Dental treatments that improve the aesthetics and function of a patient’s gums, teeth, or bite are considered cosmetic dentistry. Your regular general dentist provides preventive dentistry to keep your teeth and gums healthy which includes a thorough oral examination, a professional dental cleaning, and x-rays. A true generalist dentist might do other treatments that commonly are done by specialists also such as tooth extractions, fillings, root canals, and periodontal therapy. A cosmetic dentist improves your smile which can include treating discolored, chipped, misshapen, or missing teeth; restoring worn or short teeth; closing gaps; or reshaping teeth. In today’s blog we explain what cosmetic dentistry is by discussing some treatments cosmetic dentists offer.
Differences in Training between Cosmetic Dentists and General Dentist
All cosmetic dentists are general dentists. The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a field of its own, but cosmetic dentists are highly trained in cosmetic dental procedures. Cosmetic dentists get their training by attending programs and courses dedicated to cosmetic techniques, procedures, and treatments. While general dentists can perform some cosmetic procedures such as whitening and dental bonding, a trained cosmetic dentist can perform bonding, veneers and crowns at a higher level.
The types of improvements that cosmetic dentists make aren’t always only for cosmetic reasons. Often these improvements also correct problems such as a misaligned bite. Some cosmetic treatments include:
- Bonding: Bonding is a minimally invasive procedure done with a resin composite material prepared to blend with the surrounding dentition. It can usually be completed in one visit, yet it can last several years. Dental bonding can be used to correct shipped, fractured, broken, or slightly decayed teeth; gaps between teeth; or it can be used to change the color and shape of teeth.
- Crowns: Dental crowns, or caps, are used to “cap” an extremely decayed or damaged tooth, restoring it to its original shape, size, and color. Crowns are extremely strong and durable and have the most life expectancy, but they are also an invasive procedure.
- Veneers: Dental veneers are commonly thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to your teeth to change the shape, size, color, or hide gaps, chips, or cracks. Veneers are often used for the same problems as bonding but have a longer life expectancy.
- Minimum preparation veneers: For a certain number of veneer candidates, no or limited drilling is required for this type of veneer. These no-prep veneers will actually increase the strength of your existing teeth.
- Gum lifts: A gum lift is an in-office procedure to raise and even out the symmetry of your gums. Some people have gummy smiles which can be vastly improved with this procedure.
If you’re looking for improvements, Dr. Fondriest can help you decide which treatment is best for you.
AACD and the AAED
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is an international dental association that consists of 7,000 members from 70 countries. Focused on the art and science of cosmetic dentistry, it is comprised of general dentists, specialists, lab technicians, dental hygienists, researchers, educators, corporations, students, and dental educators. In addition, the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry (ABCD) was created to analyze, test, and evaluate the services of theses dentists and dental lab technicians.
The American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (AAED) is also an international organization that has an invitation only membership that is limited to 300 of the most elite dentists in the world. These member dentists are all accomplished educators and mentors and most have long lists of published work. Many of these practitioners are the lecturers for the AACD.
Dr Fondriest is a member of both organizations
Come meet our cosmetic dentist
Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from the greater Chicago Metro area. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.