Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentistry are terms used to describe the process in dentistry of achieving what individuals perceive as beauty in art or nature in a patient’s smile. The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to enhance the natural beauty of the mouth and face resulting in a pleasing appearance of a person’s smile. The term “aesthetics” is derived from the Greek word “aesthesia” which means sensation or sensibility belonging to the appreciation of the beautiful. That is where the “a” in aesthetics was derived. Hence the terms “aesthetic” and “esthetic” mean exactly the same thing. The term Cosmetic Dentistry, on the other hand, relates more to the adornment of teeth to enhance the superficial appearance of the teeth to make them look more “esthetic”. If a dentist is an aesthetic dentist he or she is also a Cosmetic Dentist. Aesthetic Dentistry is the broader approach to achieve a pleasing smile. In our practice we strive to achieve “aesthetics” in creating patient smiles that are more closely aligned with what occurs naturally. This may include cosmetic procedures such as porcelain veneers or bleaching. Additionally, achieving an esthetic smile may require orthodontics, gum tissue procedures, replacing old defective restorations or reconstructing an entire bite that has been damaged over the years. Fortunately at Schick Dentistry, our patients benefit from a comprehensive approach to analyzing these problems.
In dentistry these phrases, Cosmetic Dentistry and Aesthetic Dentistry, can be confusing. By virtue of naming procedures as “cosmetic”, the implication left in the patient’s mind is the enhancement of beauty alone. We attempt to create a cosmetic outcome which is esthetic or looks more natural rather than artificial. Owing to the vast improvements in technology, materials and techniques we are able to offer our patients this benefit.