Everything You Need to Know About Cosmetic Dentistry
An Introduction to Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry has grown tremendously popular over the last two decades as more and more individuals pursue their perfect smile. Today, family dental practices like The Tooth Doc make cosmetic dental care easily accessible to patients who have aspects of their smile they wish were different.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is a specific field of dental care that focuses on improving the appearance of a patient’s smile, including their teeth, gums, and bite alignment. Cosmetic dental care largely revolves around procedures that change the color, shape, size, and position of the teeth.
There is some overlap between cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry. The main difference is that cosmetic dentistry is typically elective, whereas restorative dentistry is usually necessary for restoring function (i.e. proper chewing).
What is the goal of Cosmetic Dentistry?
The primary goal of any cosmetic dentistry treatment plan is for the dentist to help their patient get a smile they find attractive. The secondary goal of cosmetic dental care is to improve the function and health of the patient’s smile.
A wonderful characteristic of cosmetic dentistry is that the improvement of a patient’s oral health occurs naturally. For example, porcelain veneers make a smile appear straighter and help make brushing and flossing a little easier.
Who is Cosmetic Dentistry For?
Cosmetic dentistry is for anyone who wants to boost their self-confidence in their smile. If you’re not 100% pleased with your smile, cosmetic dentistry is for you—no matter how big or how small your smile flaws seem.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cosmetic Dentistry
The team at The Tooth Doc often gets a lot of questions about cosmetic dentistry from curious patients. We love to educate patients on the facts while also dispelling some myths about cosmetic dental care, such as concerns over plastic-looking teeth or cosmetic care being too expensive.
Here are a few questions you may already be wondering about.
How much does a smile makeover cost?
A smile makeover is unique to every patient, and that means costs can vary widely. Patients who only want minimal changes may only be looking at a few hundred dollars in cosmetic care. Patients who want a completely new smile will naturally be looking at a higher cost.
The Tooth Doc team goes to great lengths to make cosmetic dental care as affordable as we can. We also offer treatment plan quotes and can break down a smile makeover into multiple steps to make financial planning as stress-free as possible for patients.
Is cosmetic dentistry covered by insurance?
Cosmetic dentistry isn’t usually covered by general dental insurance plans unless a procedure is deemed necessary to your oral health or function. If you have procedures in your smile makeover that are cosmetic as well as restorative, such as a dental crown for a damaged tooth, your insurance will often partially cover it.
Our office staff will contact your insurance to see what they will or will not cover for your treatment plan.
Do the results look fake?
Absolutely not! Cosmetic dentistry has come a very long way since plastic white veneers and the dreaded “Chiclet teeth.” Your cosmetic dental care will look like your smile, but better. It’ll be more uniform, brighter, and fuller in appearance. Even though your before-and-after may be significant, your smile will still be naturally beautiful, not fake or obvious.
What if I have decay or gum disease?
Oral health is the foundation of your smile, and it’s necessary for you to have optimal oral health before cosmetic dental care. This ensures all of our hard work and your investment will last rather than being sabotaged by tooth decay or gum disease.
If your oral health needs some help, we’ll get you taken care of before starting your cosmetic treatment plan.
Is cosmetic dentistry reversible?
Some cosmetic procedures are semi-permanent or short-term solutions, such as teeth whitening and dental bonding. Others are quite permanent, like dental crowns. As far as irreversible procedures, porcelain veneers fall into this category. While you can replace your veneers with a different shape, color, or style, you will always need veneers in place.
Cosmetic Dentistry Services at The Tooth Doc
The Tooth Doc team offers all five of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Porcelain veneers are the epitome of smile makeovers and one of the best-known cosmetic dentistry procedures. Veneers cover teeth with a thin, shell-like layer of porcelain that’s perfectly colored and shaped to blend in with the patient’s smile. Porcelain veneers can cover just a few trouble teeth or completely cover all visible teeth, depending on what the patient wants.
Porcelain crowns are a very common procedure that offers cosmetic and restorative benefits. Crowns cover individual teeth with a durable shell of porcelain, similar to veneers. Traditionally, these dental crowns are used to protect teeth that are weakened or damaged from decay or after a root canal. From a purely cosmetic perspective, they are ideal for covering teeth that are permanently discolored, chipped, or otherwise cosmetically imperfect.
Porcelain bridges fill gaps in smiles after one or more teeth have been lost. A porcelain bridge requires dental crowns to be placed on the anchor teeth, and a pontic (prosthetic teeth) will be the literal bridge between the anchors. Porcelain bridges are beautiful and an affordable solution for missing teeth.
Dental implants are also excellent for filling in the gaps if you’ve lost teeth. Better than dentures or partials, they are stable, secure, long lasting, and keep your jaw healthy. And yes, they are beautiful, too!
Professional teeth whitening is the most frequently performed cosmetic service. Professional whitening is far more effective and safe than whitening strips found at your grocery store. Though this service may seem simple, don’t underestimate the beauty of a whitened smile! Whether done as a standalone service or in preparation for other cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening makes your smile look instantly younger and more attractive.
Dental bonding is a simple but effective way of subtly changing the look of your smile without the permanence of porcelain veneers. Bonding uses a tooth-colored composite material, similar to a filling, that is sculpted onto the front surface of your teeth. This covers small chips, cracks, gaps, and discoloration. Dental bonding is a great introduction to cosmetic dentistry if you’re not quite ready for porcelain veneers.
Book Your First Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation Today
To learn how cosmetic dentistry can benefit your smile, call the team at The Tooth Doc in Omaha to book a consultation. You can also fill out this handy online request form during non-business hours.