Cosmetic dentistry is not just about good-looking teeth, it’s also about improving their function.
Post by Genevieve De Guzman, senior dental assistant
When people hear talk about cosmetic dentistry or aesthetic dentistry, they often assume that we’re just talking about whitening teeth, or making your smile look pretty. But there is a lot more to aesthetics than that.
I’m a senior dental assistant at Greenwood Dental and I work closely with my provider, Dr Jeff Brown. As senior dental assistant I do the set-up and the clean-up so I prepare everything he needs for a patient in every case from implant cases to Invisalign. There’s a number of different things you need to do to prepare for different aesthetic cases. In fact it’s a very complex topic. When we talk about cosmetic dentistry, we can be talking veneers, crowns, inlays and more, and they all have different functions.
What I love with what I am doing right now is dental veneers. A veneer is a thin shell of medical-grade ceramic that looks like a natural tooth, but it’s placed over the tooth. It’s an option when a tooth has a stain or is discoloured. To place the veneer, first Dr Brown would reduce the front facing of the tooth and we take impression of it. We also take measurements in the mouth, and we send the patient to the laboratory to take the shade or the colour of that tooth.
Normally it takes a few weeks for that veneer to be made in the lab, and then the patient needs to come back to the surgery where we fit the veneer in. If the patient is happy then we glue it permanently. Its really life like tooth, nobody will notice it.
My dentist is really gifted and does them well. Where we tend to see a demand for veneers is with patients who have had staining on their front teeth, perhaps as a result of antibiotics like tetracycline being used when they were young (which can lead to tooth staining). Naturally they want this corrected, and we can do that really satisfactorily by using veneers. The final results with patients are really good and they are really happy about it. We are giving them their money’s worth and service they deserve.
It is quite amazing what is possible with materials used for veneers. With modern materials and the advanced technology of the lab and our dentist hand in hand as partners, they really do an excellent job and I am really proud of them.