The word “esthetics” which we use frequently in dentistry, indicates the concept of beauty. What is the difference between something esthetic and something not? A philosopher called the difference as follows: “If the thing you see pleases you, then it is beautiful”. Beauty is a highly relative notion subjective to people.
Dental esthetics deals with visual perceptions. In this the context, the color, the contour, and the surface characteristics of the teeth alongside their ratio, symmetry, and balance with each other and relative to the entire face, bear significant importance.
Problems encountered in cosmetic dentistry:
- Broken or damaged teeth
- Crowding or rotated tooth
- Diastema (spacing or gap)
- Root surfaces becoming visible due periodontal diseases
- Dental abrasion
- White spot lesions
- Small lateral incisors
Currently, dentists have much more treatment options to restore teeth appearance than they had before. Appropriate diagnosis is a must for treatment of a patient demanding cosmetic restoration. In order to be successful, cosmetic problems should be determined objectively.
It may be applied at home or in clinic. Indicated in moderate-level yellow-brown to light grey discoloration, tetracycline staining and surface discoloration associated with coffee, smoking or tea consumption. It is a risky procedure in patients with; dental sensitivity, micro cracks associated with young teeth, and periapical disease.
Restoration of natural teeth with fine abrasion involves correction of incisor margins, rounding of sharp angles, and correction of mild chippings in teeth.
Direct Composite Bonding
This is a type of composite restoration that involves closing of diastemas, correction of crowding or rotated teeth, which is performed with minimal tooth structure removal in abrasion and mild discoloration cases. It is preferred due to its conservative character, single-session treatment, infliction of minimal abrasion, and production of satisfactory cosmetic results. However, since discoloration of the restorations may be observed in long-term, it should be changed or repaired after a certain period of time relative to the nutrition and brushing habits of the patients.
Porcelain Veneers (laminate)
It is a porcelain restoration performed by removing moderate amount of tooth structure in procedures required for whitening a moderate-level discoloration, closing of the gaps, correction of crowding or rotated tooth, and restoring tooth abrasion. Preparation is applied only on the anterior surfaces of the teeth. Following required measurements taken in the first session, restorations are made in a laboratory, and it is applied on the teeth in the second session. Compared to the direct composite procedures, it has the advantage of having a longer cosmetic durability and life.