As a cosmetic dentist, we practice in a field of dentistry that has been around from the very inception of the science. When you consider why man first started looking for ways to care for his teeth, you realize that it was a desire to have better teeth, whiter teeth, or to simply keep natural teeth that lead to the creation of modern dentistry. While much has changed since those first days, cosmetic dentistry is still seen as dental work that works to improve the appearance of teeth, gums, and the bite. This definition is accurate, but we believe that it only tells part of the story. As science is developing a deeper understanding of our teeth, so too is it becoming clearer that the gap between cosmetic and functional dentistry is not quite as wide as once believed. Today’s cosmetic dentist performs a number of vital procedures including crowns, gingivectomies, and bridge that are paramount to the health, hygiene, and functionality in the human mouth.
For example, cosmetic dentistry encompasses the fitting of a dental crown. Who can imagine a world, today, where we do not have the benefit of a dental crown? A crown is a synthetic tooth that is used to cap a broken or damaged tooth in such a way that no one can tell the difference between the real tooth and the replacement. Crowns are used in cases of an accidental breaking, chipping, or cracking of a tooth and also in cases where the tooth has been damaged by an infection. In either case, we have the option of removing some of the enamel, in a process known as shaving, and replacing it with a full or partial dental crown that takes the place of the natural tooth. We know that this helps with appearance, but it is equally important to note that teeth play a vital role in chewing, biting, and speaking. When cosmetic dentistry replaces a damaged tooth with a crown, we are giving you back the full range of functionality with that tooth, and that is more than just cosmetic in nature.
Think about the fact that somewhere between 30% and 40% of the population suffers from a malocclusion. A malocclusion is the misalignment of your teeth to form an overbite, underbite, open bite, crowded teeth, or even those unsightly gaps some people have between their teeth. Since malocclusion does not pose a direct threat to dental health, the correction of this condition has been deemed to be cosmetic in nature. The challenge with this is that uncorrected malocclusion can lead to serious dental challenges that will impact your mouths functionality.
People who suffer from malocclusion often have a very hard time cleaning every part of their teeth. This is because typically, the teeth are misplaced and have uneven gaps between them. The unevenness creates challenges for the brush to reach every nook and cranny, and often makes it impossible for a person to floss. The plaque that is left behind builds up and eventually leads to dental problems like cavities, bacterial infections, and gingivitis; all of which can be avoided by having us, as a cosmetic dentist, resolve the malocclusion in your mouth. This is only one of the ways that improving the appearance of your teeth, can also improve your oral health.