Cosmetic dentistry generally refers to procedures that improve the look, although not necessarily the function, of teeth and gums. Dr. Stuart Katz, a family and general dentist for over 20 years, offers cosmetic dental procedures, such as bleaching, crowns, and Invisalign® in his conveniently located, Burnaby Square practice.
"Cosmetic procedures are those that people want to have done," Dr. Katz explains, "It's not something we're going to tell you that you need. For example, some people are perfectly happy with their teeth, even if the teeth are a little crooked or yellower than average. I usually mention that there are options to fix a little crowding in the front, or we could possible straighten teeth out if they wished. I want my patients to be aware that we can do that."
As an aesthetic fix, cosmetic dentistry is totally self-driven.
"It's what separates it from other types of dentistry," says Dr. Katz. "Cosmetic procedures require good consultation, and that's what we do. The patient needs to be aware of all the options, the process, and the cost."
One cosmetic dentistry product that is gaining in popularity is Invisalign®, an almost invisible way to straighten teeth, and an alternative to wire braces.
"Some patients have trouble with the brackets on wire braces; they can be a bit uncomfortable,” says Dr. Katz. “The Invisalign treatment involves wearing clear plastic trays, custom designed for the patient's mouth. From an appearance perspective, it's almost invisible. No one needs to know that you're wearing braces."
For younger patients under the age of 15, Dr. Katz still refers candidates for braces to the orthodontist.
"One thing with Invisalign® is that it comes with a set of instructions that need to be followed,” Dr. Katz points out, “including removing them after meals and cleaning teeth, and wearing them 20 – 22 hours a day. Not everyone is a good candidate. But many people find them more comfortable than traditional braces."
Whether you're unhappy with the colour of your teeth or you have crooked or crowded teeth, there's likely a cosmetic procedure that can help.