Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental treatments that are designed to enhance the smile and correct chipped, cracked, discolored, and unevenly spaced teeth. From porcelain veneers to tooth-colored fillings, patients can choose from a variety of dental solutions to restore the health and vitality of their smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Aesthetic dental treatments can be performed to correct everything from minor flaws in the smile to severe tooth discoloration, missing teeth, and uneven spacing between teeth. The following is a list of common aesthetic dentistry options:
- Dental Bonding: The application of tooth-colored composite to the teeth. The bonding material can then be polished and shaped to look like the rest of the teeth.
- Gum Contouring: Do you have a gummy smile or uneven gum line? Gum contouring treatments can reshape your gum line to produce a more beautiful smile.
- Porcelain Veneers: Ceramic shells applied to the front of the teeth to conceal cracks and chips, overlay gaps, and create a whiter appearance to a person's smile.
- Teeth Whitening: There are two methods for whitening teeth: laser teeth whitening (performed in the cosmetic dentist's office) and at-home teeth bleaching (involving the use of take-home bleaching kits).
In addition to improving the appearance of the teeth, the following procedures restore and repair teeth that have been damaged as a result of tooth decay, gum disease, or injury:
- Dental Bridges: A sturdy structure composed of two crowns and a prosthetic tooth. Dental bridges are used to "bridge" the gaps where teeth are missing.
- Dental Crowns: A dental crown, or cap, is used to repair badly decayed or damaged teeth. The crown is created from a mold of the original tooth, and then applied after the decay is removed and the tooth is prepared.
- Dental Fillings: A composite resin material matched to the natural shade of your teeth. Tooth-colored "white" fillings are an attractive alternative to silver amalgam fillings.
- Dental Implants: Artificial roots that are embedded in the jaw and are each topped with a prosthetic tooth. Dental implants are a restorative and cosmetic dentistry solution for missing teeth.
- Inlays/Onlays: Durable and attractive restorations used to repair cracked or otherwise damaged teeth. Inlays and onlays require less tooth reduction than fillings or crowns.
Orthodontic treatments improve the symmetry and alignment of the teeth and jaw. Popular orthodontics treatments include:
- Invisalign®: An orthodontic solution for unevenly spaced, overlapping, or gapped teeth. Invisalign® is a popular teeth-straightening solution for adults who want to avoid orthodontic braces.
- Braces: Braces can be used to correct severely overcrowded teeth and other orthodontic problems.
How to Find a Cosmetic Dentist
It is important that you choose a qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist. If there are any complications during a procedure, an experienced dentist will be more adept at handling the situation. In addition, a cosmetic dentist who has performed many complicated dental procedures will have had more time to perfect his or her technique and results. Aesthetic dental treatments like dental veneers and bonding require an artistic touch to produce the most attractive and natural-looking results. The following guidelines can help you find a qualified cosmetic dentist:
- Look for a dentist who has received accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). This accreditation is an indication that the dentist has received specialized training in this field.
- Try to find a dentist who has made aesthetic dental treatments a prominent feature of his or her practice.
- After finding a prospective dentist, learn about his or her qualifications and experience by requesting this information directly or visiting the practice's website.
- To get an idea of the results you can expect from your treatment, ask for before and after pictures of previous patients.
Cosmetic Dentistry Prices
Dental prices vary depending on the extent of work that needs to be done and the technologies utilized by the dentist, among other things. In order to get an accurate estimate on treatment, patients should talk to a dentist in their city to get an idea of how much dentists charge in the area. It is important to remember that most dentists cannot provide patients with the exact cost of treatment until you come into the office for a consultation. During the examination, the dentist can determine the best course of treatment for your individual case, and the amount of work to be done in order to help you achieve the smile makeover you desire. Navigate to the section dedicated to your desired procedure for a price estimate of a specific treatment.
Once you have talked to a dentist about dental prices, you may want to inquire about the payment options available to patients. Most dentists accept cash, check, and credit cards, in addition to financing options to help patients pay for the cost of treatment. Credit cards and financing options allow patients to spread payment out over the course of a few months to a few years.
Many patients interested in treatment would love to have a smile makeover but cannot afford to pay for treatment up front in cash. What they don't know is that there are a number of payment options available to help patients cover the cost of cosmetic dentistry treatment, including a multitude of financing plans. Many dentists offer financing options from CareCredit® and local companies, in addition to plans through and Capital One®.
CareCredit® is a financing option that provides patients with up to $25,000 to pay for the cost of cosmetic dentistry treatments. Through the use of payment plans with affordable monthly installations, the prices of procedures can be broken into smaller dividends. Dental financing provides patients with the options they need to manage the cost of treatment.
Speak to a Dentist in Your Area
If you are considering cosmetic dentistry treatment, we recommend that you contact several dentists in your area to discuss specific prices and financing options. Find a cosmetic dentist in your state today.