What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

In simple terms it is dentistry that is mostly concerned with improving or beautifying a person’s smile, thereby enhancing their appearance. Every dentist performs these services in their practice.

Cosmetic dentistry is NOT a recognized dental specialty such as periodontics, orthodontics, endodontics and oral surgery.

Orthodontic (straightening of the teeth) is one of the best methods of providing a person with an enhanced smile and healthy teeth function, this is a very conservative approach because seldom is any healthy tooth structure removed just to improve a patient’s appearance. Overall this treatment should result in the best long-term results for both appearance and function.

Minor spacing problems (gaps) can be addressed with bonding techniques, either via composites or porcelain veneers. These treatments are possible with little to no tooth structure removal and have a good long-term prognosis.

Bleaching is a technique to lighten the color of the patient’s teeth. The long term results are favorable if a patient does not smoke, drink a lot of coffee, tea or red wine. Follow up treatment is sometimes necessary after prolonged use of these potentially staining substances.

Bleaching has been used in the treatment of darkened root canal teeth with good results.

Tetracycline staining of teeth results in either brownish grey or a bluish grey tone; (this has been difficult to eliminate by bleaching alone.) In mild cases bleaching may work, but in severe cases bonding via composites or veneers may be the best treatment. Crowning of these teeth should be the last option, but it may be the only one possible if the staining is too severe.

In my opinion, the over zealous crowning or capping of virgin teeth, just to improve a person’s smile, is a treatment that should only be done when other options have been explained and explored. Sound, healthy tooth structure is something we seek to preserve; this may be something you were fortunate to be born with. There are always exceptions such as a condition of incomplete enamel formation, due to a high fever or congenitally malformed teeth, but these are quite rare. Teeth that are badly broken down due to decay or trauma may require crowning as the only viable option.

I hope this clears up some misconceptions; if you have any questions feel free to call our office.


Angela Shen Chianglin, DDS
2032 Colby Avenue,
Everett, WA 98201

Top Dentists in Everett, WA 2015

Congratulations to North Everett Family Dental, Dr. Angela Shen on winning the 2015 Patients' Choice Awards for Dentistry in Everett, WA

Verified by