When deciding whether or not to invest in a cosmetic dental treatment, a worthwhile exercise is to evaluate your confidence level. Have your teeth ever kept you from smiling, laughing or speaking in front of others? Do you get the feeling that people are staring at your teeth when you’re talking to them? Cosmetic dentistry treatments can help you achieve your most confident smile.
Patients who feel confident about their smiles are more likely to take better care of their dental health.
To begin, you should discuss with your dentist how you honestly feel about your smile. What are the issues or imperfections that make you feel self-conscious? What would you change? What are the parts you like and appreciate about your smile? It’s all relevant and it’s all important for your doctor to understand.
Next, your dentist will give you a comprehensive oral exam to identify any issues that may disqualify you from a particular treatment. Cosmetic dentistry should only be performed on healthy teeth. If you require any restorative work, your doctor will let you know at this time.
Once your dentist has examined your mouth and discussed with you your problems and preferences, they will provide you with a recommended treatment plan.
There are many different ways to restore a smile, so your dentist may provide several options and let you choose which best suits your lifestyle, budget, and priorities.
Once you and your dentist have agreed on a treatment plan that works for you, we’ll help you schedule your treatment appointments. We can also discuss payment options with you at this time.
Take-home whitening lets you whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, and provides more subtle, gradual results over the course of about a week.
We’ll first take impressions of your teeth using either dental putty or digitally with an intraoral scanner. With these impressions, a set of reusable custom whitening trays will be manufactured just for you.
Once the trays are ready, they’ll be given to you along with the whitening product and instructions for their use. Simply follow your dentist’s instructions, and you’ll get professional-grade results in no time!
Dental bonding uses a special tooth-colored dental resin, that is applied directly to your tooth during treatment. Your dentist will shape and sculpt this resin to correct the shape of your tooth, restoring the look and functionality of your smile. This procedure typically takes only 30-60 minutes per tooth, and is completely non-invasive.
Shaping & contouring (enameloplasty) is also often used alongside bonding. In this process, a thin layer of enamel is removed from uneven teeth or teeth with imperfections like points or minor chipping. This provides you with a more even, appealing smile.
Veneers are tooth-shaped dental prostheses that cover the front surfaces of your teeth. These thin shells of porcelain allow you to treat small gaps between teeth, severe staining, misshapen or uneven teeth, and much more. They are very durable and long-lasting, and can completely transform your smile. However, they are permanent and cannot be removed. This is because they require the removal of some of your natural enamel, which is an irreversible process.
Lumineers are very similar to veneers with one major difference. They are typically less than half of the thickness of a standard veneer, which is only about as thick as a contact lens. The unique porcelain material used for Lumineers is very thin, yet still durable.
Because they are so thin, Lumineers can often be placed without removing any of your natural enamel. This means that, unlike traditional veneers, Lumineers can be removed. However, since they are thinner, they are not right for all patients and their needs.
Teeth can be brightened up to 10 shades in a single in-office teeth whitening session. It’s also the most popular cosmetic dental treatment.
Cosmetic dentistry can solve just about any dental issue that’s related to the appearance of your teeth. Teeth whitening is obviously used to treat stained teeth and can help you look younger. Bonding, shaping, and contouring can repair misshapen and uneven teeth, or treat minor tooth damage, such as chips or breaks. Dental crowns are occasionally used for cosmetic purposes, too. Treatments as versatile as veneers or Lumineers can often be used to treat all the previously mentioned issues as well as correcting gaps between teeth, more severe tooth staining, and slightly crooked or crowded teeth.
As long as your teeth and gums are healthy and you’re free of any major orthodontic issues, you’re likely a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry.
Oppositely, cosmetic treatment is not right for you if you have oral health problems like gum disease or cavities, or if you have major issues with the alignment of your teeth or jaw. You’ll need restorative care or orthodontic treatment to resolve these problems before you can get cosmetic dental treatment. But often, restorative care and orthodontics can give you a healthier and more beautiful smile.
Yes. While this does depend on the type of treatment that’s right for you, it’s quite common to have multiple cosmetic dental procedures done at the same time. Dental bonding and enameloplasty, for example, are often done in the same appointment. Ask your dentist for more information, and to find out if you can have multiple procedures done at once.
It’s rare for cosmetic dentistry to be covered by dental insurance. These procedures are often listed as elective and not necessary to the health of your smile. In some cases, your insurance may cover a portion of the cost of treatments like cosmetic crowns or veneers, but this is not common. In most cases, you will need to pay for treatment out-of-pocket. Contact your insurer for more details on your dental insurance coverage. Then contact our practice to see if we have any available discounts or payment plans to help you cover treatment.
Cosmetic treatments and restorative dentistry are often used in combination to transform patients’ smiles.