But first, what do we truly mean when we talk about Cosmetic Dentistry? Ideally, this method is used to improve the overall look of teeth, and various processes are being done for their improvement. Some examples are:
· Teeth Whitening or Bleaching wherein the accumulated plaque and tartar are being removed to restore their original color.
· Composite Bonding wherein a portion of the tooth is being repaired. When there is decay or a discoloration, that part will be drilled out by the dentist, and will be replaced with a composite which would be molded according to how the original tooth was shaped as.
· Tooth Reshaping that is often combined with Composite Bonding. Tooth appearance is modified which allows the dentist to remove enamel and redefine the shape of the tooth.
· Crown Lengthening which allows an individual with an uneven gum-to-teeth portion to have more alignment. This procedure will create a seemingly wider appearance of the tooth by exposing the crown.
· Veneers which are thin layers placed over the tooth by use of an adhesive so that the dental flaws would be hidden.
· Implants that serve as tooth replacements after a loss. The usual process is that a screw will be placed in the jaw of the missing tooth to serve as the foundation of the jacket which will resemble a tooth.
With these mentioned, one might infer that the methods can only be done if one has a good dentist with an up-to-date technology. But did you know that Cosmetic Dentistry already had a long history? Based on research, ancient people such as Etruscans and Egyptians used gold, ivory and bones as implants or crowns. There were also instances wherein our ancestors extracted actual teeth from either the deceased or from live volunteers, but as these were reportedly rotting at a rate they cannot control, the practice was stopped. Developments over the years led to the creation of porcelains then plasters as implants and dentures, and nowadays, ingredients such as plastics and acrylics are also being used. Pain and discomfort were also diminished, and now, going to the dentist is often hassle-free and convenient.
Still, even with the glory of good teeth and the possibility of a better outlook in life, Cosmetic Dentistry isn’t all just about the beauty of it. As this promotes the improvement of dental hygiene, the teeth and gums would be in better conditions, leading to a lessening of tooth decay or gum bleeding. It will lessen potential bacterial infection and would even prevent one to have bad breath.
Further expounding on this would lead us to the prevention of even worse diseases. If the bacteria would not be immediately removed, these can transfer to other parts of the body including our internal organs. Heart diseases, respiratory problems, diabetes and even dementia could occur if the infection build-up would remain in our bodies and eventually flow in the blood stream.
So it really isn’t just about beauty or the abstraction of it, because all in all, what is really more important other than getting the results one was expecting out of Cosmetic Dentistry is how it would benefit our bodies in the long run.