Understanding The Differences Between Cosmetic Dentistry And Orthodontics

For a long time, orthodontists did most of the cosmetic work on patients’ teeth, but in recent years, cosmetic dentistry is becoming popular. In fact, many family dental practices these days include a range of cosmetic procedures. People who want to improve their appearance need to choose between these two types of services. In order to choose, it’s helpful to understand the differences between the two.


An orthodontist’s job is to change the alignment of the teeth by moving them. Orthodontics can straighten crooked teeth that sit at an angle in the bone, and they can re-position the teeth along the jawline. Orthodontists attach brackets to the teeth which allow them to be pulled with wires that are connected to the brackets and pulled tight. In addition to the brackets and wires, orthodontists may use other appliances that widen the jaws or align the upper and lower jaws. Orthodontic treatment can take two or three years and it is expensive, usually costing thousands of dollars.


In addition to fixed braces and appliances, orthodontists also use removable active devices. While these look like retainers, they actually work differently because they change the position of the teeth. These are used for less severe alignment problems, and they don’t work well for crooked teeth. Retainers are passive devices that only keep teeth in place.

Cosmetic Dentistry

A cosmetic dentist in Jupiter Florida uses a range of procedures to improve the appearance of the teeth without actually changing their position. One of the most common cosmetic procedures is a whitening treatment to remove stains or brighten a naturally dingy color. Dentists apply a bleaching agent, sometimes in combination with laser treatment. A whitening procedure is usually completed in one office visit.

A Jupiter dentist who practices cosmetic dentistry can also use bonding to smoothly cover a crooked or damaged tooth. Bonding can create the appearance of a straight line even if a tooth is sitting at an angle. Bonding can also be a quick fix for a chipped or broken or discolored tooth. If too much of a tooth is missing, a dentist may use a crown instead.

A cosmetic dentist also uses veneers. Dental veneers are very thin porcelain shells that fit over your natural teeth. They hide gaps between teeth and have a very realistic appearance. Veneers are attached with an adhesive after the outer surface of the tooth has been buffed.

Although cosmetic dentistry generally conceals rather than changes poorly aligned teeth, it offers a quick result, generally at a much lower cost than orthodontics. Patients who are interested in finding a cosmetic dentist Jupiter FL can visit www.premierdentistryofjupiter.com.