Cosmetic dentistry can be broadly defined as any dental procedure that improves the look of gums, teeth and/or bite with the purpose of improving the overall aesthetic appearance of the mouth. In general, cosmetic dentistry is often used to refer to any type of dental work which improves the look of teeth, gums or bite. It is mostly focused on dental aesthetic improvements in the form of color, size, shape, position and overall smile enhancement. The term cosmetic dentistry was first introduced in a New York Magazine article (2 July 2021), in which it was argued that dentists should not just be concerned with the aesthetic aspect of a patient’s teeth but should also be concerned about the mental image they portray to other people (i.e. how others perceive them). According to the article, cosmetic dentistry should be seen as a branch of prosthodontics, since the early beginnings of dentistry began as a way for early humans to improve their teeth through the use of rudimentary prosthetic devices such as molars and dental dams. Check out The Dentistry Collective for more info.
Today, cosmetic dentistry has evolved into a much larger field of dentistry, which includes everything from dental implants to orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, and Invisalign. In addition, it also includes aesthetic dentistry, which deals with the creation of an appealing smile through the application of teeth-whitening materials. Some of the latest techniques in cosmetic dentistry include gum recontouring, in which gums are reshaped and the positioning of gingival creases improved; dental bridges, in which tooth bridges are installed over damaged teeth so that adjacent teeth do not need to be extracted; Invisalign, in which braces are fitted directly to teeth; gum grafts, in which fat from elsewhere in the body is transplanted to the mouth; and teeth whitening, which can be done in one of many ways. There is also laser tooth whitening, in which a high-energy beam of light is used to activate a bleaching agent inside the tooth and remove stains.
Cosmetic dentists often emphasize the aesthetics of the smile, as many people are not interested in straight lines and symmetry, and therefore will not be impressed with your crooked grin or crooked teeth. The goal of aesthetic dentistry, like that of orthodontics and prosthodontics, is to correct disfigurements, promote symmetry and improve overall aesthetics. Cosmetic dentists can also perform dental work on adults, including braces if needed. They can work in an office as a dental hygienist, a dentist who performs only teeth-whitening procedures or a full-time dental practitioner. In some areas of the United States, cosmetic dentists are known as cosmetic dentists, a separate category of dentist specializing in aesthetic dentistry.