The art and science of dentistry is known to mankind for the last thousands of years! It may seem unbelievable to many, but the truth is no different to it. Excavations carried out at various sites of the Indus Valley Civilization confirm that dentists existed in the Harappan society as long back as 3,500 BC. However, dentistry itself has come across a long way since those historic days. With the passage of time, the subject has attained sufficient maturity and branched out in different but inter-related fields. Some of the prominent branches of dentistry include Endodontic, Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, Pediatric dentistry, Periodontics and others.
Traditional dentistry vs. its offshoots
Even, the jargon cosmetic dentistry is much popular these days. Now, at this stage one may wonder how traditional dentistry differs from modern procedures that are gaining prominence. To be short and precise, traditional dentistry is more focused on proper oral hygiene. Hence, it mainly deals with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the issues related to our oral health. Contrastingly, each of the modern branches of the conventional treatment procedure focuses on specialist areas of dental care.
Cosmetic dentistry, as it is obvious from its name itself, deals with improving a patient’s appearance. It is usually used to resolve problems of crooked or chipped teeth, discoloration and missing teeth. In addition to the dental conditions mentioned above, there are other innumerable instances where this specialist line of treatment proves helpful. With gradual improvement of technology, cosmetic dentistry procedures are becoming increasingly efficient in improving our smiles and appearances. A vast array of latest tools and gadgets is readily available to dental experts to cater to specific cosmetic needs of their patients.
Common types of cosmetic dentistry treatments
Some of the common types of treatments involved with cosmetic dentistry include:
- Dental bonding – This procedure helps improving the appearance of teeth, in case it is chipped, broken, cracked or stained. In this treatment, usually an enamel-like composite resin is applied to the teeth surface. Then, it is gradually molded into desired shapes, hardened with UV rays and finally, polished to provide the desired appearance.
- Dental bridges – In technical jargon, these are also referred to as fixed partial dentures. The treatment procedure is used to replace missing teeth. As such, it is also effective in bridging the gap between two successive teeth.
- Dental braces – These days, dental braces are equally common among kids and grownups. This range of dental items helps in correcting crooked, misshaped teeth and improves irregular bite, resolving disorders at the jaw joint and other problems.
- Dental crowns – These are also known as caps and are placed over a damaged tooth to restore the latter’s shape, size, strength and appearance. The caps are made from a range of substances including ceramic, metal and resin, etc. Crowning provides reinforcement to a tooth and invariably extends its life.
However, before opting for this specialized dental treatment, one should remember that cost for cosmetic dentistry varies greatly, depending upon the type of treatment procedure a patient requires. It is also relevant mentioning here that the range of dental treatments is usually not covered by the normal insurance policies.
Anyhow, on the brighter side, patients undergoing these treatment procedures are least subjected to pain as compared to those opting for general dentistry.