Cosmetic dentistry is used to describe the type of dental work and treatments that improves a person’s appearance in terms of his/her teeth or smile.
Cosmetic dentistry primarily focuses on improvement dental aesthetics in colour, position, shape, size, alignment and overall smile appearance.
This includes procedures that change the colour and shape of teeth or that fill in gaps or replace missing teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is not considered an area of specialisation in Australia because all dentists are taught cosmetic dental procedures as part of their undergraduate degree.
Cosmetic dentistry procedures are often considered to be a voluntary visit to the dentist because they are usually done at the request of the person for the purpose of changing a person’s appearance, rather than a necessary procedure to treat broken teeth or dental disease.
Here is a list of dental procedures that is often considered as cosmetic dentistry:
- Replacement of gold/silver fillings with tooth-coloured fillings
- Bleaching / whitening
- Bridges (not all)
- Crowns (not all)
- Implants (not all)
- Reshaping or smoothing of the enamel
Sometimes treatments which are practically identical, they become cosmetic when they are done as a cosmetic choice.
For example. If any of these treatments is done to treat dental disease or damage to the teeth, it wouldn’t be considered cosmetic dentistry. On the other hand, if a tooth was broken and a crown was needed to rebuild the tooth, this would be considered general dentistry.
Another example. If a crown or veneer was placed on a front tooth with the purpose of changing its appearance (shape, colour, apparent alignment), this would be considered to be a cosmetic dental procedure (as it’s voluntary, not done to treat disease or damage).
Similarly, many people prefer to have tooth-coloured (white) fillings placed if they have a cavity: so placement of a white filling after decay has been removed from a tooth is a general dental procedure.
If a person had an amalgam filling but her or she wanted it removed and replaced with a white filling, this would be classified as cosmetic dentistry.
You can see that, while two treatments are nearly identical, one can become ‘cosmetic dentistry’ while the other one can become ‘general dentistry’.
If you want to learn more and talk to a cosmetic dentist professional, contact Lentini Dental today.