Cosmetic dentistry is newly emerged branch of dentistry and it covers a wide range of treatment options. Cosmetic dentistry became very popular over the recent years because of its fast results and ability to bring eye-catching improvements in appearance of teeth. It requires extreme skill and in-depth knowledge over different kind of materials for the aesthetic dentist to meet the requirements of cosmetic needs of the patients. However, it is a boon for patients who want to improve their appearance in short span of time and the limitations of treatment also must not be ignored.
Different procedures of cosmetic dentistry
Cosmetic procedures of hard tissues
- Uneven teeth - mild irregularities in alignment of teeth can be modified by shaping the teeth in single visit.
- Broken or crooked teeth - ( extreme crowding may not be corrected with cosmetic procedures alone and may necessitate orthodontic braces )
- Gaps in between teeth – small gaps can be closed by composite or porcelain veneering. Bigger gaps may necessitate orthodontic treatment.
- Sharp teeth/ cracks
- Erosion of enamel - Patients who have a habit of drinking acidic beverages/ citrus juice frequently over a long time may suffer from erosion or loss of superficial layers of enamel. It is also seen in patients with prolonged gastric acid regurgitation. Erosion of enamel results in yellowish discolouration of teeth and it is often confused with staining of teeth. The yellow discolouration is actually due to the appearance of inner dentin layers through the thin outer layer of enamel. In severe cases eventually patient may develop sensitivity to hot or cold foods if the situation left untreated. Composite or porcelain veneering is the only solution to this problem as they can act as the substitute to lost enamel.
- Intrinsic Staining – discoloration of inner layers of teeth cannot be removed by regular scaling and polishing as done in case of extrinsic or superficial staining. It is only possible with a procedure called ‘bleaching’
Cosmetic procedures of soft tissues
- Gum contouring/gingivoplasty - in cases of gummy smiles due to excessive gum tissue: Excessive exposure of gums on smiling is corrected with orthodontic treatment in growing patients, but in case grown patients having excessive tissue it may be necessary to reduce some amount of tissue by a procedure called GINGIVOPLASTY. This procedure is done separately or as an adjunctive to orthodontic treatment.
- Gingival depigmentation - dark pigmentation of gums can be ligthened with the help of laser treatment.