Cosmetic dentistry, also known as esthetic dentistry, consists of any dental work that improves the appearance of a person’s teeth, gums or smile, where the ultimate goal is to improve your self-confidence and self-esteem. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on your appearance rather than on function, though a responsible cosmetic dentist will ensure that tooth function is never harmed with the esthetic choices recommended to improve your appearance.
The methods used to improve the look of your teeth and enhance your smile may be as simple as bleaching to whiten your teeth, or placing crowns or veneers on the teeth that are seen upon smiling to correct shape, color, or position of your teeth. Cosmetic dentistry may also include orthodontic therapy (braces or Invisalign) to straighten your teeth, gum surgery to reduce a “gummy smile,” or even jaw-surgery (called Orthognathic surgery), which may sometimes be required to improve facial esthetics.
Cosmetic Work Must Also be Functional
There are a few important things you should remember when considering cosmetic dentistry:
- Cosmetic dentistry is not for everyone. Maintaining your individuality is as important as the way you look to enhancing your self-esteem, and besides, we don’t want everyone to look the same. Truly, there is no need to spend the time and money on something that won’t make you feel better about yourself.
- Not every patient will achieve the same outcome from an esthetic dental procedure. Depending on the severity of dental disease, and patient anatomy, it may be easier to improve the esthetics of one patient’s smile but much harder to improve the smile of another.
- Every type of dental procedure comes with risks and benefits. It is important to understand each before beginning your treatment.
There are many dentists who advertise themselves as “cosmetic dentists” both online and in the phone book – but the reality is that any dentist can make that claim if they choose to do so. The question you must ask is, “Did this dentist receive special training in the field of esthetics?” If so, what type of training do they claim to have received, and can they prove it?
The American Dental Association recognizes nine dental specialties, and cosmetic dentistry is not one of them. Prosthodontists are the only ADA-recognized dental specialists with formal training in esthetic dentistry. A prosthodontics’ residency is 3 years of full-time study at an accredited hospital or university-based graduate program, with a significant portion of their time spent understanding dental esthetics.
For dental implants in Colorado, Dr. Maroney and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.