When you smile, you don’t want to feel self-conscious. Instead, you want to be able to smile wide without feeling worried about what others will think about your teeth and/or gums. If you don’t like the appearance of your teeth and/or gums, you should consider contacting a cosmetic dentist to design a smile that you are proud of. Consider an appointment with our team today.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the field of dentistry that involves cosmetic procedures. While some of these procedures are beneficial to a patient’s overall oral health, other cosmetic dentistry services are performed purely for aesthetic reasons.
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Cosmetic Dentistry Services
“Cosmetic dentistry” is a term that encapsulates a variety of different procedures. Some of the different procedures that a cosmetic dentist may perform include:
Dental bonding is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the placement of a ceramic piece to cover up a chip or crack in the tooth. Dental bonding can also be used to improve discoloration of a tooth. The material is placed in the damaged area, and is then hardened with a plasma arc light. This gives the appearance of a natural, healthy and undamaged tooth.
A dental veneer is an excellent option for a patient that has a tooth that is a little too damaged for dental bonding, but isn’t quite damaged enough to require the placement of a dental crown. Dental veneers are excellent for fixing chips in teeth, oddly shaped teeth, broken teeth and cracked teeth. Veneers are often made with porcelain—giving them a realistic appearance.
Dental crowns are an excellent repair option for teeth that have suffered more severe damage. As the name implies, dental crowns replace the crown of a tooth that has suffered damage, decay or any other issue that requires the replacement of a crown. Dental crowns also may be used as abutments for a dental bridge. Crowns can be made with a variety of different materials, and the decision of which materials are right for you will depend on your budget and your particular needs.
Teeth whitening is a service that many people think of when they hear the term “cosmetic dentistry.” This is because—for the most part—teeth whitening is a purely cosmetic service. Still, teeth whitening can help to improve a patient’s self-confidence, which can in turn improve their mood and overall demeanor.
Teeth whitening can be done either at-home or in-office. In-office whitening is much faster, and each appointment takes as little as 45 minutes. At-home whitening is more affordable, but it takes longer—especially if a patient’s teeth are more sensitive and the tray can only be worn for short periods of time.
Teeth whitening is not a permanent procedure, and patients that undergo whitening will need to have their teeth whitened again after a period of time. Still, professional teeth whitening can produce amazing results, and can significantly improve the shade of a patient’s teeth.
Some patients suffer from what is often called a “gummy smile.” This is when the gums cover an unusual portion of the patient’s teeth. Other patients have an uneven gumline—giving an odd appearance to their teeth and gums. In order to adjust these issues, a patient can opt for gum contouring. This process involves the dentist adjusting the shape of the gums—improving the cosmetic appearance.
While a patient will need to see a cosmetic dentist that specializes in orthodontics, braces and Invisalign are still often considered a cosmetic dentistry procedure. This is because braces and Invisalign adjust the overall look of a patient’s teeth.
Traditional braces are a great option for patients that are on a budget, or have more severe alignment issues. There may be different options available to patients that are having braces placed, including the types of brackets used.
Another option for shifting of teeth is Invisalign. Although Invisalign trays are technically braces, they are often looked at as a separate appliance. This is because they look different than traditional braces, and they involve the use of a removal tray. The name Invisalign is due to the fact that Invisalign trays are see-through, and are difficult to notice. Invisalign braces are also removable—making them easy to clean.
Another cost effective option for multiple teeth replacement and confidence restoration is dentures.
Finding a Cosmetic Dentist
If you have decided to undergo a cosmetic dentistry procedure, you’ll need to find a qualified cosmetic dentist. While many general dentists perform the occasional cosmetic dentistry service, not all general dentists are qualified to perform more advanced services. Some general dentists also will not offer these services at all. Because of this, you’ll want to find a cosmetic dentist that specializes in the procedure that you are looking to undergo.
One consideration for finding a cosmetic dentist is speaking with your general dentist about any dentists that they can refer you to. It’s likely that they’ll know other dentists in the area, and that they will be able to point you in the right direction.
You also may consider asking friends or family members that have undergone the same procedure—or a similar procedure—that you are looking to undergo. It’s likely that someone you know has undergone some form of cosmetic dentistry.
Depending on the type of service that you are looking to have performed, you may consider speaking with your insurance company. While your dental insurance plan may not cover all forms of cosmetic dentistry, there may be certain services that they do cover for practical reasons. This may include the placement of a dental veneer or crown, for instance.