Many confuse the two unique concepts, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics. While they are both branches of dentistry, they differ in purpose and approach. Orthodontics improves and corrects irregularities of teeth position in the jaw whereas cosmetic dentistry improves the appearance of teeth in general.
Both these terms may sound simple. But in reality, they deal with complicated dental health issues and structure. Read on to know how these procedures are different from one another.
Cosmetic dentistry has become incredibly popular due to the pervasive appearance-consciousness in society. It is one form of expert oral care solution primarily designed to enhance dental aesthetics rather than the functioning itself. The term ‘cosmetic’ itself refers to ‘aesthetics’.
Typically, a bright smile and good oral health go hand in hand. That’s why most cosmetic dentists use advanced procedures to improve oral health at the start. Then, finally, move on to achieve aligned and bright teeth. This process enhances dental appearances by bringing consistency in shape, size, colour, and overall smile.
Teeth whitening is one of the most basic procedures of cosmetic dentistry. Your teeth are first cleaned of plaque, tartar, and other material collected inside your mouth. Once the cleansing is done, your tooth surface is bleached.
This process goes a long way in helping people with stained teeth due to smoking, food, or medication. Teeth whitening is also the least expensive teeth cleaning option, providing a far better and lasting solution than other over-the-counter options.
Dental veneers are thin white shells, usually made of porcelain, ceramic, or composite resin. They are bonded to the front surface of the tooth using dental cement. They are a good option for stained or chipped teeth and are most often custom-made to suit the patient’s needs.
But dental veneers are a permanent solution and, once done, cannot be reversed. So go for a detailed consultation with your dentist before opting for it.
Dental crowns or caps are one of the most common options when fixing crooked or damaged teeth. This procedure is used when a tooth is too weak, or your cavity is too big for a standard filling.
Dental crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramics, zirconia, resin, and metal. Metal and porcelain fused materials are the most commonly preferred options.
The good thing about dental caps is that they provide a natural appearance to teeth and are not easy to detect. But sometimes, patients may react to the metals used in crowns. At times, they might even fall out. These are the drawbacks you should consider before going for it.
An inlay is the best option, especially when dealing with cavities. Here, the filling is usually created in dental labs. In this method, a pre-moulded filling is placed inside the grooves of your teeth.
An onlay is used if your tooth is too weak for normal filling, or the tooth cusps are damaged, and an inlay cannot help. Onlay usually helps with the damaged cusps and partially damaged teeth.
Tooth implants are an almost-perfect replacement for your natural teeth. This process involves surgery wherein a titanium post is placed on the jaw-bone. For this to work, you need a strong bone structure. Otherwise, you may need bone grafting or augmentation.
After the implant is done, it takes approximately two to six months to adjust, and only after the implant is set correctly will you wear a permanent dental crown.
Dental bonding is one of the most popular solutions to repair chipped teeth using composite resin bonding.
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that predominantly deals with diagnosing, preventing, and correcting bad bites.
Apart from this, it covers a range of dental problems, including protruding upper front teeth, overcrowding, deep bites, cross bites, asymmetry, open bite, reverse bite, and even impacted teeth.
Orthodontic treatment typically involves wearing braces and other dental tools. The purpose is to rectify your bites so that your front and back teeth meet evenly.
At this point, it is essential to mention that orthodontic treatment for children begins after 12 years of age when their teeth start coming out. There is no age limit for adults, but with growing age comes restriction in the treatment.
Now let us find out about the various types of orthodontic procedures.
Fixed tools are the ones that are used to keep the teeth in position so that they do not move or become loose during the treatment. The patients cannot remove these appliances without professional help.
This appliance includes ceramic and lingual braces, palatal expanders, habit appliances, and lower lingual holding arches.
Removable tools are easy-to-wear dental aid that provides extra support for your teeth. They include Invisalign aligners, removable retainers, and night braces or head gears.
Functional braces are usually removable plastic braces enjoined or designed to interact together and stay fit on both upper and lower sets of teeth.
Now you know the clear differences between orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. From the procedures to the purpose, they vary in every aspect. Learning about these differences will help you get an incisive idea about the entire process, and you can make an informed decision.
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