3 Min Read
Whenever you go to visit the dentist, the routine seems to be the same. There is poking and prodding, the comments about your lack of flossing, and finally, the time to schedule the next cleaning six months from now.
For most people, a visit to the general dentist is about all they will need over the course of their life. Basic, routine checkups in order to ensure that you are maintaining sound dental hygiene.
But what happens when you need something else from you general dentist? They might be able to help you or they could refer to other dentists with different specialties. You might be surprised to learn that there are over seven different dental specialties (and up to ten in some countries).
Cosmetic dentistry is one of those specialties, and they were gifted with the hardest to pronounce name out of all of them: prosthodontist.
Cosmetic dentists can help patients with a number of various procedures and all of them revolve around one goal: fixing your smile.
While you could say that all dentists have the goal of perfecting your smile, cosmetic dentists are definitely the leader in this category. As a quick note, the majority of cosmetic dental procedures are not covered by insurance but of course, that depends on the dentist and the insurance itself.
1. Teeth Whitening
One of the more popular procedures among cosmetic dentists, teeth whitening can come in many different forms. There are laser treatments that can take place in the office over the course of an hour and various take-home treatments which can take up to a few months.
Many dentists offer a variety of shades, meaning that you can find the right shade for you and your style.
2. Shaping and Contouring
Just like a sculptor, cosmetic dentists can shape the enamel around your teeth. They can do this by contouring or removing enamel, giving your teeth a more healthy, lively appearance.
It is often used to correct misshapen teeth, crooked teeth, chipped teeth and more. This procedure is often used by those who have healthy teeth and are simply looking for a bit more shaping.
The procedure isnâ€™t as invasive as others and can be performed with a single office visit.
Perhaps the most expensive and invasive procedure that cosmetic dentists perform, implants are exactly how they sound. They are the best long-term solution for replacing missing or damaged teeth and serve as alternatives to dentures, bridges, and veneers.
Implants require extensive surgery and require the teeth to be fused directly into the jawbone. Similar to other surgeries, implants require multiple visits and steps before the procedure can take place.
Dentists often recommend implanting multiple teeth at a time, so there is a strong support system along the jaw and with the surrounding teeth.
4. Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are used to cover a tooth due to decay or damage and can even be used to protect implants and teeth after root canals.
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials and tend to be quite expensive as well and the procedure can last a day if the dentist is able to make a crown in office. Crowns can either be temporary or permanent, depending on the need of the patient.
Bridges, on the other hand, replace missing teeth. Similar to crowns, they can be made from a variety of materials and are anchored to other teeth through concrete. They are one of the least invasive procedures but have the highest chance of needing to be replaced.
Plenty of people have gone to an orthodontist for braces and they wouldnâ€™t be wrong. Both types of dentists deal with braces and can help with overall teeth and jaw alignment.
Braces can be made from either metal, plastic or porcelain and need to be corrected and tightened over time. Cosmetic dentists can also outfit invisible braces, which are plastic retainers that need to be adjusted every two weeks.
Growing in popularity, these invisible braces tend to be cheaper than regular braces while not giving people the Jawface look. Be sure to speak with your dentist and see if they are an option for you.