What Is New In Cosmetic DentistryIn enhancing the appearance of a person’s teeth, cosmetic dentistry improves their smile and self-confidence, which can result in a more positive lifestyle, both socially and at work.

Cosmetic dentistry has been around for a long time. Newell Sill Jenkins (1840-1919), an American dentist who worked mainly in Germany, developed porcelain inlays, dental crowns and bridges, and is regarded as the founder of aesthetic dentistry. However, thanks to modern technology, cosmetic dentistry has made enormous strides over recent years, enabling patients to gain a beautiful smile in a relatively short space of time.

Cutting-edge procedures that are defining a new era in dentistry include teeth whitening, dental implants and veneers, laser treatments and the advent of 3D tooth printing. Modern cosmetic dentistry often involves a combination of treatments. For instance, whitening may be combined with laser tissue restructuring or restorative procedures.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening by a dentist provides an effective alternative to over-the-counter dental bleaching products, which, according to some experts, can actually damage tooth enamel. According to McLoughlin Dental's cosmetic dentist, "Professionally supervised whitening will work faster, and protect sensitive gums and tooth-root surfaces better, than over-the-counter whitening products."

The professional teeth whitening process is closely monitored by your dentist, and the concentration and levels of the whitening agent can be adjusted, while the gums and other parts of the mouth are shielded for protection. Bleaching agents used by dentists are typically far stronger than those available in store-bought kits, and a combination of light and heat may be used to intensify the whitening process.

Dramatic and long-lasting results, with teeth many shades whiter, can be achieved by lightening both the tooth enamel and the underlying dentin, and the procedure can be tailored to a patient’s individual needs. Professional whitening systems used by dentists include LumiBrite, Zoom, BriteSmile and Opalescence.

The best teeth whitening results usually entail several sessions, although technology like the revolutionary Zoom Teeth Whitening system can accomplish amazing results in a single appointment. After a check-up to ensure you’re suitable for the Zoom procedure, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to make customized whitening trays containing a hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel. Once your gums have been protected, these trays, together with a special chairside Zoom lamp, release oxygen molecules into the outer layer of the tooth to break down stains without affecting the structure of the tooth.

Dental Veneers

Chipped or stained teeth can be treated with dental veneers. Tooth-colored porcelain shells that are cemented in place on the front of the teeth to change their shape or size. Veneers are individually made for patients, and, with proper care, can last for many years.

New materials have enabled veneers to become thinner, so the outer surface of the tooth doesn’t have to be trimmed back. Patients with an uneven gum line can particularly benefit from veneers, which will create a neater look, more in proportion with the teeth.

Veneers can also be used to correct teeth crowding, reshape teeth and close up gaps, increase the dimension of teeth, thicken them, and make them longer or squarer. Dental veneers are often the cosmetic treatment of choice for celebrities, because significant results can be achieved quickly.

An alternative to veneers is tooth bonding, which produces instant results as composite resin is bonded to the surface of the tooth to disguise irregularities such as cracks in enamel or gaps between teeth. Dental bonding, however, needs replacing more often than dental veneers.

Dental Implants

Missing teeth can make the face appear sunken, and hi-tech dental implants have several advantages over more conventional methods of replacing lost teeth.

Implants are root substitutes that form a base for permanent or removable artificial teeth and can be used in place of bridges and dentures, or as a support for a dental plate, and they look and feel like your own teeth. With care, dental implants can last a lifetime, while other methods of tooth replacement may need new fittings over time. Fitting a tooth-supported bridge involves grinding down teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth, but implants don’t need adjustments to surrounding teeth.

Many people find dentures troublesome, but taking care of implant teeth is precisely the same as oral hygiene for natural teeth. You brush and floss them but you don’t have to apply dental fixative creams or soak them overnight. Dentures and bridges can result in bone weakening, whereas implants are unique in dentistry in promoting bone growth.

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 35 million people in the US are missing all their lower or upper teeth, or both, and the number of patients having implants is growing fast, with a 98 per cent success rate.

Cosmetic Laser Dentistry

The idea of lasers (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) in dentistry might seem futuristic but these devices are already being put to effective use by cosmetic dentists, particularly in the sculpting of gums, which typically entails the trimming, reshaping and resealing of the soft tissue.

Laser dentistry produces a very powerful beam of light directed with extreme precision at the area of tissue to be treated, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a variety of hard and soft tissue lasers for use in the dental treatment of adults and children.

Certain procedures using soft tissue dental lasers may not require anesthesia or sutures, and bleeding is minimized because the high-energy light beam helps in the clotting of exposed blood vessels. Bacterial infections are also minimized because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on.

3D Printing Technology in Dentistry

If you thought laser dentistry was straight out a sci-fi scenario, you’ll be blown away by the concept of 3D printing technology for dental treatments, which, according to The Huffington Post, is set to transform dentistry.

The technology entails a scan of the teeth to produce a digital file that’s sent to a 3D printer. According to Huff Post, dentists are rapidly embracing this cutting-edge tech as the digital dentistry of the future. One application of 3D printing technology in dentistry is in creating replacements for missing teeth.