With all that you do to take care of your body, inside and out, you may feel like the appearance of your smile is being neglected.  Many people find that cosmetic dentistry helps them to show their good physical health.  This is the aspect of dentistry that focuses on the aesthetic needs of your smile, rather than the functional needs.

So what are your options to get that beautiful smile that you're looking for?  There are many services or procedures that are considered cosmetic dentistry, but a few of these include:

  • Teeth Whitening

Probably the most common aesthetic improvement, whitening helps to remove stains in your teeth from food or drink, smoking, or bad oral hygiene.  This includes a range of options, from at-home whitening, to professional in-office procedures.

  • Inlays or Onlays

As opposed to fillings, inlays or onlays are an option to protect against tooth decay while presenting a nice appearance by the tooth.  They are created in a lab before being fitted over your existing tooth.

  • Composite Bonding

This option consists of composite material that looks like your tooth enamel, which is fitted into place in a cracked or chipped tooth, and molded to the shape of your tooth.  It is hardened by high-intensity light, to match your other teeth.

  • Dental Veneers

This is a laminate made of porcelain or composite material that is bonded to your tooth to improve stains if whitening hasn't helped or smooth out cracks or chips in your enamel.

  • Dental Implants

Prosthetic tooth replacements for lost teeth, implants can improve both the image and functionality of your smile.

  • Periodontal Plastic Surgery

Another option is plastic surgery to correct irregularities in the gums.  Removal or addition of gum tissue in different areas of the mouth improves its appearance, to give you a more consistent smile.

Short of periodontal plastic surgery, the majority of these cosmetic options can be performed in your regular dentist's office, in as little as one visit.  Most dentists are trained not only to repair unhealthy problems with your mouth, but also to make it look its best.  If you require surgery or reconstruction, they may refer you to an orthodontic or prosthodontic specialist. 

The costs of cosmetic dentistry can vary a great deal, as it depends on the procedure you wish to receive, and the extent of any damage that needs repairing.  Often health insurance will not cover cosmetic dentistry unless the effect of the procedure also improves the functionality of your mouth.  Be sure to check with your insurance company about what procedures may or may not be covered, and what payment options you may have.

There are, however, still options for financing your improved smile, including payment plans directly through the dentist's office or third party financing.  A monthly payment plan can often be determined, to help fit your budget.  A healthy and radiant smile is definitely within your reach!  Talk to a cosmetic dentist near you today for more information.