Guidelines to Making the Right Decisions About Cosmetic Dentistry
2019 Updated Version
Your smile is often the first thing the world sees. Unfortunately, broken, crooked, or discolored teeth can adversely affect your smile and your overall appearance. This in turn can reduce your confidence and prevent you from putting your best self forward. When this happens, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer. Cosmetic dentistry is a specialized practice that focuses on improving dental aesthetics and smiles in a variety of ways. Periodontics, orthodontics, and prosthetic dentistry are all areas of dental specialities that can focus on cosmetic dentistry.
This complete guide will help you find out everything you need to know including:
Dental veneers are ultra-thin porcelain laminates that bond directly to teeth. This can be a good solution for individuals who wish to change the color of their teeth or close gaps and improve their smile. Cost for porcelain veneers vary from $1000-$2500/tooth.
Unlike veneers, dental implants are actual prosthetic replacement teeth. The titanium implant is inserted into the bone and a dental crown is connected to the implant. Cost varies from $1000-$3,000/tooth. To learn more about dental implants, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry is a great resource.
Porcelain crowns are sculpted to look like real teeth and they’re attached to an existing but damaged tooth. When the original tooth still exists, but is damaged due to breakage, decay, or a large filling, a porcelain crown can be a perfect solution for achieving a beautiful smile. Cost of porcelain crowns can vary from $1000-$2500/tooth.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Advantages & Downsides
Cosmetic dentistry does more than just improve the overall appearance of your teeth. They can also make them stronger, prevent future decay, and give you a new lease on life. Individuals who seek cosmetic dentistry will often discover a whole new level of confidence they’ve never had before. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Dentistry reported that individuals who received veneers cited higher self esteem after the procedure.
There are many advantages of cosmetic dentistry including:
- Improvement in the ability to eat/masticate food
- Strengthen teeth
- Reduced chance of developing pain and infections in your mouth
- Prevents future dental damage
- Increased confidence in yourself and your smile
- Prevent jaw pain and headaches
- Improvements to your general aesthetic appearance, bite and Temporomandibular joint
As with any medical or cosmetic procedure, there are some downsides. Some of the drawbacks to cosmetic dentistry include:
- Procedures are not often covered by most dental insurances
- Cost may be prohibitive for some individuals
- Healthy tooth structure may need to be eliminated to gain aesthetic results
- Procedures or treatments may not last forever and may need to be redone in the future
- Upkeep may be more extensive than other types of dental procedures
- Some discomfort during the procedure or after the procedure
Teeth whitening, also known as bleaching, is the most common cosmetic dental procedure. Laser whitening is a new technique which directs a beam of argon laser on the bleached teeth to speed up the whitening process. It is six times more effective than other types of teeth whitening procedures. Cost varies but can be $250-$1700 for one to two arches.
If your gums rest too low or too high on your teeth, gum treatments and contouring can help you achieve a smile that you’re proud to show off. Gum treatments may be the perfect solution for individuals with gum recession caused by tooth decay and periodontal disease. To learn more about gum treatments, the American Academy of Periodontology is a great resource.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth colored fillings can be blended to perfectly match the natural color of your teeth. These filings are made from a blend of plastic resins and silica fillers and although they may cost a little more, they’re also more aesthetically pleasing than traditional fillings. Cost varies from $200-$600/tooth.
Are There Holistic Approaches to Cosmetic Dentistry?
Oral health is just one component of your overall health and wellbeing, but it is a crucial one. Dentists who practice holistic cosmetic dentistry strive to treat the whole patient, not just their teeth and gums. After all, everything is connected. Your overall health affects your dental health and your dental health affects your mental health. By working to understand the whole patient, holistic dentists can provide unique solutions to achieve maximum results. Some of the ways holistic cosmetic dentists work includes:
- Keeping a mercury free office
- Nutrition conscious
- Oxygen/Ozone therapy
- Fluoride conscious
- Reduced radiation
- Reduction in dentistry toxins
- Chemical free cleanings
- Use of supplements
- Cold lasers to treat TMJ pain
- Natural alternatives to teeth whitening and root canal therapy
Invisalign is a custom made aligner that is rotated for between six and eighteen months in order to correct crooked or misaligned teeth. Unlike braces, they can be removed to brush, floss, eat and drink. In addition, they’re transparent, making it a better solution for working adults who don’t wish to spend years sporting traditional metal brackets and wires. Cost varies from $2500-$7500 one to two arches. Read more about Invisalign® treatment to decide if Invisalign may be right for you.
Botox injections are often used to smooth fine lines and wrinkles in the face and forehead. However, they can also be used in dentistry to treat temporomandibular disorders and oral issues. Cosmetic dentists are uniquely suited for providing Botox treatments because of their extensive facial and oral training, as well as their skills at assessing overall facial aesthetics. Read more about BOTOX® Cosmetic to decide if Botox is right for you.
Making the Right Decisions About Cosmetic Dentistry
If you are considering cosmetic dentistry, it is important to take the time to research qualified dental professionals in your area. Each dentist offers a variety of services for a variety of costs, so it is important to understand the differences between them before making your choice. Before choosing the right cosmetic dentist, here are some guidelines to consider.
Educational Resources and Links
If you wish to learn more about cosmetic dentistry, here are some educational resources and links for further information:
- American Dental Association
- Academy of General Dentistry
- New Jersey Dental Association
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
At Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics and Implants, our dental professionals don’t just believe in treating your smile, we believe in treating the whole patient. That’s why we offer comprehensive dental services based on a Holistic approach. We believe that cosmetic dentistry isn’t just about fixing a smile, it’s about helping our patients gain the confidence they need to live their best lives and become their best selves.