Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of your teeth. Some cosmetic procedures all make your teeth function better.
Replacing a missing tooth with an implant makes the tooth function better while also improving the look of your smile.
Bleaching is the best-known cosmetic procedure. Resin composite or porcelain materials used to fill cavities, chips, or rough spots are both functional and improve your smile, as do crowns that cover broken or badly decayed teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry doesn’t include orthodontics, which improves your smile by making your teeth straighter and fixing bite problems.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists has developed standards of practice for cosmetic dentists; if a cosmetic dentist is a member, you can be sure that they meet those standards.
Experience makes a difference in cosmetic dentistry. Many cosmetic dentists have before-and-after pictures, or they provide patient testimonials. As with any dentist or health professional, the ability to build rapport, compassion and understanding are as important in a cosmetic dentist as the technical skill.
The basics of cosmetic dentistry, such as tooth whitening, are taught in dental school. Cosmetic dentists attend postgraduate training to learn more about aesthetics and special dental techniques.
Each procedure is different, and so are the time and techniques needed. For example, tooth whitening, you may only need one chairside bleaching.
Veneers take more time, and requires several visits to make the veneer, prep the tooth, and attach the veneer to your tooth. Crowns take two visits. In the first, we’ll make the mold and attach a temporary crown, and during the second, we’ll attach and shape the permanent crown.
Using special materials, techniques or equipment such as lasers can also affect the technical difficulty and length of a procedure.