Cosmetic dentistry

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Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person's teeth, gums and/or bite. Many dentists refer to themselves as "cosmetic dentists" regardless of their specific education, specialty, training, and experience in this field. This has been considered unethical with a predominant objective of marketing to patients.[1] The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal specialty area of dentistry.[1][2][3] However, there are still dentists that promote themselves as cosmetic dentists.



There are only 2 dental specialties that predominantly focus on dental esthetics/cosmetics. They are:[4] Prosthodontics[5] and Orthodontics[6] and such specialists are called Prosthodontists and Orthodontists respectively.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry options


Cosmetic dentistry may involve:

  1. the addition of a dental material to teeth or gums - examples: bonding, porcelain veneers (laminates), crowns (caps), gum grafts
  2. the removal of tooth structure or gums - examples: enameloplasty, gingivectomy
  3. neither adding nor removing dental materials, tooth structure, or gums - examples: teeth whitening (bleaching), gum depigmentation
  4. straightening of teeth accompanied by improvement in appearance of face - Orthodontics


Teeth reshaping (sculpting) and bonding performed in one office visit.[8]


In the past, dental fillings and other tooth restorations were made of gold, amalgam and other metals—some of which were veneered with porcelain. Now, dental work can be made entirely of porcelain or composite materials that more closely mimic the appearance of natural tooth structure. These tooth colored materials are bonded to the underlying tooth structure with resin adhesives. Unlike silver fillings (amalgams) they are entirely free of mercury. Many dentists offer procedures to be cosmetic and because their patients prefer natural looking teeth.[citation needed] Cosmetic dentistry has evolved to cover many new procedures and new dental materials are constantly introduced.


Formally trained specialists recognized by the American Dental Association undergo a minimum of 2–3 years full-time rigorous education program after dental school graduation. These specialties also lead to board certification approved by the American Dental Association.

Non-specialists with supplemental education related to specific interests. The certifications by these groups will not lead to approval by the American Dental Association.[3]

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry: The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is the largest international dental organization in the world, composed of general dentists, specialists, and lab technicians focused on the art and science of cosmetic dentistry. Founded in 1984, the AACD has over 7,000 members in the United States and more than 70 countries around the globe. Members of the Academy include dentists, dental laboratory technicians, educators, researchers, students, hygienists, corporations and dental auxiliaries. AACD members seek out continuing education through lectures, workshops, and publications in order to keep up-to-date with all of the advancements in cosmetic dental techniques and technology. In 1984, the AACD was formed and has filled the dire need for credentialing in cosmetic dentistry. The purpose of the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry (ABCD) is the testing, analyzing, and evaluation of the services of dentists and laboratory technicians for the purpose of awarding AACD Accreditation in cosmetic dentistry.[10] However, this certification is not approved or recognized by the American Dental Association.

American Society For Dental Aesthetics: Conceived in 1976, the American Society for Dental Aesthetics was developed with a single purpose in mind: continuing dental education to teach dental health professionals the most advanced aesthetic and restorative techniques available. To become a member of the ASDA, a dentist must show a minimum of five years in dental practice, or postgraduate training of two years in an approved program; attendance to at least two ASDA sponsored continuing dental education seminars; nomination by a member accompanied by two letters of recommendation by Society members; presentation of five (5) cases illustrating the concepts of aesthetic dentistry.[11]


  1. ^ a b Maihofer MG (February 2009). "Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty". The Journal of the Michigan Dental Association 91 (2): 18. PMID 19288658.
  2. ^,
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Maihofer MG (February 2009). "Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty". J Mich Dent Assoc 91 (2): 18. PMID 19288658.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^, Teeth Whitening | cosmetic dentistry guide
  8. ^ Dorfman, J. The Center for Special Dentistry.
  9. ^, Dental Composite Bonding, Cosmetic Dentistry Guide
  10. ^
  11. ^