Cosmetic Dentistry: Your Complete Guide


Dr Aran Moorthy

This article was written by Australian dental surgeon Dr Aran Moorthy, BDS. Dr Moorthy has a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Adelaide. You can read more about Dr Moorthy here >

Invisalign available in Gosnells

There’s a lot more fun to be had at the dentist than just rinsing & spitting!

Gone are the days of visiting the dentist purely for a clean and scale or odd filling. Of course, taking care of your dental health is our number one priority, but if you think the best thing you can look forward to is trying to talk while your mouth’s held open, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Many of us take pride in our physical appearance – and now more than ever, our teeth and faces are more closely scrutinised. That’s why today, some of Perth’s more advanced dental clinics, such as Mills Road Dental in Martin, WA, near Gosnells have incorporated some of the most fantastic new cosmetic advancements available. Take a look at some of the procedures on offer.

Cosmetic injectables

Cosmetic injectables fall into two categories: either anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers. Each one contains different products and is used with different objectives and aesthetic outcomes.

Anti-wrinkle injections

Anti wrinkle injections

Also known as wrinkle relaxers, these injections involve safely injecting a natural protein into specific facial muscles to relax them temporarily.

As we age, continual muscle contraction causes fine lines and wrinkles to form. These injections allow the muscles to relax and give your skin a smoother and more youthful appearance.

Anti-wrinkle injections can treat a variety of areas on the face, such as crow’s feet, bunny lines (nose wrinkles), gummy smile, and frown and forehead lines.

These injections can also be administered by your dentist, if required, to treat muscle tension issues such as TMJ problems and tooth grinding.

Well over one million people worldwide have experienced the benefits of anti-wrinkle injections. Allergic reactions are extremely rare and there are no major side effects associated with the product.

Find out more about wrinkle relaxing injections >

Dermal & volumising fillers

Dermal and Volumising Fillers

Dermal fillers are highly popular as there are benefits abound. Fillers are quick, relatively painless and can appear to take years away in a matter of seconds! Better still, the quality of dermal fillers keeps getting better, with today’s fillers lasting from 18 months to two years or even longer.

As we age, our faces change shape due to a loss of volume under the skin. Our youthful fat pads disappear, making our faces appear more drawn or sunken. These changes are so subtle that you may not be aware that they’ve taken place. For example, you’ve probably noticed that your cheekbones aren’t as full, but were you aware that the fat pads around your eyebrows and temples are far smaller than they were when you were a teen? It’s interesting stuff!

Dermal fillers are made of a naturally occurring substance called hyaluronic acid and are safe, non-invasive, almost completely painless and require no downtime.

There are many fillers on the market, but certain types treat different areas. For example:

  • Dermal fillers –  treat fine lines and wrinkles
  • Volumising fillers –  add youth-enhancing volume to facial areas such as cheekbones, temples, brow s jawbone and chin. They can even be used to straighten out bumps in the nose
  • Lip fillers  – can be injected into the lips to create volume or more definition

TIP: When it comes to choosing a good dentist for your cosmetic procedure, trust your gut. If you feel they are honest and reasonable, not simply up-selling their services to make a record monthly profit, and if they leave you feeling relaxed, reassured and with a good feeling inside, then you’ve probably found the right dentist for you!

Cosmetic DentistryCosmetic dentistry

While you pop along to your dentist for your annual six-monthly scale and clean, you might want to investigate some of the cosmetic options available to you. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to straighten your teeth or prefer them to be whiter or brighter. Some people are embarrassed about the shape or irregularity of their teeth. These days, there are many options to remedy these problems.

Teeth whitening

Pola Night Teeth WhiteningAll of us lose the whiteness and brightness of our teeth over time, particularly if we don’t have them regularly cleaned or bleached. Drinking tea or coffee, red wine, eating certain foods or smoking can all yellow the teeth. At Mills Road Dental, in Martin,  WA, we offer both professional in-chair and at-home teeth whitening. Results are quick, and most people are delighted with the outcome.

If you’re not already coming in for a checkup, you’ll have to book in for a quick appointment with the dentist to check that your teeth are healthy and in good shape for the procedure.

The cost of teeth-whitening is relatively affordable, and we now have a special offer on a combination of in-chair and take-home teeth-whitening for just $499. (Usually $749)

NB: Costs may even be less with health insurance. See details and T&Cs here.

Find out more about teeth whitening >


Porcelain veneers

Porcelain Veneers at Mills Rd Dental in MartinTeeth whitening provides plenty of people with all the dazzle they need.  But sometimes, teeth need a little bit more love – particularly if your teeth have internal staining, are crooked, have ridges or are not as uniform as you’d like.

Porcelain veneers are strong but sheer, wafer-like shells that are bonded onto the front of your teeth to improve your cosmetic appearance. While not the cheapest option of the market, they are a high-quality option and incredibly beautiful and long-lasting. They can also hide a multitude of problems, such as evening out crooked teeth, correcting the appearance of a chipped or cracked tooth, balancing out irregularly sized teeth (either in width or length) and whitening teeth stained by medications unable to be treated through tooth bleaching alone. And, porcelain tooth veneers can also help to strengthen a slightly weakened tooth.

Find out more about porcelain veneers >


Invisalign & ClearCorrect

Invisalign Clear AlignersBoth Invisalign and ClearCorrect offer an excellent way of straightening crowded or poorly aligned teeth without you having to wear metal braces. Over three million people have benefited from Invisalign clear aligners, a process made possible by computer-generated technology and 3-D printing.

It’s not just about vanity, either:  straighter teeth don’t just look nicer; they’re also often a lot healthier. Straighter teeth are easier to clean and floss, minimising the chances of periodontal disease, and keeping gums healthier, and there’s a decreased risk of jawbone wear and tear (where badly aligned teeth negatively impacted chewing function).

Find out more about Invisalign & ClearCorrect >


Dental crowns

Dental Crowns GosnellsA dental (tooth) crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers your existing tooth to help protect it or make it stronger. People have crowns for a variety of reasons. You may have weakened your tooth after excessive decay or fillings, it may have been broken or badly chipped, root canal work may have left the tooth weak and grey, or you may have lost your tooth and had a dental implant inserted, with the crown now acting as the replacement tooth.

Dental crowns are made of a variety of materials such as porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, all resin, all ceramic, and metals such as nickel or gold alloy or stainless steel. And with correct care, dental crowns should last many years.

Another option these days is same-day CEREC crowns. As the name suggests, these crowns are made very quickly in one day. You only need one appointment and using 3-D technology, we can create a perfectly matched to your mouth in very little time. However, same-day crowns aren’t always for everyone. If you need a crown for your one of your front teeth, another type of crown may be recommended.

Find out more about CEREC crowns >

Smile makeovers

Preventative DentalYou may have read of the trending term ‘smile makeover’ advertised about town. But what exactly is it? Today, a smile makeover is considered to be a treatment plan involving a combination of several cosmetic dentistry procedures to improve the overall appearance and possibly function of your smile through at least two cosmetic dentistry procedures. This could be anything from tooth whitening, dental implants, crowns or veneers, for example.

Interestingly though, the term ‘smile makeover’ was first used to explain a more medical procedure performed to correct functional (more health-related) issues. A smile makeover was used to describe full mouth rehabilitation, where several dental implants, possibly a bone graft, and fixed bridges were fitted.

Dental implants

Dental implant abutment and crownDental implants have often been associated with older people; but lately, many younger people are choosing to have tooth implants instead of bridges. While more expensive, tooth implants are considered the superior option. Tooth implants and their associated crowns or attachments give extremely natural-looking results, prevent adjacent teeth from moving and also help keep your bone volume in good shape.

Find out more about dental implants >

Questions to ask your dentist regarding cosmetic treatments

Dr Monica HernandezWe always recommend you think carefully about any cosmetic procedure, whether its facial cosmetic injectables or cosmetic dental work and always get a second opinion for any surgical procedure. And, do your research. Before your initial consultation with your dentist, here are a few questions you may want to ask.

What procedures would you recommend for me?

Your dentist can objectively analyse your face and teeth and has the experience and education to see important details that you may not ever have noticed. Additionally, we rarely look at cosmetic changes in isolation; it’s important to carefully assess the balance and symmetry of your face as a whole.

Are there any alternatives to this procedure (and what are the pros and cons?)

Sometimes there are less expensive options that could suffice, or, you might find that they just won’t hit the mark for you. Go through these issues carefully with your dentist so you can make the most informed choice.

Have you performed this procedure before?

Experience goes a long way – and so does honesty. Make sure your dentist is thoroughly familiar with the procedure. And keep in mind that a good dentist will refer you to another dentist or specialist if they don’t feel the procedure is one of their specialties.

May I see before and after photos of your previous work?

As they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, so make sure your aesthetic sensibilities are similar to your dentist’s. If you see images of unnaturally white teeth that more closely resemble Tic Tacs than a natural part of the body,  or puffed up lips and cheeks, this is a pretty good indication that you might end up looking the same. So if that’s not for you, go elsewhere!

Do I need to be aware of any complications?

All surgical procedures carry risks, so find out what they are by discussing this carefully with your dentist. More importantly, if, complications do arise, find out how they would be remedied.

How long will my treatment last?

A good example is if you were to weigh up porcelain veneers versus composite bonding. Porcelain veneers are not cheap, but they are incredibly lifelike and beautiful. They can also last a long time and stay looking good for their lifetime – which is possibly around 20 years. Composite bonding is less expensive and can be terrific in the short term. However, over time, composite bonded teeth can lose their lustre and not look quite as attractive as before.

This blog page has been fact-checked by Dentist Dr Aran Moorthy.

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