A Cosmetic dentist is a dental professional who practices cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry is a field of dentistry whose main purpose is to improve how patients’ teeth and, by extension their smile look and overall facial appearance. Cosmetic dentistry procedures are mainly carried out to improve the aesthetics rather than to treat a dental condition. They deal with problems of missing, chipped, crooked and discolored or stained teeth.
Cosmetic dentists carry out a variety of procedures, both major and minor. Though aimed at improving the patient’s appearance, some of these procedures also correct dental problems that affect functions such as biting. The procedures that cosmetic dentists perform include:
- Bleaching- which is done to remove stains and discoloration resulting in whiter teeth.
- Bonding- tooth-colored material is bonded on the outer teeth surfaces to change their color, restore slightly chipped or decayed teeth and filling small cavities.
- Crowns and veneers- crowns are a restorative measure that covers the tooth, protecting and restoring the shape and appearance of a tooth. Veneers are thin materials made from porcelain or plastic. A cosmetic dentist places them on the teeth surface. They serve the same purpose as crowns.
- Reshaping and contouring – To rectify crooked or chipped teeth, a cosmetic surgeon can performing contouring and reshaping procedures. These procedures can also correct issues of length and position of teeth.
- Bridges, dentures and dental implants – Cosmetic dentists also help restore a patient’s smile by replacing missing teeth through these procedures. Dentures and bridges provide a less permanent replacement for missing teeth compared to dental implants
Before the cosmetic dentist performs any of these procedures, he/she examines the patient’s dental structure and the extent of damage. He/she then prescribes an appropriate procedure as needed.
Getting a cosmetic dentist
- What experience and training does he have?
Before you settle on a particular cosmetic dentist to carry out a procedure, it is important that you screen him/her well to determine just how qualified they are to perform it. Look at whether he/she has furthered education, and whether they have successfully treated a case such as yours. You need to find out how long the cosmetic dentist has been practicing and see some before and after photos of other patients he/she has treated. Don’t ignore the importance of references when looking for a cosmetic surgeon.
- Know the procedures in cosmetic dentistry
It helps to have the basic information about the available cosmetic dentistry procedures so that you may have an idea of what you need. Knowing basics, at the very least, about the procedures including risks if any gives you a chance to make an informed decision when various options are suggested to you.
- Arrange a consultation
You have researched several cosmetic dentists and have settled on one who will handle your treatment. The next step is to schedule a consultation where you can discuss the procedure and your expected outcome. He/she will also assess you and discuss your health and suitability of the procedure for you. During the consultation you can also find out the cost of the procedure.