What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is elective dentistry done to change a smile by correcting problems of size, shape, color and position of existing teeth.
When the teeth are well positioned and shaped, cosmetic dentistry may only involve teeth whitening.
Esthetic dentistry is required dentistry that looks good but it is not necessarily intended to alter appearance.
Why do I need cosmetic dentistry?
The reasons are many and personal. Cosmetic dentistry can help you change to a younger , whiter and straighter looking smile. Cosmetic dentistry can mask defects creating a more youthful, healthy appearance. Anyone of any age is a candidate. It is the procedure of choice for many celebrities, models and business executives.
How is cosmetic dentistry done?
A cosmetically enhanced smile can be accomplished in 3-4 visits over a month as opposed to braces which can take longer and only addresses the position of the teeth. Some complex cases can involve a combination of braces, laminates, crowns and implants.
On the first visit the doctor and the patient spend time discussing the patient’s desired result. Photos, records and molds are taken. In some instances, a trial smile procedure is done. (A trial smile is temporarily placing tooth colored material onto the surface of the teeth and sculpting it to the desired shape). The doctor sends the models and photos to the lab and instructs them to return the models and photos with the changes desired.
On the second visit the patient and doctor review the lab results and altered photos before beginning the tooth preparation. The patient is anesthetized, the teeth are shaped, impressions are made, new photos are taken and most importantly, temporaries are made. Using the patient’s input, the dentist refines the temporaries to produce the exact shape and look of the final case. Photos and molds are also made of the temporaries and they are sent to the lab with all of the other work.
On the third and final visit, temporaries are removed and lab fabricated laminates are tried into the mouth. If the doctor and patient approve, the case is bonded in permanently. If not, the case is sent back to the lab for further refinement.
Essentially each case is created 4 times to get the desired result; 1st in the mind, 2nd in the mold and photo, 3rd with the temporaries and 4th is the final case.