Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of dental treatments aimed at improving the appearance of the teeth. The purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of the teeth using bleaching, bonding, veneers, reshaping, orthodontics, or implants.
Bleaching is done to lighten teeth that are stained or discolored. It entails the use of a bleaching solution applied by a dentist or a gel in a tray that fits over the teeth used at home under a dentist's supervision. Bonding involves applying tooth-colored plastic putty, called composite resin, to the surface of chipped or broken teeth. This resin is also used to fill cavities in front teeth (giving a more natural-looking result) and to fill gaps between teeth. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that cover the front of the teeth. They can improve the appearance of damaged, discolored, misshapen, or misaligned teeth. Reshaping involves the removal of enamel from a misshapen tooth so that it matches other teeth. Orthodontics uses braces to correct the position of crowded or misaligned teeth. Implants are artificial teeth which are attached directly to the jaw to replace missing teeth.