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What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Posted by Southeast Family Dental Sep 15,2022

Did you know that around 64% of Americans drink coffee daily? Coffee is a prevalent drink that provides an excellent pick-me-up when that alarm goes off much earlier than anticipated on a Monday morning. 

But did you know that your daily coffee habits may contribute to your stained teeth? Instead of giving up your morning coffee, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening. Unlike over-the-counter cosmetic dentistry products, professional whitening can remove challenging stains for longer-lasting results. 

Are you still interested? Teeth whitening is just one branch of cosmetic dentistry. In our complete guide, we have compiled other cosmetic dentistry procedures and how you can get started with a better smile today, so keep reading on for more information!

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a dental field focused on improving the aesthetics of your teeth. It can include fixing the appearance of your teeth, bite alignment, or straightening them. Some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry services include:

  • Veneers
  • Crowns
  • Teeth whitening
  • Tooth-colored fillings

Cosmetic dentistry can restore your smile and give you back your confidence. Qualified dentists can recommend and use the best technological advances for long-lasting results. 

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are often used to fix cracked, broken, or discolored teeth. Compared to composite-resin veneers, porcelain veneers are often a durable and more aesthetically pleasing dental care option. 

Porcelain veneers use a thin shell that covers the outside of your tooth. Before placement, your dentist will shave down some of your tooth’s enamel.

It is an excellent option for fixing misshapen or off-colored teeth. Porcelain veneers can also balance teeth size if you have an undersized tooth. 

On average, this cosmetic dental procedure will cost between $925 to $2,500 per tooth. They should last you upwards of a decade. Some studies reported porcelain veneers lasting nearly 20 years. 

Dental Crowns

Like veneers, dental crowns are a cap that covers the outside of your tooth. They can be used similarly to veneers, such as tooth discoloration. 

Crowns are also often used in conjunction with a root canal or implant. Porcelain crowns will offer several of the same benefits as porcelain veneers since it provides more exact color-matching and is more durable than other options. 

Teeth Whitening

Teeth can often become stained from everyday foods and drinks, like coffee, wine, or medication. Your body’s natural aging process may also dull or yellow your teeth. Yellow or stained teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile.

Luckily, teeth whitening is one of the simplest and most cost-friendly cosmetic dentist options out there. There are three types of teeth whitening: at-home, professional, and at-home professional kits. Over-the-counter kits are the least effective, and you will not see as dramatic results.

On the other end of the spectrum, professional teeth whitening is the most expensive. However, it takes the fewest sessions and can give you quality results. The best in-office teeth whitening uses patented bleach gel that can brighten your smile by eight to ten shades in as little as one hour.  

Lastly, professional at-home kits are teeth whitening products you purchase at a dental clinic. These allow you to whiten your teeth gradually and may save you a few extra dollars compared to in-clinic whitening. 

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Whenever you have a cavity or decay, your dentist will need to clean and remove any damaged portion to prevent further tooth injury. Afterward, you may have a small hole or gap in your tooth. 

Filling that space is essential for proper function and appearance. Dental fillings also act as a barrier and prevent any tooth deterioration. While it serves several functional purposes, tooth-colored fillings are ideal if you want the most natural-appearing smile. 

Many fillings leave dark spots on your teeth, making you self-conscious about your smile. Instead, you can ask your dentist about using composite resin fillings. 

Composite resins allow dentists to mix several mixtures for a natural tooth shade. Additionally, they are also highly durable and prevent against temperature changes and breakage. 

Composite resin fillings can last nearly ten years. Opting for a plastic sealant will protect your filling against staining from coffee or other staining foods and drinks. 

Does Insurance Cover Cosmetic Dentistry?

The insurance question is a bit of a gray area since there are some procedures that your dental insurance may cover and others that you will have to pay out-of-pocket. Most times, anything without medical necessity is unlikely to be covered. 

For example, if you want your teeth whitened, it is less likely you will receive coverage. If you have a dental crown placed because of an injured or damaged tooth, you are more likely to receive at least partial coverage. 

Veneers are another area that may or may not receive coverage, depending on whether they are considered cosmetic or preventative care. So how much can you expect to pay? Crowns and veneers are usually priced similarly.

Professional teeth whitening will be one of the most affordable options at around $650. Lastly, dental fillings will usually have coverage since they are used to prevent further tooth deterioration. However, composite fillings typically cost more than silver amalgam. 

How To Find the Best Dentist for Your Cosmetic Procedure

Cosmetic dentistry is an expanding dental field that can rejuvenate your confidence and smile. There are several procedures, both in-clinic and at home, that can make a big difference in how your teeth look. From simple procedures like teeth whitening to more permanent fixtures such as veneers, you have plenty of options. 

To get started, you need a dentist who is specialized in cosmetic procedures. At Southeast Family Dental, we offer several cosmetic dentistry options. Contact us today and find out more about scheduling an appointment!

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