What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry aims to positively change the look of your teeth and your smile. It is used to complement primary oral health and wellbeing.
These are not considered cosmetic procedures like filling a cavity or getting a root canal. While they might improve the look of your mouth as a byproduct, their primary purpose is to maintain your overall wellness.
This is because cavities and tooth decay can lead to serious complications if left untreated. For those reasons, these are covered by most dental insurance plans.
However, cosmetic procedures might involve things like teeth whitening or straightening. Often, insurance companies will not cover these procedures because they do not affect your overall health and wellbeing.
That said, a cleaner and healthier-looking smile can boost your confidence and make you want to smile more. That’s why almost 90% of orthodontic patients request cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
There are multitudes of different types of cosmetic procedures out there that you can use to improve the appearance of your smile. Here are some of the most common:
- Teeth Whitening
- Invisible Aligners
- Gum Reshaping
- Dental Bridges
Teeth whitening, or bleaching, is one of the most common forms of cosmetic dentistry. This involves professionally lightening the teeth to make them appear whiter and more vibrant than ever before.
Teeth can lose their natural white color from being stained by coffee, tea, and other acidic foods. These contain color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white enamel on the outside of a tooth. However, age, medications, trauma, and tobacco use can also affect the appearance of a tooth.
Whitening is a simple process involving using a bleaching agent (either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide), which breaks stains down and makes their colors less concentrated. The result is a brighter, healthier-looking smile.
You should speak with your dentist about professional whitening before you try to do any whitening on your own. Some at-home kits can be abrasive and do more harm than good for your mouth.
Veneers are covers that adhere to the tooth to give them a more classically shaped look. They are commonly used on teeth that are crooked or chipped to restore their appearance and get you closer to the perfect smile. Veneers can even improve the color of teeth that don’t respond to bleach.
Veneers are thin shells custom-made to fit on top of a tooth. Porcelain veneers are most common because they are strong, natural-looking, and resistant to staining.
Before you get veneers, your teeth and gums must be healthy overall. You also might not want veneers if you grind your teeth. Also, remember that veneers are permanent after the removal of the outer enamel.
Teeth can shift out of place over time due to many underlying reasons. A crooked smile can make you afraid to smile in the first place. While braces are commonly used to correct a shifted smile, they can be unsightly and bring down your confidence.
Invisible aligners, often called Invisalign, is a discrete alternative that works to move your teeth into the desired position over time gradually. The aligners are clear and fit over your teeth, allowing you to get the benefits of braces without anybody noticing as easily.
These aligners are custom-made for your teeth to move them into desirable positions progressively. They’re much more comfortable than metal braces, and you can even remove them when eating or drinking.
Your teeth aren’t the only component of your mouth that can benefit from cosmetic dentistry. Excess gum tissue is often referred to as having a “gummy smile,” making you feel insecure about the overall appearance of your teeth and gums.
Gum reshaping is a cosmetic procedure that seeks to shorten the space between the gum line and the tooth through laser reshaping. It involves cutting away part of the gum line to reveal more teeth, resulting in a more natural-looking smile.
If you need to have a tooth extracted for any reason, dental bridges are a cosmetic procedure that can literally bridge the gap. These involve placing crowns over adjacent teeth with a false tooth in the center, allowing you to regain the function and appearance of your missing tooth.
Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry
Not only can many of these procedures work to improve your self-esteem and confidence, but some of them can have benefits to your overall wellness.
Invisalign, for instance, can help improve cross-bites or overbites, leading to jaw tension and other problems when left untreated.
Affordable Cosmetic Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ
Since cosmetic procedures are rarely covered under most dental insurance plans, you might be stuck paying out of pocket, which can be a major barrier between yourself and the care you want or need.
However, Flossy is here to change the tides and give you the ability to get the dental procedures you want without breaking the bank.
Flossy is a pay-as-you-go dental service that can save you up to 50% on common dental procedures. While the average national teeth whitening price is upwards of $703, Flossy’s price is lower than that. And did we mention there are no annual premiums, membership fees, or monthly dues?
It might sound too good to be true. Still, all of our dentists are vetted against rigorous criteria, including experience and knowledge, peer recommendations, modern techniques and technology, and graduate degrees from accredited dental programs.
Top quality dentists in the Phoenix area are ready to give you the cosmetic procedure you’ve been waiting for. Find a dentist near you and give yourself a reason to smile even bigger.
Cosmetic dentistry involves improving the look and appearance of your smile and teeth.
There are many different types of procedures, like teeth whitening, Invisalign, gum reshaping, and dental bridges, that serve the primary purpose of changing the way your mouth looks.
Since these often have no benefit to your overall oral health, most insurance companies won’t cover them.
You might be stuck paying out of pocket for the procedures you want, but Flossy makes that less daunting. You can achieve the look you want at up to 50% off the average national price without breaking the bank.
If you live in the Phoenix area, dentists are waiting to give you the care you deserve. Find one today and get started towards the perfect smile.
Tooth Whitening | MouthHealthy.org
Whitening | American Dental Association
Veneers | Oral Health Foundation