What’s the difference between cosmetic dentistry and aesthetic dentistry?

There is a clear difference between Cosmetic Dentistry in Greeley and “Aesthetic Dentistry in Greeley.” The leaders in this field, such as Dental Implants & Aesthetics, have moved beyond cosmetic dentistry and believe in aesthetic changes, not cosmetic. They instead practice aesthetic dentistry.

The Greek origins of the word “cosmetic” means jewel, jewellery or adornment and therefore implies something that is fake or man-made. Going further, more often than not, you can tell when someone has had cosmetic treatment as it does not look natural. Instead, “aesthetic” derives from a Greek word meaning the feeling and perception of nature and organic formations. Therefore, aesthetic transformations are those that aim to mimic and recreate nature, aka natural human appearances. That means that aesthetic dentistry aims to give the patient the best natural-looking result creating an improved, but seamless transformation.

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Prosthodontists specialize in restoring beauty and function to the mouth and are the experts in aesthetic dentistry.  Bleaching, bonding, crown placement, veneer application, reshaping and contouring of the teeth are some common aesthetic dental procedures that prosthodontists use to improve the aesthetics of one’s smile.  These procedures can also improve functional problems such as an abnormal bite, replace missing teeth and more.

Bleaching is a common cosmetic procedure done by prosthodontists.  Medications, coffee, tea and wine are notorious for causing stains on natural teeth enamel.  Aging, illnesses and genetics also play a role in the discoloration of teeth.  While bleaching is used to remove stains such as these, many choose bleaching just for a brighter, whiter smile.  The process of bleaching begins by creating a customized mouthpiece.  Bleaching can then be performed in one or more 45-60 minute visits in the prosthodontist’s office or in the comfort of your own home under dental supervision.

Bonding is another popular cosmetic procedure and it is done to fill in gaps or repair damaged or discolored teeth.  Bonding can also cover imperfections caused by chipped or decayed teeth.  It can also fill in abnormal spaces between teeth to give a more uniform shape to the smile.  Although bonding can provide a beautiful smile for multiple years, customers should know that bonding can be more susceptible to staining and chipping compared to other forms of restoration such as veneers.  With bonding, care should be taken to avoid stain causing foods and drinks.

Crowns are used to cover damaged or decayed teeth when other options will not suffice.  They are also called caps because they go over, or cover, the natural tooth to provide a more aesthetically pleasing shape and contour.  Of all the cosmetic restoration procedures, crowns last the longest but they can also be more expensive and time consuming than some of the other cosmetic procedures.

Veneers are a cosmetic restorative procedure, similar to bonding, that hides imperfections in the teeth with a thin layer of porcelain. Veneers are placed over the enamel of the tooth and can mask uneven surfaces, chips, discoloration, odd contoured or unevenly spaced teeth.  Veneers last longer and withstand stains much longer than bonding.

Contouring and reshaping are cosmetic procedures often combined with bonding and veneers.  They are typically used to correct small defects in teeth that negatively affect the appearance of the teeth and often one’s bite.  Contouring and reshaping can make a huge difference in comfort as well as appearance.  Those who have overall healthy teeth but need minor changes in the length, shape or position of their teeth are great candidates for contouring and reshaping.