While traditional or general dentistry is focused on maintaining the health of a patient’s teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry refers to dental treatments designed to improve or enhance the appearance of a person’s smile. Often, cosmetic dentistry treatments are employed to mend the appearance of teeth that are cracked, stained, chipped, crooked, or unevenly spaced.
Common cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
- Tooth whitening
- Porcelain veneers
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Dental bonding
- Dental crowns
- Dental bridges
- Invisalign® invisible braces
- Dental implants
- Gum recontouring
- Inlays and onlays
Perhaps the most sought-after cosmetic dentistry treatment today is tooth whitening. While there are a number of at-home whitening or bleaching kits, patients who seek optimal results are better served by investing in professional tooth whitening at their cosmetic dentist’s office. Porcelain veneers are also a very popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain affixed to the fronts of teeth to mask the appearance of a number of dental flaws, including teeth that are stained, misshapen, misaligned, or even crooked. Patients often opt to combine a number of cosmetic dentistry procedures to achieve what is commonly referred to as a new smile design or a smile makeover.
While cosmetic dentistry is often considered elective and thus not covered by most dental insurance plans, most cosmetic dentists offer convenient financing or credit options to help offset the cost of cosmetic dentistry.
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