Esthetic Dentistry – Considers Natural Tooth Color and Opaqueness

Esthetic Dentistry - Considers Natural Tooth Color and Opaqueness from Barry Jones DDS in Vista, CAEsthetic dentistry can provide a middle ground between the health-focused care of general dentistry and the appearance-focused improvements of cosmetic dentistry. While the closely related field of cosmetic dentistry can be a good option for making visible or dramatic changes, an esthetic approach may be recommended for patients who primarily want to maintain a healthy smile with natural-looking teeth.

Defining esthetic dentistry

Esthetic dentistry focuses on appearance in the same way cosmetic dentistry does, but its practitioners also deal with the minutia such as natural tooth color and opaqueness that naturally occur in a patient’s smile. Essentially, esthetic practices improve the attractiveness of a patient’s smile by ensuring that all teeth are as healthy and straight as possible — while improving the functionality of the teeth at the same time.

Patients who visit an esthetic dentist may receive one or more of the following services to help make teeth brighter, more durable, and healthier overall:

  • Deep cleaning to ensure the health of teeth and gums
  • Removing root canals
  • Restoring teeth with fillings, crowns, or bridges for a natural, healthy look

Esthetic dentistry may not focus on whitening teeth artificially or considering more invasive treatments and restorations to dramatically alter the patient’s smile. At times, both services are used, while other times the esthetic approach provides exactly what is needed to correct a functional or appearance problem in a patient’s teeth.

Considering tooth color and opaqueness when restoring a smile

Most patients do not want artificial-looking or bleached-white teeth. Practitioners of esthetic dentistry know this and take into consideration both the color and the opaqueness of each tooth when a plan is made to restore a patient’s teeth or elevate the overall state of health of the mouth.

Tooth color

Before fillings or bridges are placed on a patient’s teeth, the dentist must consider the natural tooth color. Will the filling material match the patient’s teeth, or should it be altered using a shade-matching tool? Creating a natural look is the practitioner's goal here.

Tooth opaqueness

The opaqueness of a tooth refers to how solid it looks when the light shines through it. Is the tooth nearly transparent, which may be the result of enamel loss, or does it look hard and durable? When providing a replacement for a tooth or a crown that fits on top of the tooth, dentists must determine both the color and the opaqueness to create a realistic-looking solution that will be indistinguishable from the rest of the patient’s teeth.

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For patients who are looking to get tooth replacements, it is important to consider the color and opaqueness of the natural teeth to match the shade as closely as possible. Esthetic dentistry seeks to improve the overall health of the patient’s teeth by focusing on less invasive methods and strives to attain a natural look. Consult with a licensed dentist about which esthetic methods can help you attain your desired smile and tooth color.

Request an appointment or call Barry Jones DDS at 760-201-4087 for an appointment in our Vista office.

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