Cosmetic dentistry is the self-appointed title given to an area of dentistry that performs dental work with the specific aim of improving the appearance of a person’s teeth and therefore their smile. Some consider that the term is somewhat misleading given that the general objective of dentistry is to provide better teeth and smiles for patients any way.

Cosmetic dentistry is amazingly popular with many of us who want to improve on our public image and self-esteem too. Formally, the American Dental Association recognizes only two specialties loosely referred to as “cosmetic dentistry,” and they are Prosthodontics and Orthodontics, which cover the area of dental esthetics/cosmetics.

What Does Cosmetic Dentistry Cover?

Usually, one associates cosmetic dentistry with the following common procedures:

• The adding of dental material to teeth or gums – for example, in bonding, or porcelain veneers (or laminates), or crowns or caps, or gum grafts.

• The removal of a tooth structure or area of a gum - technically referred to as enameloplasty and gingivectomy respectively.

• The process of tooth whitening or bleaching to improve appearance.

• The straightening of crooked teeth followed by improvement in appearance of one’s face (Orthodontics).

Of the above categories, whitening or “tooth bleaching” is the most common procedure rendered by cosmetic dentists. Although there are now many over-the-counter products aimed at whitening teeth oneself, the options applied under dentist-supervised treatments are often preferred when it comes to re-coloring faded teeth.

We all like to look our best, especially when in public and we get to feeling rather self-conscious if we have the slightest doubt about our appearance. Some things we can change easily to improve our public face - clothes, shoes and hairstyle are obvious examples. But since each of us smiles a number of times a day we want to be at our beaming best too, and feel confident in company when we feel a smile coming on. That is where a cosmetic dentist can come in very handy, because they could improve our public image with their fine work. A gleaming set of teeth and healthy gums are the difference between low self-esteem and radiant confidence, and this should not set you back a huge amount.