In the past, dental practitioners only considered enamel and dentin teeth to be one in the same. These are the tough outer surfaces of the tooth that, when broken, reveal the inner tooth. Because of this, there was no way of telling whether a tooth would be sensitive or not. Nowadays, dentists have a better understanding of the relationship between these two surfaces and have more sophisticated tools to help them evaluate a patient’s oral health. They know how to spot tooth sensitivity, how the enamel and dentin affect each other, and which procedures might be appropriate for each.
Cosmetic dentistry deals with issues regarding tooth sensitivity. Enamel, which protects the tooth from decay and holds it intact, is sensitive to tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues that can threaten its integrity. Cosmetic dentistry tries to resolve these issues through the replacement of the damaged enamel or the repairing of the gum. Sometimes, however, tooth sensitivity remains despite the best cleaning and maintenance. In such cases, the dentist can use techniques to temporarily block pain or to reduce swelling. This is known as enamel shock and can be treated with non-invasive methods.
When a tooth has a cavity or extensive damage, dentists perform dental procedures to bring it back to its original shape and size. If there is no visible damage, however, cosmetic dentistry may be unable to bring the tooth back to its former state. In cases such as this, the dentist might need to perform certain treatments to restore the tooth to a functional level. One of the most common procedures used to treat tooth sensitivity is called local anesthesia. Local anesthesia causes the nerves under the enamel of the tooth to become dormant, which allows the tooth to heal without pain.
For some people, tooth sensitivity can be controlled or eliminated by using over-the-counter drugs and creams, or, in more serious cases, by undergoing a procedure for enamel restructuring. The enamel of the tooth is actually damaged and needs to be reshaped or rebuilt. Cosmetic dentistry can also perform surgical procedures that can completely replace the tooth structure and repair the tooth. This type of dentistry is performed on teeth that are beyond repair because of extreme damage.
Some dentists perform both cosmetic and basic dentistry procedures; others specialize in either one or the other. The number of locations where these types of dentists can be found is virtually limitless. They can be found in all areas, from coast to coast, and everywhere in between. While enamel dentistry can be performed in the dentist’s office, it is often more cost effective to pay for this procedure at a specialty facility.
Enamel cosmetic dentistry is not the only type of cosmetic dentistry available. There are many different kinds of braces that can improve your smile. To learn more about the procedures that are available, contact your local branch of the American Dental Association.