With the expression ‘esthetic dentistry’ we refer to those dental treatments that improve the location, appearance and function of the teeth and jaws; esthetic dentistry is a part of dentistry which pourpose is to change the appearance of teeth, gums or bite, even if functional needs are not always included. It was born at the end of 19th century, but in recent years it has developed very fast in technologies, materials and popularity.
Esthetic dental treatment. The profesionals.
Dental specialties that focus on esthetic dentistry are prosthodontics and orthodontics, even if also periodontic and endodontic treatments are included; some of these works are very common, such as bonding, porcelain veneers, crowns, dental implants, gum crafts and lift, teeth whitening, gum depigmentation, invisalign treatment and the traditional metal braces.
These kind of treatments have esthetic results but they can also help patients for the improvement of the appearance of face or to partly resolve problems related to bones, headache, facial and neck pain, temporomandibular joint.
One of most important achievements of esthetic dentistry is the use of better materials: while in the past, dental fillings and other tooth works were made with gold, amalgam and other metals which contained mercury, now only porcelain or composite materials are used, that are more close to the natural colour and properties of natural teeth and are safe from a health point of view.
Oral health. The associations.
Nowadays there are associations, for example in norh-America or in Europe, which aim is to promote and integrate dental esthetics treatments into the complex of oral health care and to determine ethical standards; some of these associations are the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, the American Society for Dental Aesthetics, the European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry or the European Society of Cosmetic Dentistry.
These societies were born to support dental education and the emancipation of esthetic dentistry, since it is not usually recognize as a formal specialty area of dentistry and the habit of some dentists to refer to themselves as cosmetic dentists is considered unethical and with marketing pourposes.
Esthetic dentistry. The meaning.
From a scientific point of view, esthetic dentistry and cosmetic dentistry are not the same thing, mainly because the first is interested in ‘mimics the pristine state of the natural dentition’, while the other isn’t and they are considered different in definition, concept, and execution.