Understanding the Benefits and Costs of Cosmetic Dentistry
Your smile is extremely important when it comes to your level of self-confidence. It’s also an unfortunate fact that the way your teeth look can play an important role in how other people perceive you, and these two factors combined could end up holding you back and preventing you from reaching your full potential. Luckily, no matter whether you have broken, missing, chipped or discolored teeth, there are a range of different cosmetic dentistry procedures that can help to restore the appearance of your teeth and give you the bright, white, straight smile you’ve been dreaming of.
The only problem is that not all cosmetic procedures are covered under the typical dental insurance policy, which means you may end up having to pay for everything out of your own pocket. Of course, you can’t really put a price on your teeth such is their importance. For many people, this means paying whatever it takes to get their teeth properly fixed. Nonetheless, it is still important to understand the typical costs associated with cosmetic dentistry as this will make it easier to determine which option is best for both your smile and your pocketbook.
Understanding the Different Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
The term cosmetic dentistry covers a wide range of different procedures. Still, they all have one thing in common as all forms of cosmetic dentistry are designed to improve the aesthetic look of your teeth and restore them to their natural, healthy appearance. This is in contrast with purely functional and restorative dentistry, which obviously focuses on how the teeth function instead of how they look.
Nonetheless, there are certain procedures—such as crowns, implants and bridges—that blur the lines between cosmetic and functional dentistry. In some cases, your dental insurance policy may cover at least part of these procedures when their main goal is to repair a functional or structural problem and not purely cosmetic.
In addition to crowns and dental implants, cosmetic dentistry can also take many other forms. Dental tooth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dental practices. In addition, cosmetic dentistry professionals generally offer dental veneers, onlays and inlays, bridges, dentures, dental bonding and various other options—all of which may be able to help you achieve your goal of a healthier, natural-looking smile.
Tooth Bleaching and Whitening
Many people turn to over-the-counter whitening gels, toothpastes and other product in an attempt to eliminate tooth discoloration or achieve a brighter, whiter smile, and there is no doubt that at least some of these products work. In fact, they can be a fairly easy, inexpensive solution for minor problems. Still, nothing can compare to the results of an in-office tooth whitening. Not only does an in-office whitening guarantee far superior result to the at-home options, but the results are also instantly visible as soon as you leave the office. Still, this type of result doesn’t always come cheap—with the average cost of in-office whitening hovering around $500.
Implants offer the strongest, most permanent solution for broken, missing or damaged teeth. Still, the process takes a bit of time from start to finish and requires quite intensive work. As a result, implants are also one of the most expensive procedures.
If you’re unhappy with the look of your teeth, dental veneers are an outstanding option. This method uses thin porcelain veneers that are bonded to the front of your teeth to give them a white, healthy appearance. As far as improving the overall look, shape, size and color of your teeth, only implants can compete with veneers. Of course, you get what you pay for.
Crowns, Inlays and Onlays
Each of these methods can be a good choice to restore the appearance and/or function of damaged or decaying teeth. With crowns, a cap is put directly over the damaged tooth, whereas inlays and onlays use a bonding material to fill the damaged tooth. Crowns are generally less expensive. Inlays and onlays are slightly more expensive.
Bonding is another option for restoring both the appearance and function to damaged, broken or decayed teeth. In this case, a bonding material is used to restore the tooth’s normal shape before the material is then hardened using a special UV light. Although the results aren’t always quite as permanent as other methods, the good news is that bonding can often be done fairly cost effectively.
As you can see, there are many potential options to help fix your teeth and smile. In this sense, it is important that you discuss your options with a cosmetic dentistry professional to determine which is best for your specific situation. As the same time, this will also give you a chance to more accurately compare the price of each procedure since they can vary quite widely from city to city and from dentist to dentist. Be sure to check out our cosmetic dental services for more information.
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