If you are unhappy with how your smile looks you may have considered asking your dentist about cosmetic dentistry. Whether you need to brighten your smile, fix a cracked tooth, or need to replace missing teeth, a variety of modern cosmetic dental treatments are available to greatly improve your smile and quality of life. But, before you schedule your appointment, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what cosmetic dentistry is and how it can help you. This article will answer common questions patients typically have regarding cosmetic dentistry.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Any type of dental work that improves the appearance of your smile (teeth, gums, bite) is considered cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentists are trained to focus on improving the color, size, shape, position and alignment of teeth. While many cosmetic dental treatments involve elected procedures, some may be recommended by your dentist to restore full mouth functionality and to improve your oral health.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Safe?
Cosmetic dentists are trained to safely and effectively provide a wide variety of cosmetic dental treatments. All types of cosmetic dental procedures can be rendered with no or minimal discomfort, and without negatively affecting your oral health. In fact, some cosmetic dental treatments can actually strengthen your teeth and even boost the health of your smile.
What are the Different Types of Cosmetic Dentistry?
There are a variety of cosmetic dental treatments and procedures that can improve or enhance your smile. Here are just some of the most common types:
- Professional Teeth Whitening: Whitening teeth is a very attractive treatment for many patients. Professional teeth whitening isn’t too invasive and can brighten your smile safely and quickly. It’s also a relatively inexpensive cosmetic dental treatment.
- Clear Correct Clear Braces/Invisible Aligners: If you want an inconspicuous way to straighten your teeth, teeth aligner trays like Clear Correct will provide you with a beautiful smile without the use of wires and brackets. The trays are virtually invisible, removable and gradually shift your teeth into place over time.
- Dental Veneers: Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of ceramic that are fitted over your natural teeth to cover tooth stains, discoloration, crooked teeth, chipped teeth or gapped teeth. If you don’t have time to wait for your teeth to get straightened, or simply want a straighter, brighter smile right away, veneers can be a great option. It’s important to note that veneer placement is more invasive than teeth whitening or Clear Correct since the procedure will permanently alter your natural teeth.
- Tooth-Colored Dental Bonding: Bonding is often used to conceal small tooth imperfections such as a chip, crack, gap, or stain. The treatment is quick and painless. Tooth-colored composite resin will be applied in several coats and then shaped so it matches your smile.
- Dental Crowns: Not only can dental crowns help restore your tooth functionality, they can also be used cosmetically to add length to shorter teeth or to cover up cracks, chips and other imperfections.
- Dental Implants: If you have a missing tooth, your dentist may suggest a dental implant. Dental implants are artificial, titanium tooth roots that hold permanent replacement teeth (such as dental crowns). The replacement teeth are then shaded to look like your natural teeth. Implants are perfect for disgusting a gap in your smile and to restore full tooth functionality.
- Dental Botox: While dental botox is often used to treat painful TMJ issues, it can also be administered by your dentist for cosmetic reasons. Botox and dermal fillers can be used to smooth out your facial skin which can add an even more youthful affect to your smile.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Covered by Insurance?
Sometimes. If your cosmetic dental needs are considered restorative and medically necessary then your dental insurance may cover some or all of your procedures. But, when the cosmetic dental treatment is elective, insurance will not cover the cost. If you need help covering the cost of your cosmetic dental treatment, ask your dentist if they offer dental payment plans to make things easier on your bank account.
How Long Does Cosmetic Dentistry Last?
It depends on the treatment you receive, how well it was performed and lifestyle factors. For example, the effects of teeth whitening can last a few months for people who drink coffee or tea, but even longer for others who refrain. Veneers can last for a decade or more if taken care of properly, and dental implants can last a decade to a lifetime. Always ask your dentist how long your specific cosmetic dental treatment will last.
How Do I Find a Good Cosmetic Dentist?
If you’ve been searching for a cosmetic dentist, you will find that there are many to choose from. So, how do you know when a cosmetic dentist is actually good? There are a few criteria you should look for such as:
- Modern Dental Care. A good cosmetic dentist will stay abreast on the latest advancements in dental technology, treatments and procedures.
- Before and After Photos. Your cosmetic dentist shouldn’t have a problem showing you before and after photos of their cosmetic dental work.
- Good Customer Reviews. Always check dental patient reviews to see if customers are pleased and have left your dentist good ratings.
- Comfort. You should always feel comfortable in the dental office and ensure that your dentist and their staff makes you feel well cared for.
Remember: The above information is not to be substituted for medical advice. If you are thinking of moving forward with a cosmetic dentistry procedure, contact our skilled cosmetic dentists for a thorough dental exam so we can ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for treatment.
Looking for a Cosmetic Dentist in Columbus Ohio?
If you’re ready to improve your smile with cosmetic dentistry, Capstone Dental located in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus Ohio offers all types of cosmetic dental treatments in a modern, comfortable setting. Our highly-skilled dental team brings both experience and care to every patient they serve. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.