose the reason for the discolouration before recommending treatment. If Teeth Whitening is not a good option for your teeth, your dentist will be likely to offer alternatives such as Dental Veneers or Dental Crowns.
Replacement of tooth fillings
Old fillings such as amalgam (silver) fillings and gold crowns are easily noticed amongst natural teeth because of their colour. Some people like the idea that their crowns and fillings could be coloured to match their natural teeth. Dentists are able to replace your old fillings and metal crowns with tooth-coloured alternatives. This procedure will give a far superior aesthetic result: however, it can be expensive and it is very important to note that when old fillings and crowns are removed, the cavity remaining nearly always gets bigger, which can ultimately weaken a tooth. Your dentist will want to discuss risks and benefits with you, especially if you have many large metallic fillings and crowns in your teeth.
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of high quality dental porcelain. They are attached to the front of your natural teeth, and are used to change things like the colour, shape and position of the front teeth. Many patients have two, four, six or eight veneers placed at once in order to achieve their desired cosmetic outcome. In general, two appointments are required for this procedure, although additional appointments may be required to achieve complex cosmetic outcomes.