How Cosmetic Dentistry Works?

Content Writer

Prathyusha Itikarlapalli

- Content Writer

Posted April 03, 2024
Are you not completely satisfied with your smile? Cosmetic dentistry is your ticket to dazzling transformation. It brings out the best in your close-up shots, making every moment a picture-perfect masterpiece. Continue reading to learn how cosmetic dentistry works.
How Cosmetic Dentistry Works
How Cosmetic Dentistry Works

Key Takeaways

  • Cosmetic dentistry deals with improving the way your smile looks. It works on the teeth' alignment, shape, color, size, and gum line as well. 

  • Cosmetic dental treatment is not the same for every patient. The treatment that one requires depends on the individual's needs and oral health issues. 

  • Cosmetic dental work improves your smile appearance and lets you show off a dazzling, radiant smile.

Cosmetic dentistry modifies tooth shape, color, size, alignment, and gum shape to enhance the appearance of your smile. Just picture it: a radiant smile with pearl whites set against beautiful lips. Not only does it make you look younger, but it also boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Who wouldn’t want to flaunt such a flawless smile? 

Unfortunately, natural teeth lose their luster over time as the outer protective enamel breaks down. Consumption of tobacco, acidic foods, and beverages can accelerate this process, weakening the teeth and further discoloration. Besides, activities like biting into hard foods or experiencing sports-related injuries can cause chips, cracks, or breaks. Some individuals may even face challenges like malaligned or crooked teeth, which can stem from genetic factors or habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. Some may have teeth fallen off their jaw due to age or trauma. Others have gummy smiles with clearly evident gums showing up as they smile. Regardless of the reason or the combination of concerns, any of these can have a profound impact on the overall appearance of a smile. 

Having to hide your smile for any of these reasons can take a toll on your happiness and quality of life. But fear not! Cosmetic dentistry offers solutions for each of these challenges, individually or in combination. Now, let’s take a closer look at cosmetic dentistry.  

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry: Taking A Closer Look

Cosmetic dentistry or smile makeover is the common term for all treatments that aim to improve the appearance of your smile. They work on the teeth' alignment, shape, size, color, and gum shape. The overall aim is to make your smile look radiant and flawless. The most common cosmetic dental procedures include:

  • Teeth whitening: It improves the shade and color of your natural teeth. Naturally, teeth can discolor over time due to specific foods or medicines. Bleaching or oxidizing agents like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide can break down the stains and lighten them up. You have an option to choose between home-based kits and in-office whitening. You may use the home-based gels at specified intervals for whitening results. For in-office treatments, dentists use higher concentrations of whitening agents and lasers or light sources to speed up the process and obtain effective results.  Your dentist will cover your gums using a rubber dam before beginning the whitening procedure. This is because teeth whitening agents cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. However, you are not a candidate for teeth whitening if you have implants or veneers. Moreover, the results obtained from teeth whitening are not permanent. You may be required to attend the whitening sessions after a certain period when your teeth catch up stains.[1]

  • Bonding: Dental bonding or composite bonding is a cost-effective cosmetic dental procedure. Your dentist will apply a tooth-colored composite resin to conceal damaged areas like chips, cracks, gaps, or breaks. They will mold and smooth it further for a perfect look. Further, they will cure it with a special light source for effective hardening. Dental bonding is a reversible technique on the natural tooth. It can also make the shorter teeth look longer and change their shape as well. 

  • Veneers: These are the white-colored, custom-made shells that can conceal the flaws on the front teeth.  Your dentist will remove a part of the enamel and etch the surface of the damaged tooth. They will collect impressions of your teeth to craft customized veneers. Once the veneers are ready, they will check the shade, size, and fit and fix them on the roughened surface using a dental adhesive. Sometimes, your cosmetic dentist may use the composite resin material to cover the entire front surface of the tooth. In that case, they may call it composite veneers.  It's worth noting that veneers are purely for cosmetic purposes. They do not add strength or are a part of restorative dental procedures. 

Further, note that veneers are only for natural teeth. You are not a candidate for dental veneers if you are looking for them for your implants.  Furthermore, veneers are not suitable if you have a habit of teeth grinding. Being delicate shells, grinding or biting hard foods can damage veneers. 

  • Crowns: Dental crowns are white-colored, tooth-shaped caps used to restore weak, broken, chipped, or decayed teeth. Your dentist will reshape the existing broken tooth and collect impressions for the preparation of customized crowns. They will then fix crowns in the desired place and secure them with dental adhesive. Dental crowns can be metal, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or zirconia. However, porcelain and zirconia crowns are widely chosen for cosmetic needs.[2]

  • Orthodontic options: Braces and clear aligners offer solutions for teeth alignment problems. Braces come as brackets and wires to apply constant pressure on teeth to move for a better alignment. It can take time to align teeth using orthodontic options. Clear aligners are plastic trays that fit into jaws and apply pressure to straighten teeth. Being transparent, these are aesthetic when compared to braces and are, of course, easy and convenient to use. Orthodontic options work better for teens as their jaws are still growing. For adults, it can take a longer time, depending on the case.

  • Gum sculpting: It will be done when you have a gummy smile showing excess gum tissue that is uneven and covers most parts of your teeth. It is also called gum contouring or gum reshaping and is a minor surgical procedure. Your oral cavity should be free from caries or gum diseases to get gum reshaping. Your cosmetic dentist will check the amount of bone tissue and will remove it, too, if it is found excessive. This will avoid regrowth and awkward gums hereafter. Your dentist will choose a scalpel if they choose traditional gum sculpting. However, modern dentistry allows the usage of lasers for precise surgery. They will ensure sutures are well placed to slow down bleeding post-surgery. 

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry applies to all candidates with good oral health and dissatisfaction with their smile.  It can improve the overall appearance of your smile by working on your teeth' shape, size, color, alignment, and gum shape. You can expect natural-looking, aesthetically pleasing results with cosmetic dentistry. Note that the results can last longer with proper care. A good-looking smile uplifts your confidence and impacts your social interactions on a positive note. Furthermore, it gifts you a youthful look and helps you weave relationships with warmth and confidence. With teeth that you don’t have to hide anymore, you will attend social events and engage in warmer conversations. 

Moreover, cosmetic dentistry works on more than aesthetics. Treatments like dental crowns or bonding can prevent further damage to teeth and strengthen the existing broken tooth. Malaligned teeth raise concerns for tooth decay. Straightening them using orthodontic aligners reduces the chances of catching infections and cavities. It also improves your bite force and allows you to enjoy your favorite foods. 

Furthermore, cosmetic dental treatments like bonding are relatively cheaper than other treatments. You don’t have to burn all your savings to get cosmetic dental treatments that last for a good time. 

Why waste time when you get the best? Begin a journey to flaunt a smile like never before with Envoy Health!


  1. Tooth Whitening Procedures: A Narrative Review

  2. Revolution of Current Dental Zirconia: A Comprehensive Review

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Frequently asked questions

Cosmetic dentistry is not a dental specialty. A cosmetic dentist can work on all dental procedures that a general dentist does but with a different goal. A general dentist works with the aim of safeguarding the oral health of your entire family. A cosmetic dentist works with the objective of improving the way your smile appears. The ultimate goal of cosmetic dentistry is aesthetics.

The results you can expect from cosmetic dentistry are long-lasting. However, you can’t expect permanent results. The exact lifetime of cosmetic dental treatment varies with the procedure you choose.

Each cosmetic dental procedure is different. While treatment like gum reshaping involves surgery, other treatments like veneers and crowns are minimally invasive, involving the removal of some amount of enamel.

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