What You Need to Know About Cosmetic Dentistry

The appearance of your teeth can have a major effect on the appearance of your smile. For instance, if you have missing, cracked, chipped, discolored, or missing teeth, you may have difficulty smiling with the people you meet. The good news is that these dental imperfections can be resolved by a cosmetic dentist. 

But what is cosmetic dentistry, and how can it benefit you? Here are the most important things you need to know about cosmetic dentistry.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry, and What Does it Entail?

Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the appearance and aesthetics of teeth. In other words, the work of cosmetic dentists involves improving the appearance of their patients’ smiles. However, it is important to note that although the primary goal of most cosmetic dental procedures is to improve the appearance of the teeth, some cosmetic dental treatments can have medical/restorative benefits. 

Some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures and solutions include:

  • Teeth whitening, which is meant to address the issue of discolored teeth
  • Tooth contouring, which involves removing small amounts of enamel to improve the shape of the teeth
  • Dental bonding, which involves applying a tooth-colored composite with the aim of concealing dental imperfections like tooth discoloration, cracks, and craze lines
  • Porcelain veneers also used to conceal some dental imperfections
  • Gum contouring used to address gummy smiles
  • Dental implants to replace missing or damaged teeth

The Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

The importance of cosmetic dental procedures cannot be overemphasized. For instance, these procedures can help patients regain their ability to smile with confidence. Some cosmetic dental solutions like porcelain veneers and dental bonding can protect a patient’s teeth against damage, in addition to concealing dental imperfections. 

In a nutshell, cosmetic dentistry will enhance the appearance of your smile, boost your self-confidence, and optimize your dental health.

The Ideal Candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry

Unfortunately, not everyone with dental imperfections qualifies for cosmetic dental services. The ideal candidate for cosmetic dental services should:

  • Be in good dental health. If you have serious dental problems, such as gum disease, it will need to be treated before you can have some cosmetic dental treatments like teeth whitening.
  • Be a non-smoker or willing to quit smoking. This is because smoking can cause poor healing, especially when surgery is involved. Besides, if you want to whiten your teeth, smoking might quickly reverse the positive results of the procedure.
  • Have realistic expectations and accept that the results will be unique.
  • Your cosmetic dentist will assess you thoroughly to determine if you qualify for any particular dental health procedure.

Cosmetic Dentistry Costs

Cosmetic dentistry costs vary depending on the type of procedure to be performed and the cosmetic dentistry office you decide to visit. However, it is important to note that most cosmetic dental procedures are considered medically unnecessary, and therefore, you should not expect your medical insurance to cover them. Therefore, before you can decide to have a particular cosmetic dental procedure, you should talk to your dentist about the cost so you can budget accordingly.

FAQs About Cosmetic Dentistry

How Long Do Cosmetic Dental Procedures Take?

This usually varies from one procedure to another and on a case-to-case basis. Some procedures can be completed within a single session, while others will require a couple of sessions. Similarly, some treatment sessions can take a few minutes to complete while others will require several hours. For instance, a tooth whitening session will last about one hour, while veneers may require up to three hours. Therefore, if you are too busy, you will need to consult your dentist to know how much time you will need to spare to have the procedure you are looking for.

How Long Does Recovery Take After Cosmetic Dentistry?

Most cosmetic dentistry procedures are not invasive, and therefore, they do not require any downtime. Therefore, you will most likely be able to go back to your usual day-to-day activities immediately after leaving the dentist’s office. Some procedures, such as tooth whitening and teeth contouring, may cause teeth sensitivity, but this side effect should be gone within a few days. However, if you want to have gum contouring, you can expect recovery to take about three days, meaning that you must be prepared to spend a few days at home following the procedure.

Does Cosmetic Dentistry Have Any Side Effects?

There are no dental procedures without potential side effects. However, the side effects of every cosmetic dental procedure vary on a case-to-case basis and from one individual to another. Generally, cosmetic dental treatments are associated with side effects like tooth sensitivity and gum sensitivity or irritation. The good news is that in most cases, these side effects are mild and temporary, meaning that they should not hinder you from going for a cosmetic dental procedure that can brighten your smile and boost your self-confidence.

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