If a smile is a gateway to your soul than cosmetic dentistry can give you a smile like the Taj Mahal! But when considering cosmetic dentistry you not only want a smile with pizzaz but you want that pizzaz to last a long time.
Determining Your Need for Cosmetic Dentistry
- If you hesitate to smile in social settings.
- If you consider your smile a liability instead of an asset.
- If you feel like you need to cover your smile when you are speaking.
- If your children or grandchildren ask you why your teeth look so funny.
- If your smile makes you look older instead of younger.
The foundation of Cosmetic Dentistry is whiter teeth. The best way to whiten teeth is by bleaching them with carbamide peroxide, either using trays with gel or whitening strips. Bleaching has been done now for over 30 years on multiple millions of people in the United States. Bleaching does not harm teeth but often there is a temporary increase in cold sensitivity. Bleaching is actually good for the teeth in that it kills the bacteria around the teeth, making the gums healthier. Also, it is much easier to keep white teeth clean. It is best to bleach teeth before doing any other Cosmetic Dentistry so that fillings, crowns, or veneers can color match these whiter teeth. The cost range for whitening teeth is $100 to $300.
If you have multiple chipped, crooked, spaced, or discolored teeth then you should consider dental veneers. This is a Cosmetic Dentistry procedure whereby thin coverings or veneers are attached to just the front surface of your front teeth. These coverings are made from either baked porcelain fabricated in a laboratory, or from a plastic material which the dentist fabricates in the dental office. These can range from $740 to $1200 per tooth.
We no longer place silver fillings. These older type fillings were held in place by making undercuts in the tooth, the seal around these fillings was created by the silver corroding and the resultant rust dust provided the seal but also turned the tooth black. These old fillings did not chemically attach to the teeth and therefore actually weakened the teeth. Modern Cosmetic Dentists could be called “Bondodontists”. Now every filling, crown, or veneer is chemically attached to the tooth in a process called “bonding”, which strengthens the tooth. Cosmetic composite fillings range from $200 to $400.
The beauty of Cosmetic Dentistry comes from the beauty of enamel, which is the pearl-like outer shell of all teeth. Enamel not only has a translucent beauty, but it is also incredibly hard and durable. There are times when all of the enamel of a tooth needs to be replaced due to decay, breakage, or severe discoloration. This replacement of all the enamel is called a “crown” and totally surrounds a tooth. It is usually made of zirconium or lithium disilicate. These materials are harder than traditional porcelain and much more durable. Crowns are placed to restore weakened teeth as compared to veneers which are done solely for cosmetic reasons. These new dental materials truly look as beautiful as the most perfect enamel. The cost of crowns are approximately $1200 each.
Modern Cosmetic Dentistry has been helped greatly by the use of dental implants to replace individual teeth or to replace multiple teeth with the use of fixed bridges or removable dentures. Implants are titanium screws placed into the bone upon which a cosmetic crown can be attached. Implants are also used to hold dentures in place with a metal snap that engages the denture and holds it in place. Cosmetic Dentistry considers not only the appearance of teeth but also the appearance of the gums surrounding the teeth. When the gum tissue is missing as well as teeth sometimes the best solution is a denture that replaces both. Dental implants secure modern cosmetic dentures such that they can stay in place and function almost as well as natural teeth. Dental implant cost ranges from $1500 to $3000 each. A denture supported by 4 dental implants would typically cost approximately $10,000.
Cosmetic Dentistry is truly an exciting art and science which can transform your smile. Cosmetic Dentistry can provide confidence and sparkle to an area of your life where formerly there was fear and embarrassment in expressing something as simple and wonderful as your smile.