A cosmetic dentist is a person who performs any dental work that improves the appearance (not necessarily the function) of an individual’s gums, teeth or bite. Despite the fact that most dentists refer to themselves as cosmetic dentists, the fact is that for one to become a cosmetic dentist, they must undergo some special training. Different specialists in dentistry undergo some period of training which is usually about four years. Fields in cosmetic dentistry include endodontics and periodontics.
Some of the jobs a cosmetic dentist may do include addition of dental materials such as porcelain veneers to the gums or teeth, removal of tooth structure, straightening of teeth and improving the appearance of face and teeth whitening.
Porcelain veneers are used by cosmetic dentists to recreate the natural look of teeth. They are thin pieces of porcelain material. The material used is just as strong comparable to the natural enamel of the tooth. Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of of a collection of many thin ceramic coatings that replace the original tooth enamel. For the veneer to be applied, a small layer of the enamel must be removed in order for the porcelain to find room to fit in the mouth and restore natural functioning of the tooth.
Porcelain Veneers have become very useful in situations such as when the original tooth has been permanently discolored or has poor shape or contour. It is also an alternative when teeth are fractured, or when one wants to eliminate the gap between their teeth.
Veneers are uniquely sculpted for an individual’s teeth, and therefore, can be almost impossible for one to differentiate between a veneer and a natural tooth. Porcelain veneers, unlike natural teeth, can resist coffee or other stains since they are made from high quality materials. Veneers are therefore best for those teeth that repel bleaching. Veneers are also recommended by dentists to fix minor overlaps, small gaps, and twists.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a surgery procedure that is specialized in treating diseases, defects, and injuries in the head, face, neck, and the mouth. Oral surgery is widely recognized as among the specialties of dentistry. Below are some of the surgical procedures that can be performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons:
– Dentoalveolar Surgery: this includes the procedure to eliminate impacted teeth, extraction of teeth difficult to remove and preprosthetic surgery (bone grafting for a better anatomy after placing implants or dentures).
Surgery to insert bone fused (osseointegrated) implants.
Corrective surgery of the jaw (orthognathic surgery) which includes surgical treatment to eliminate sleep apnea, genioplasty, and maxillomandibular advancement.
Diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as cysts and tumors, hard and soft tissue trauma of the oral space, malignant pathology with reconstructive surgery, lip reconstruction and others such as cleft lip and palate.
Oral surgery training lasts between 2 to 6 years depending on the program or the institution. Oral and maxillofacial surgery are commonly performed for cosmetic purposes, but this does not mean that all oral surgery procedures are cosmetic.
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