What is cosmetic dentistry?
While dentistry traditionally focuses on oral hygiene and the prevention, diagnosing and treatment of oral disease, cosmetic dentistry focuses on correcting or improving the appearance of your teeth, mouth, and smile. In other words, general dentistry is used to address dental problems that require necessary treatment, such as a root canal, whereas cosmetic dentistry provides an optional—or desired—treatment or service, such as veneers.
That does not mean that cosmetic dentistry will not also provide restorative benefits. Dental fillings are a common cosmetic procedure, but they are also used to treat decayed teeth. In the past, most dental fillings were composed primarily of gold or amalgam (please read our article on Mercury-free fillings for more information on the potentially dangerous effects of Mercury fillings) that left visible dark spots on your teeth. Now, advanced materials provide natural fillings more compatible with your body and closer in appearance to real teeth.
Today, many dental fillings can fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry, due to you being able to select fillings made of porcelain or other composite materials that closely match the natural color and texture of your teeth, which maintains the natural appearance of your teeth and smile. Many people may choose to have their older fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to enhance their oral appearance.
New Trends in Cosmetic Dentistry
The latest technological advancements in natural-looking, tooth-colored dental materials make modern cosmetic treatments longer-lasting and more predictable than previous methods. Additionally, dentists such as Dr. Khodai use a more conservative approach to cosmetic dentistry, and utilize techniques which preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, depending upon your specific clinical situation and the treatment that is necessary.
Newer technologies such as lasers are used by modern cosmetic dentists in their own offices to perform some procedures — reducing the need for referrals to specialists or specially-equipped facilities. This means that cosmetic dental procedures such as smile makeovers are more convenient and relaxing for you, and your recovery time will be reduced as well.
Common Cosmetic Procedures
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Teeth Whitening — Teeth whitening is regarded as one the most frequently suggested cosmetic dentistry procedures. Teeth are easily stained from smoking, as well as certain foods, drinks (coffee, tea, or red wine), and poor oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth can quickly and affordably enhance the appearance of your smile.
Dental Veneers — A veneer is a composite or porcelain laminate that is bonded to the surface of your tooth in order to correct and repair chips or cracks, and will improve a worn appearance or severe tooth discoloration. Veneers may also be recommended to you by Dr. Khodai if you have gaps in your teeth which can not be corrected by minimally invasive procedures such as Invisalign, or if you have not had success with teeth whitening.
Dental Implants — Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used as a part of prosthetic (artificial replacement) dentistry in order to replace missing teeth. As missing teeth can cause the face to collapse and cause artificial aging, the result is often not only an enhanced smile, but also a more youthful appearance.
Dr. Neda Khodai and Cosmetic Dentistry
Dr. Neda Khodai at Barranca Dental Excellence provides a variety of cosmetic services. As a dentist in Irvine, she understands the unique needs of her patients for an aesthetically-pleasing and effective solution, while maintaining affordability. Together you will set goals for your dental health and smile that are not just achievable, but long lasting.
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