Cosmetic dentistry is more popular than it has ever been. Whether your teeth are chipped, stained, worn, broken, gappy or misaligned, numerous dental procedures on the market can improve the appearance of your teeth and give you an extra boost of confidence to your smile. Dr Olurotimi Adesanya is a leading dentist who offers a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures at his clinic, Watling Street Dental Care in Gillingham. He explains precisely what cosmetic dentistry is and outlines what each procedure involves.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is either a singular or several treatments provided to improve the aesthetics of a patient’s teeth. These treatments may not be functional, but give the patient a more confident and beautiful smile.
What are the different types of cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry comes in a wide range of treatments. These include:
- Implants – some people are too shy to smile because they have one or more missing teeth. Dental implants can solve this problem permanently by inserting a screw into the patient’s jaw to hold and support an artificial tooth.
- Veneers – a popular choice for patients with stained, chipped or misshapen teeth. Veneers are thin covers that stick to the natural teeth to give a classic-shaped look and hide any imperfections.
- Crowns – a tooth-shaped ‘cap’ is put over your tooth to improve its appearance. The tooth is entirely encased within the crown. It is a good option for those with broken or worn-down teeth.
- Fixed and removable orthodontics – this refers to braces that are either fixed in place or can be removed by the patient. They are used to correct any tooth alignment issues.
- Composite bonding – a type of veneer which consists of thin layers of resin that cover the tooth without wearing away its enamel. It can be used to cover fractured or worn teeth and to improve the colour of one or more teeth naturally.
- White fillings – a tooth-coloured resin and glass mixture which is used to restore decayed or broken teeth.
- Modern aesthetic dentures – a prosthetic device consisting of artificial teeth and gums created to replace missing teeth. In the past, these were only removable devices, but nowadays, fixed dentures are available.
What kind of procedures does cosmetic dentistry involve?
Cosmetic dentistry can be minimally invasive. Slight changes can be made to the teeth using, for example, composite bonding which is a fairly quick procedure.
Implants and orthodontics, on the other hand, are more invasive and require multiple visits to the practice and a lot of planning.
For veneers and crowns, planning is needed as the dentist would need to create a mock-up, “wax up” of the patient’s final smile so it can be pre-approved. We like to make sure we start with the end in sight.
We always begin with a consultation so we can find out exactly what the patient wants, and we often encourage them to bring along some pictures and ideas.
What is the most popular cosmetic procedure that you see in your clinic?
At our clinic, the most popular cosmetic procedure is a combination of orthodontics and cosmetic bonding.
We give the patient an aligned smile using fixed Fastbraces or removable Smilelign treatment. Then, we use cosmetic bonding to reshape or change the size of the teeth. Both treatments work hand in hand to create a beautiful smile.
Is cosmetic dentistry painful?
It depends on how invasive the treatment is. Sometimes it can feel uncomfortable but it's never painful. For crowns, veneers, fillings and implants we use a local anaesthetic to keep the patient comfortable, but for any orthodontic treatment, composite bonding and denture appointments this isn't necessary.
If you are interested in any of the procedures mentioned in this article, visit Dr Olurotimi Adesanya’s Top Doctors profile and book an appointment to see him.