Cosmetic dentistry is a discipline within dentistry that focuses on the appearance modification of a patient’s oral cavity and surrounding structures, rather than prevention and treatment of the structural, organic or functional oral diseases.
Cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry is a broad designation under which many dental procedures may be described ie. tooth bleaching, bonding, veneers, orthodontics, crown and bridge work. The organisation responsible for registering dentists and dental specialists in Australia is The Dental Board (located in the state of registration) and they can be specialist prosthodontists and orthodontists.
In the past, the tooth restorations were made of gold, amalgam and other metals. Now the work is entirely made in porcelain or composite materials that closely mimic the appearance of the natural tooth structures. The materials are bonded to the underlying tooth structure with resin adhesives.
Advances in dental materials have led to tooth shades resins that are painted on and bond with your tooth. The dentist can now repair chipped and damaged teeth with minimum drilling hence the resultant filling is usually impossible to detect. Also the fillings can be as small as possible since when combined with lifelike modern materials, the small fillings are hardly noticeable.
When a tooth is lost there are several alternatives to partial denture: bridges with modern porcelain are often difficult to detect; bonding the replacement tooth to the teeth either side is now possible, so no drilling or future loss of the tooth structure is involved; implants made of titanium can now be inserted in the jawbone to anchor an artificial crown, bridge or tooth. Orthodontic treatments can correct the position of crooked teeth. The braces can no be placed on the inner surface of the teeth so they don’t show up when you smile.
Bleaching, micro-abrasion, bonding and veneers will improve many cosmetic problems with your teeth. However, it the teeth are severely crooked and broken or teeth are missing, it may be necessary to have orthodontic treatment, crowned or bridges contracted or implants placed.