Cosmetic Dentistry

6 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE STARTING COSMETIC DENTAL TREATMENT

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental work that improves the appearance of teeth, gums and/or smile. Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized as a specialty by the American Dental Association.  Many dentists refer to themselves as “cosmetic dentists” regardless of their education or experience. The only dental specialists who have received formal training in the esthetic/cosmetic restoration and replacement of teeth are prosthodontists. Visit www.prosthodontics.org and www.ada.org/495.aspx for more information.

 

Enhancement of your smile can make you look more intelligent and successful.

A study published in the Dental Clinics of North America clearly demonstrated that people are viewed as more attractive, intelligent, happy, successful in their career, friendly, wealthy, and popular with the opposite sex with smiles that have been enhanced with cosmetic dentistry versus their original smiles. Dental Clinics North America. 2007;51:289-297.

 

Your dentist must work in close collaboration with a highly skilled and qualified dental technician trained as a ceramist.

To achieve optimal esthetic appearance of your smile, your dentist must carefully plan the size, length, shade, and characteristics of your new teeth. A trial set of temporary restorations are then made for you to test their function, and evaluate the appearance of your new smile. Highly esthetic and functional restorations that last can only be created with excellent communication with a dental ceramist. It is critical to communicate this information to the ceramist with the use of dental models and digital photography. Journal of Prosthodontics. 2006;15:123-128.

 

Make sure your dentist is not using a foreign or non-certified dental laboratory.

A 2008 article published in the International Journal of Prosthodontics stated that 1 billion dollars of dental laboratory work is headed offshore. Many dentists purchase dental work from oversees labs to save money. Because of this, you and your dentist may have no information about the dental materials used in your restorations, which can lead to harmful health problems such as lead contamination. Your dentist should be able to provide you with a certificate of identity of your dental material. See www.identalloy.org for more information.

 

Cosmetic dental restorations do not last forever. There are risks!

Porcelain veneers are ultrathin ceramic facings that are bonded to the surface of teeth. These restorations are advocated for masking dark shades and modifying the size and shape of teeth. Research has shown that veneers offer a predictable long-term restoration, over a 15 year period, when bonded properly to your teeth. Failures can occur including fracture of the ceramic, leakage underneath the veneer, and separation of the veneer from the tooth. Compendium. 1998;19(6):625-628.

 

Prosthetic restorative procedures account for 28% of dental malpractice claims.

According to an article published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, this percentage is by far the highest among all dental procedures. Carefully research and check credentials before initiating cosmetic dental treatment. JADA. 2006;137:1444-1445.

 

Experience and detailed planning are the most important factors in enhancing your smile. To learn more, schedule an appointment for a complementary smile analysis.