I believe that all modern dentistry is "cosmetic dentistry." In my twenty five years of practicing dentistry I have never had a case where I didn't care what the patients results looked like. Every dental patient deserves a presentable smile and is a walking billboard for your services. In some cases financial concerns, health concerns, or just rampant decay hamper your finished results. Even in these rare compromised situations, all dentists want the best esthetic results possible with every restoration for the patient. Some dentists may think of cosmetic dentistry as something along the lines of plastic surgery. They diagnose a complete overhaul of all the exposed tooth structure to give it a new shape , texture, and color. These are exciting and profitable cases and I enjoy doing them because dental patients are so delighted by the results. The fact is that few patients have the financial ability or the desire to undertake such a makeover.
In reality, my everyday practice is not made up of exspensive full mouth restorations. It is made up of fixing particular teeth and making them look completely natural next to the other teeth in the mouth. The reason that we can make realistic tooth restorations is the incredible advances in technology and material sciences. New restorative materials like castable porcelain or zirconia based glasses allow restorations that are tooth colored and have the translucency of natural teeth. Just 15 years ago, tooth colored crowns were made by baking porcelain on top of a metal base that was made to fit the tooth. These porcelain fused to metal crowns are still used today in cases where real strength is needed and the teeth being restored are in the back of the mouth. They can be made to look very realistic. but in the front of the mouth the translucency of all porcelain or glass restorations can not be matched.