Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental work which aims to improve appearance but not necessarily improve function, of the tooth, gums, and/or bite. Cosmetic dentistry is broadly defined and many dentists refer themselves as cosmetic dentist regardless of education, training and experience. The Dental Association of America does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal specialization of dentistry. Most cosmetic dentists refers themselves as such to promote cosmetic dentistry.
Diving deeper into cosmetic dentistry.
In cosmetic dentistry, two specialized fields are primarily focused on improving cosmetic appearance associated with dentistry. These are Prosthodontics and Orthodontics.
Prosthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry which deals with diagnosis, treatment, planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of oral appearance, function, comfort, appearance and health of the patient. Dental problems associated with prosthodontics are missing or loss of teeth, missing or loss of maxillofacial tissues using substitute.
Orthodontics or orthodontia, comes from the Greek word orthos which refers to straight or perfect and odous which refers to the teeth — is a specialty of dentistry which deals with the study and treatment of malocclusions or improper bites which may be a result of irregularities of the tooth and/ or disproportionate jaw relationships or both. Orthodontic interventions often focus on displacement of the tooth, control or modification of facial growth referred as dentofacial orthopaedics.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is categorized into two different types: addition of dental material which can be restorative to teeth or gums to improve appearance and function such as veneers, crowns, and gum grafts, removal of problematic areas of the tooth and gums or removal of the whole portion such as enameloplasty and gingivectomy, straightening of the tooth to improve appearance such as orthodontics, and neither of the three criteria or colour improvement and removal such as bleaching ofthe teeth and gum decolourization.
Choosing a cosmetic dentist.
To achieve the credentials of cosmetic dentistry, after finishing the degree of dentistry, further training is needed. Specializations such as orthodontics and prosthodontics are considered by the American Dental Society as legal specialization for the title of cosmetic dentist.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or AACD was founded in 1994 to deal with issues regarding cosmetic dentistry. The members of the academy are often composed of different fields of oral health such as general dentists, dental specialist, and dental technicians focused on the artof cosmetic dentistry. AACD was founded to serve as the credentialing body for dental cosmetic;the academy serves to promote study of cosmetic dentistry, publications, workshops, and lectures.However, the AACD is not approved or recognized by the American Dental Association.
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