How do you envision dentistry? For most people, the first thing that comes to mind is teeth whitening or cosmetic procedures. However, orthodontics is also a crucial branch of dentistry that people often overlook. After all, a straight smile is often seen as an attractive feature. But what’s the difference between cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics? Are they the same? This article will explore the differences between cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics and answer common questions about them. So if you’re curious about either field, keep reading! However, alluredental.com/ is an excellent resource if you want more detailed information.
Let’s start by defining each term.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is any dental work done to improve your teeth’ appearance. This can include procedures like teeth whitening, veneers, bonding, and implants.
Essentially, if the goal of the procedure is to make your smile look better, it’s considered cosmetic dentistry.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics, on the other hand, is the branch of dentistry that deals with correcting misaligned teeth. An orthodontist uses braces, retainers, or other devices to correct this condition. The goal of orthodontic treatment is to use these devices to nudge the teeth into their proper position. So, the focus here is more on the function of your teeth than their appearance.
Now that we’ve defined each term, let’s discuss each one in detail to highlight their differences.
As we mentioned before, the goal of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of your teeth. A cosmetic dental surgeon can do this in several ways, all designed to make your teeth look their best. Let’s look at these procedures in a little more detail.
Teeth Whitening – This is probably the most common cosmetic dental procedure. As the name suggests, teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a process of lightening the color of your teeth. This is usually done using a bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide.
Veneers – Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain placed over your teeth’ front surface. They correct several dental issues, such as chipped teeth, gaps, and misshapen teeth.
Bonding – Bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin is used to improve the appearance of your teeth. This can be done to correct many issues, such as gaps, stains, and misshapen teeth.
Dentures – Dentures are false teeth that are used to replace missing teeth. Depending on the missing teeth, they can be either partial or complete.
Implants – Implants are metal posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone. They are then used to support a dental prosthetic, such as a denture or bridge.
By going through any of these procedures, you can significantly improve the appearance of your smile.
As we mentioned earlier, the purpose of going through orthodontic treatment is to have a beautiful smile complimented by functional teeth. Here are common issues that may require orthodontic treatment.
Overcrowding – When there is insufficient space within your jawbone for adult teeth, the teeth may become crooked or twisted.
Spacing – Gaps between teeth can be caused by missing teeth or have a jawbone that is too wide for your teeth. In addition to affecting your smile, large spaces can also make your teeth more susceptible to cavities and gum disease due to the lodging of food particles and bacteria.
Crossbite – This occurs when the upper teeth on one side bite the inside of the lower teeth.
Overbite – Also known as “buck teeth,” this happens when the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth.
Having seen the common issues that come under orthodontics, it is time to look at the most common treatments.
Braces – Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment. They are metal wires attached to your teeth to move them into their proper position.
Retainers – Retainers are appliances that are worn to keep your teeth in their proper position after braces have been removed. They can be either removable or fixed.
Headgear – Headgear is another appliance worn to help move the teeth and jaws into their proper position.
Orthodontics And Cosmetic Dentistry: Do They Overlap?
A common question is whether there is any overlap between orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. The answer to this question is yes.
Let’s take an example of a patient prescribed braces to correct an overbite. In addition to improving the function of their teeth, braces will also improve the appearance of their smile. Thus, in this case, the orthodontics treatment also has cosmetic benefits.
Combining Cosmetic Dentistry And Orthodontic Treatment
Sometimes, patients may require cosmetic and orthodontic treatment to achieve their desired results. For example, a patient with crowded teeth may first require braces to straighten their teeth. Once the braces are removed, they may require bonding or veneers to improve the appearance of their smile.
There is a lot of overlap between orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. Patients may require both treatments to achieve their desired results in many cases. However, each treatment has unique benefits that can improve the function and appearance of your smile.