The idea of cosmetic Dentistry is slightly misleading. As the name suggests it is about appearances. But appearances and functionality tend to be closely tied together. In most cases improving the function of the teeth and jaws leads to better physical appearances. And where the dentist does a purely cosmetic procedure it is because the optimal functionality and health of the teeth have already been achieved.
Teeth whitening is one of the few examples of a purely cosmetic procedure. It lightens and whitens the teeth to make them look better, and perhaps match the patient’s skin tone.
The one health advantage of white teeth is cleaning; it is easy to see if white teeth and clean or not.
Implants replace a lost or badly damaged tooth. While almost everybody agrees that a natural healthy tooth is the best option an implant is so close to the natural tooth the patient soon forgets that the implant is artificial.
Modern implants are made from lithium disilicate or zirconia. These are both extremely strong, and lithium disilicate (almost always used for front teeth) looks realistic and natural.
Cosmetically an implant looks better than a missing tooth.
Braces are the best example of combining functionality with improved appearances. Braces are about neatly aligning teeth and jaws. The aim is to produce a set of teeth that neatly fit together. This makes chewing and speaking much easier. It almost always means a noticeable improvement in the appearance of the teeth.
Modern options, like ceramic braces, are less conspicuous than old models.
Braces during our teenage years mean straight teeth during our adult years, though diligent cleaning is important.
Adults who suffer tooth alignment problems may have them corrected with Invisalign. These are a series of clear retainers that can alter the position of the teeth. They cannot fix all the dental problems that braces can, but they work very effectively for most minor to moderate alignment issues.
Invisalign, being transparent, is not very noticeable.
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