WHAT IS COSMETIC DENTISTRY?
Many people are unhappy with their smile and would like to improve their appearance.
Cosmetic dentistry refers to those procedures which help to create the appearance which a patient desires.
Examples of the conditions which bother patients are discoloured teeth, crooked teeth, broken down teeth and metal fillings in back teeth. Some patients present with extensive dentistry carried out many years ago which needs to be redone.
The majority of cases of discoloured teeth can be treated successfully with tooth whitening procedures. (See tooth whitening)
Some very dark or discoloured teeth which have had root canal treatment may not respond to tooth whitening and may require a porcelain veneer or a crown to restore the appearance.
The ideal treatment for crooked teeth is orthodontics. Since this involves wearing fixed braces for some time, many adults are not enthusiastic about having treatment. Suitable cases can now be treated with a technique called Invisalign which does not require metal train-tracks. Many adults will elect to have their crooked teeth disguised using techniques involving porcelain or composite veneers, or porcelain crowns if indicated.
BROKEN DOWN TEETH
Many patients, due to loss of supporting back teeth, and/or the presence of a grinding habit, find that over time their teeth chip and wear down giving them an uneven appearance, a poor smile and in extreme cases a collapsed bite.
These cases can be treated successfully, but are among the most complicated to plan. It is very important that the way the patient’s bite works is carefully assessed and that the restorations are of the highest quality, otherwise there is a risk that the new restorations will also break down over time.
Many people dislike the colour of their metal fillings. Metal fillings are good, safe long lasting restorations which are very cost effective. The new generation of tooth coloured filling materials can now match metal fillings for longevity in most cases. Tooth coloured fillings take much longer to place than a metal filling of the same size and are very technique sensitive. This means that a tooth coloured filling will be more expensive than a metal filling of the same size.
If you are bothered by the appearance of your teeth it is well worth having a consultation because often dramatic results can be achieved with relatively little intervention.
A consultation will allow you to review the options available and the costs involved.