Do your teeth leave a lot to be desired? Though some things in life are unattainable, the perfect smile is not. This is where cosmetic dentistry can help. Also known as aesthetic dentistry, it’s ideal for anyone who has teeth that are misaligned, discolored, stained, chipped, or broken. The process enhances a person’s smile and is also a great way to improve a person’s self-image.
What Is Cosmetic Dental Surgery?
Unlike restorative dental surgery, cosmetic dental surgery is focused on the aesthetic or cosmetic appeal of a person’s smile. This form of dental surgery can help improve the size, color, shape, and alignment of teeth and improve the appearance of bites and gums. Hence, if you have concerns about misalignment, staining, gaps, and other visual dental problems, then you should consider cosmetic dentistry. The most common types of cosmetic dentistry procedures include teeth whitening, veneers, dental bonding, crowns, and implants.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
Let’s take a look at each of these procedures in more detail:
Teeth whitening is also referred to as “teeth bleaching” and is a procedure used to whiten and brighten your teeth. It’s the easiest and the most cost-effective way to rid your smile of staining and discoloration. It can be done at home or at your dentist’s office, but not everyone is eligible for this procedure, check with your dental professional first. For those looking to get their teeth whitened at a dentists’ office, the average price is usually between $500 and $650. However, if you’re comfortable using at-home whitening products such as gels and molds, then the price is generally less at anywhere from $250 up to $400. The other option is purchasing over-the-counter products like rinses, toothpaste, paint-on gel, whitening strips, etc. which will cost anywhere from $3 up to $100.
Dental veneers, or porcelain veneers, are custom-made from very thin, tooth-colored materials which are bonded to the tooth’s surface to improve the appearance. This procedure is best for people with teeth that are cracked, broken, misaligned, or have gaps. There are several options for the type of material used, with the most common being porcelain or resin composite materials. However, porcelain is the most popular because they look more natural and resist stains better than those made from resin.
Veneers tend to be a more expensive way to improve your smile, with costs ranging from $925 to $2,500 per tooth. The average price in the United States is around $1,500 per tooth, but it can become more expensive if you require dental contouring. This form of cosmetic dentistry requires several office visits to complete.
Cracked, chipped, or decaying teeth can be fixed with dental bonding. This procedure uses a tooth-colored resin that’s bonded to the tooth’s surface using laser or ultraviolet light. After the resin hardens and is fully bonded, the dentist will shape, trim, and polish the tooth until the desired appearance is achieved.
This process is generally more cost-effective than porcelain veneers. The price usually runs between $300 and $600 per tooth.
Dental crowns are also known as caps and are custom-made to fit over an entire tooth. Cosmetic dentists create crowns from materials such as porcelain or acrylic that’s fused to metal to withstand bite pressure. Dental crowns are used for teeth that are decayed, chipped, broken, poorly shaped, contain large fillings, or can fill in spaces between the teeth.
As we mentioned, crowns can be made from different materials, and depending on which you choose, the price will range from $1,500 to $2,000 each.
The final type of cosmetic dentistry we’ll discuss today is dental implants. Dental implant surgery is used to remove and replace tooth roots with screw-like metal posts and broken or missing teeth with artificial ones that look real. Most people choose dental implants as an alternative to bridgework or dentures that don’t often fit or function well. It’s also the best option for anyone who is lacking natural tooth roots where building bridges and dentures won’t work.
Dental implants are the most expensive form of cosmetic dentistry. The implants alone usually cost between $3,000 and $5,000. This cost does not include bone grafting, X-rays, CT scans, or tooth extraction.
Is Cosmetic Dental Work Covered By Insurance?
Obviously, the cost is usually an issue when people are deciding between dental procedures. And unfortunately, dental insurance does not always cover the cost of cosmetic dental work. However, insurance may cover this type of work if it is deemed medically necessary. While not all situations are covered, there are certain circumstances when these lines become blurred. For example, a patient who requires cosmetic surgery due to an accident is usually eligible for dental insurance to cover the work. If you are unsure about your situation, it’s always best to consult with a dental professional for answers. The bottom line is that your smile is generally the first thing other people notice about you. Therefore, most people will do whatever it takes to ensure their smile is bright and white. So, if you are looking into cosmetic dental surgery, don’t let the cost deter you. There are options for financing, and this is one purchase you won’t regret!