Cosmetic dentistry refers to the practice of restoring your smile to help increase the overall appearance. This can help people boost their confidence and self-esteem. Cosmetic dentistry can range from teeth whitening to dental implants. Many dental procedures that are necessary to having a healthy mouth may fall under the category of “cosmetic.”
Thus, these procedures may be covered partially by your insurance provider, but generally speaking, cosmetic dentistry is not usually covered. Any type of physical enhancement may be considered some form of cosmetic dentistry. Some of the more common treatments may include:
- Teeth whitening
- Fillings colored to look like your tooth
- Aligners and braces
These can all be considered cosmetic dentistry to some extent, but some may be necessary for your overall oral health. It’s important to talk with your dentist about what your options are for any cosmetic enhancements you may be interested in. Also, talk to your insurance provider to see what they are willing to cover.
This is typically a rather simple and inexpensive procedure. You can get your teeth bleached via in-office products by your dentist, or purchase bleaching kits from your dentist to use at home. Professional whitening from your dentist can cost up to $500. This option will give you the best and longest-lasting results. In comparison, you can purchase over the counter whitening kits for around $50. These can give you good results, but they may not last and could have adverse side effects.
Veneers are thin covers that are placed over the front of your teeth. These look very natural and can be used to fix many different dental issues. Veneers are often a good alternative to whitening if your teeth are badly stained and cannot be bleached.
Dental crowns are made from a variety of different materials including: zirconia, ceramic, porcelain, metal, composite resin, or a combination of materials. Crowns are used in many different situations like if you are missing a tooth, have a large cavity, or your tooth is weakened or cracked. You can read more about them here: CROWNS
Dental bridges are used to bridge gaps in your mouth where you are missing teeth. These can be supported either by other natural teeth or implants. For more information on bridges visit our Prosthetic dentistry page. PROSTHETIC DENTISTRY
Dental implants are designed to act as a new permanent tooth. The implant is surgically added to your jaw and thus, replaces the root of the missing tooth. From there a crown is placed on top of the implant to mimic and blend in with the rest of your natural teeth. For more information on this visit our Dental implants page. IMPLANTS
Fillings are typically used to treat cavities. The dentist will remove a decayed portion of your tooth and then fill the space left behind. Different types of materials can be used for fillings and the filling cost will depend on the type of material used. Some of the materials you can choose from are:
- Composite resin
- Silver amalgam (Becoming more limited in today's dentistry)
Regardless of what material you choose for your filling, the treatment will typically only take one visit. It’s also important to note that no matter what material is used the filling will not last forever. It is important that you speak with your dentist about how long your filling is expected to last and what you can do to maintain its longevity.
Aligners and braces are a form of orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth. For more information on orthodontic treatments visit our orthodontics page. ORTHODONTICS
Inlays and Onlays are referred to as “indirect” fillings. This means they are created outside of the mouth in a lab and then placed in or on the tooth as needed. Direct fillings are applied directly to a cavity usually within one visit to the dentist. Inlays and Onlays are very similar to each other, the different names just reference where the filling will be placed. If the filling is going to be placed between the two points of the tooth then it is an inlay. If the filling covers one or more of these points or cusps then it is an Onlay.