The advancement of medicine has greatly shifted the human landscape and changed the course of the world. It has brought a multitude of benefits, such as treating various health conditions and improving the quality of one’s life. With this advancement also came the advent of several medical branches that primarily aim at elevating the physical and aesthetic features of individuals. For the past decades, one field of medicine that has been a key player in such a domain is aesthetic dentistry.
What is Aesthetic Dentistry
Aesthetic dentistry, also known as cosmetic dentistry, is a branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, mouth, and smile. Unlike traditional dentistry that primarily focuses on oral health, aesthetic dentistry is more concerned with enhancing the aesthetic aspects of the teeth and overall facial appearance.
What is the importance of aesthetic dentistry?
Aesthetic dentistry has become prominent because it does not just provide patients with a beautiful smile but also helps them in other aspects of their lives by:
- Enhancing Smile and Appearance: Aesthetic dentistry helps improve the aesthetics of a person’s smile, enhancing the appearance of teeth and overall facial features. A beautiful smile contributes to a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Improving Oral Health: Many aesthetic dentistry procedures promote better oral health. For example, straightening misaligned teeth (orthodontics) can improve oral hygiene and reduce the risk of dental issues like cavities and gum disease.
- Boosting Self-Confidence and Psychological Well-Being: Aesthetic dentistry can significantly boost a person’s self-confidence and overall psychological well-being. Feeling good about one’s smile can positively impact social interactions, relationships, and professional success.
- Correcting Dental Imperfections: Aesthetic dentistry addresses dental imperfections such as discolored, misaligned, chipped, or crooked teeth. These imperfections can be corrected to achieve a more harmonious and aesthetically pleasing smile.
- Preventing Future Dental Issues: Some aesthetic dental procedures, such as dental crowns or veneers, can also serve a dual purpose by not only improving aesthetics but also protecting weakened teeth from further damage or decay.
- Improving teeth’s functionality: Some aesthetic dental procedures not only enhance appearance but also improve the functionality of teeth, ensuring better bite alignment, speech, and chewing ability.
What are some common aesthetic dental procedures?
Every patient has unique dental needs and goals. That is why there are a variety of aesthetic dental services to cater to those varying needs.Some of the most common aesthetic dental procedures are:
- In-Office Whitening: Dental professionals, usually in a dental office or clinic, perform in-office whitening. This procedure involves the application of a high-concentration bleaching gel directly onto the teeth. The dentist will use protective measures to shield the gums and other oral tissues from the bleaching agent.
- Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits: These are dental products designed for individuals to perform teeth whitening treatments in the comfort of their own homes. These kits usually include whitening gel and custom-fitted trays to facilitate the whitening process. The purpose of these kits is to lighten the color of the teeth and improve their appearance by reducing stains and discolorations.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings:A tooth-colored filling, also known as a composite filling or white filling, is a dental restoration used to repair a tooth that has been affected by decay, cracks, or fractures. Unlike traditional fillings, which are noticeable due to their metallic color, tooth-colored fillings are designed to match the natural color of the surrounding teeth, providing a more aesthetically pleasing result.
- Veneers: According to Dr Teo Juin Wei, Dental Specialist in Prosthodontics in Singapore, a dental veneer is a thin shell made of tooth-colored material, typically porcelain or composite resin, that is custom-made to fit over the front surface of a tooth. The purpose of a veneer is to improve the appearance of a tooth by changing its color, shape, size, or length, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
- Crowns:A dental crown, often simply referred to as a “crown,” is a type of dental restoration that completely encloses or covers a damaged or weakened tooth. It is a tooth-shaped cap that is custom-made to fit over the entire visible portion of a tooth above the gumline, restoring its shape, size, strength, and appearance.
- Implants:A dental implant is a titanium or titanium alloy post that is surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as an artificial tooth root. This post provides a stable foundation for a replacement tooth or a bridge. Dental implants are a popular and effective long-term solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring dental functionality and aesthetics.
- All-On-4′s: This procedure uses a fixed prosthesis with four dental implants to replace a full arch of missing teeth. Usually, patients opt for this treatment when they have lost most or all of their teeth in one arch or have severely compromised teeth that need to be extracted and replaced.
- Smile Makeover: “Smile makeover” is a comprehensive and customized dental procedure or set of procedures designed to enhance the overall appearance of a person’s smile. It involves a combination of cosmetic and restorative dental treatments to address various aesthetic and functional concerns, ultimately creating a more attractive, harmonious, and confident smile.
Is aesthetic dentistry costly?
Aesthetic dentistry varies in cost. However, patients should be financially prepared, as these procedures charge differently than routine dental care. Some of the factors that can influence the cost of some aesthetic dentistry procedures are the specific procedure, geographic location, the expertise of the dentist, the materials used, insurance, and the complexity of the case.
Taking care of one’s self is a wide spectrum that involves a variety of things. This can involve consuming healthy and nutritious food, getting enough sleep, engaging in exercises, and others. Today, self-care also includes improving one’s appearance, which enables individuals to be more confident about themselves and live a quality and meaningful life.