Although cosmetic dentistry is not recognized in the United States as a formal area of dentistry, it is extremely popular for people who are looking to improve their smile. Cosmetic procedures deal directly with the improvement of the appearance of your smile, not with restoration, or preventative care. There are some procedures that fall under both categories however, for instance if an individual loses or chips a tooth, having it replaced, bridged or crowned is considered restorative care. But if this tooth is than whitened to match the others, or is shaped to fit the smile, than that is considered cosmetic in nature.
What Procedures Are Strictly Cosmetic?
The most common cosmetic procedure is teeth whitening. It is done for those who have stained or discoloured their teeth from habits such as smoking or drinking excessive coffee. On the other hand there are some medications that can cause discolouration to teeth. The whitening of the teeth requires a whitening solution that is used on a daily basis until the teeth are the desired whiteness.
Another common procedure includes braces. These tend to be used to correct or improve crooked teeth, or improve the bite of the jaw. When a jaw has an irregular bite, it can create jaw disorders because of how the jaw comes together. Braces are often made out of metal or plastic and are strictly used to correct the position of your jaw and teeth, which ultimately creates a straighter smile.
Finally, procedures that include crowns or enamel shaping are also cosmetic in nature. Crowns are used to cover chips in the top of the teeth, or used to protect a weak tooth. They can also cover unsightly fillings, and restore broken teeth. For crooked teeth that overlap, contouring the enamel of the teeth can help change the appearance of the smile.
There are several cosmetic procedures that one can have done to change how their smile looks, and they do fall under the cosmetic umbrella. The only procedures that do not fall under this are ones that look to restore, or prevent the teeth from decaying. Root canals and fillings for instance are instances of these.