cosmetic dentistry

Understanding the Basics of Cosmetic Dentistry and What Treatments Are Right for You

As a branch of dentistry devoted to improving the look of your smile, cosmetic dental treatments are sometimes considered less important than other types of dentistry. However, for many of us, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Our teeth are on display for much of our social lives, whether we’re eating, smiling or laughing, and so any issues with their appearance can have life-changing effects on our self esteem and mental health.

Rather than feeling embarrassed or hiding our smile, cosmetic dentistry procedures allow us to regain our confidence and focus on the things that matter. So, if you have insecurities about your teeth, why not prioritise your well-being? Below are a few of the basics about cosmetic dentistry treatments to help you choose the right option for you:

The Basics of Cosmetic Dentistry

Although it may seem like a modern solution, evidence of cosmetic dental procedures can be traced to civilisations like Ancient Egypt. As far back as 700 B.C, people were using gold fillings and bridges not only to restore their dental function, but to make a positive statement about their appearance. Ever since, cosmetic dentistry has been used to resolve dental issues in ways that enhance the look of our smiles.

While both cosmetic and restorative dentistry can be closely linked, they often have different objectives. Restorative dentistry usually focuses on addressing functional problems. It can include advanced orthodontic treatments, tooth removal, root canals, dentures, dental implants, emergency surgeries, regular cleaning, and treating decay or disease. However, the two fields often intertwine, as a healthy mouth is foundational to achieving optimal aesthetic results.

The Different Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

For those of us who are unhappy with how our teeth look, the solution may not be obvious. There are plenty of misconceptions and outdated facts out there about the various procedures. For example, many people put up with crowded, crooked, or widely-spaced teeth because they believe that braces are unattractive, or that crowns and bridges are too expensive.

Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in modern times, allowing for quicker, less intrusive, and more affordable options, such as:

  • Teeth Veneers

A semi-permanent solution that lasts for up to a decade, dental veneers are thin shells which are bonded to the front of your teeth, disguising the appearance of chips cracks, stains, gaps or misalignments. Porcelain veneers are typically colour-matched with your other teeth, so it’s impossible to tell you have them.

  • Dental Crowns and Bridges

Another popular option for chipped, cracked, stained or decayed teeth is the dental crown. These tooth-coloured caps can improve function as well as appearance, helping to strengthen damaged teeth and cover implants or teeth recovering from root canal. Bridges, on the other hand, are used specifically for gaps. They usually involve placing crowns on neighbouring teeth in order to secure the new artificial teeth in place.

  • Teeth Whitening

It’s common for people with discoloured teeth to feel dissatisfied with DIY whitening methods. However, what you may not realise is that many reputable dentists offer services to whiten your teeth which actually work! With in-the-chair treatments, or take-home kits, your dentist can supervise a tailored process to give you whiter teeth without causing damage or sensitivity. 

  • Tooth-Coloured Fillings

While gold fillings may have been a status symbol in the past, many patients now prefer the natural tooth look. With tooth decay remaining a very common issue, fillings are necessary to repair cavities and prevent infection, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a cosmetic concern as well. Tooth-coloured fillings allow you to remain confident while enjoying long-term oral health.

  • Braces or Invisalign

Finally, there are cosmetic solutions for straightening your teeth. Old-fashioned braces were notoriously uncomfortable and often made patients even more socially anxious for multiple years. Nowadays, options like SmileFast short-term braces work in half the time, using advanced dental bonding techniques and tooth-coloured frames. For less severe misalignments, Invisalign consists of a series of clear aligners which can be removed whenever you like.

How to Choose the Right Type of Cosmetic Dental Treatment for You

At the end of the day, the best way to find out which cosmetic treatment will give you your perfect smile is by speaking with a professional cosmetic dentist. They will be able to give you a better understanding of your dental issue, and talk you through the pros and cons of every procedure.

Crestmead Dental in Logan is a dental clinic that offers quality, affordable care with general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. Whatever your concerns, this friendly team is always happy to discuss the best solution for you. Just get in touch on (07) 3805 7765 to take advantage of their discount for new patient examinations!

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Dr Henry Wong is a local dental graduate, having done his studies at the University of Queensland. He has had over 10 years of practical experience, providing a wide range of services in the various fields of dentistry. He has a strong interest in Orthodontics (braces) and has an affinity treating young patients. Henry regularly attends a range of continuing education courses, and is very much up to date with his continuing professional development requirements.   Dr Henry is a long term member of the ADA (Australian Dental Association). He has also been involved with RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service), in a charity project that provides much needed dental treatment to villages in Nepal. He has also provided volunteer work in Brisbane through the National Dental Foundation.   Dr Henry enjoys spending time with his family and young daughter. They are often the reluctant subjects one of his other interests; photography. He likes to unwind by listening to comedy podcasts and tending to his growing collection of indoor plants.