Cosmetic dentistry may refer to any dental work that improves teeth or gums appearance (and usually does not affect teeth function). Currently many dentists are referred as “cosmetic dentists” regardless of their education, training, experience or specialty. It has been considered as the unethical marketing to patients.
There are only 2 dental specialties that focus on dental cosmetics: prosthodontics and orthodontics.
Cosmetic dentistry typically involves:
- the addition of a dental material to teeth or gums – examples: bonding (a process of application enamel-like composition on teeth), porcelain veneers (ultra-thin laminates that are bonded directly to teeth), crowns, gum grafts (procedures of sculpting the gum line);
- the removal of tooth structure or gums – examples: enameloplasty, gingivectomy;
- procedures not affecting dental materials, gums or tooth structures – bleaching (teeth whitening), gum depigmentation;
- straightening of teeth (usually accompanied by improvement in appearance of face) – orthodontics.
It the past cosmetic dentistry required gold, amalgam and other metals. Now almost everything is made of composite materials and porcelain that are maximally close to the appearance of natural tooth structure.