Advances in Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry refers to the arm of dental care that specialises in the improvement of the appearance of a person's teeth, gums and mouth. The practice of cosmetic dentistry dates back to several centuries. An example that easily comes to mind is the application of dental fillings to the repair of damaged teeth surfaces. Traditional filling methods involved the use of gold or amalgam which left visible marks on the teeth and make them unattractive.
Technological advancement now makes it possible to use natural looking, composite materials or porcelain, made to match the colour of the patient's teeth so that it blends seamlessly with the rest of the patient's dentition.
Discolouration of the teeth by smoking or poor oral hygiene has been addressed in the past by tooth whitening techniques which utilised bleaching agents. This process traditionally requires a number of visits to the dental office and treatment may be completed at home over a period of time under the supervision of trained dental health practitioners.
Modern techniques employ laser technology for tooth whitening. Power whitening is an incredibly efficient method of speeding up the whitening process. Laser rays directed at the teeth after applying a bleaching agent activates a chemical in the agent capable of lightening the shades of the teeth several times at one application. Gum sculpting or reshaping of an uneven gum line can also be achieved with the use of laser technology.
The use of dental veneers has revolutionised the way people enhance dental appearance and improve their smile. Discolouration and gaps between the teeth can easily be masked by placing veneers, specially prepared for the individual, on top of existing teeth. The advent of new, ultra-thin, resin-based veneers eliminates the need for elaborate tooth preparation. They are durable and aesthetically appealing.
Specially crafted removable aligners built to specifications can now be worn in place of visible braces. Patients with misaligned teeth can have their teeth re-aligned by discreetly worn aligners which are replaced from time to time in the course of treatment until the teeth are suitably re-aligned.
Practically anyone can now improve their facial appearance and improve their smiles with comprehensive smile makeovers. With the use of cutting edge technology, software can be used to create computer simulations to design smiles from which a patient can choose. This is followed by appropriate cosmetic procedures that may be required to produce the desired effects.
Intraoral scanning technology facilitates the diagnosis of functional problems with the teeth, gums and muscles in the mouth which may be amenable to full mouth reconstruction. The aim is to improve the aesthetic appearance of the smile. For more about this topic, contact a professional.