Have you recently asked yourself, “Is cosmetic dentistry safe?” Even if you trust that the techniques work, the question remains of whether this form of dentistry causes bodily harm, pain, and so on. For all you know, cosmetic dentistry is geared towards famous actors who treat it as another way of suffering for art.
Fortunately, such worries are baseless: Cosmetic dentistry is a well-researched field, staffed by professionals who uphold the highest of safety standards. For those who want to know for sure, though, here is a summary of cosmetic dentistry that highlights the safe, trustworthy nature of its procedures.
Cosmetic Dentistry Defined
Fundamentally, cosmetic dentistry is the field concerned with improving the appearance of a patient’s teeth and mouth. The dentists who specialize in it offer a variety of treatments to achieve such enhancements. Some treatments even strongly focus on the appearance of the gums, which is integral to whether one has a beautiful, balanced smile.
This dental specialization exists because patients’ self-treatments don’t always bring the desired effect. Despite persistent efforts at home, many stains, cracks, misalignments and other issues can’t be remedied with just a toothbrush and floss. That being the case, patients will see a cosmetic dentist for smile-related cosmetics that can only be done by those with the proper training, knowledge, skills and tools.
Standard Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments
The following represent safe, standard procedures used by cosmetic dentists to improve patient smiles:
- Teeth whitening: A non-invasive treatment that removes teeth stains using vetted materials, causing the teeth to look whiter.
- Cosmetic Bonding: The process by which a dentist uses a harmless, tooth-colored resin to visually fix gaps between teeth and tooth deterioration.
- Porcelain veneers: Super thin, custom-made, protective shells of porcelain can both secure and visually improve teeth.
- Dental crowns: Caps placed on top of damaged teeth to hide cracks, chips, and other forms of tooth decay, as well as prevent further harm.
- Smile Makeover: Two or more cosmetic dental procedures in succession. The dentist will ensure that proper healing takes place between procedures so harm isn’t done to the teeth or mouth.
Having a Safe Experience with Cosmetic Dentistry
Beyond the safeguards of the procedures themselves, patients can also take personal steps to ensure that sessions with a cosmetic dentist don’t harm your health. Here are some examples:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using both a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Floss your teeth daily to keep your gums healthy.
- Follow your dentist’s recommended schedule for professional cleaning and examination.
- Minimize consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, as these erode enamel and contribute to decay. Coffee and red wine also stain teeth, so limit your intake.
- Ask your dentist about getting a custom-made mouthguard and wearing it while you sleep. Grinding wears down teeth and leads to cracks, fractures, and enamel erosion.
- Don’t smoke, as it stains teeth and negatively affects gum health.
Cosmetic dentistry, far from trading you a great smile for poor health, is as safe as any other modern field of medicine. As such, feel free to schedule an appointment with your local cosmetic dentist — they won’t bite!
About the Author
Dr. Chris Devlin is a dentist based in State College, PA, having graduated from the Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. First inspired to become a dentist by his childhood orthodontist, he takes many hours of continuing education each year and is associated with the Dawson Academy, the Pankey Institute, and the Society of Dental Anesthesiology. He currently practices at his self-titled office and can be reached at his website or by phone at (814)-238-3553.