Thoughts

Cosmetic Dentistry Options

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One of the most common and affordable forms of cosmetic dentistry is tooth whitening.   This procedure is the only one that can be done at home. Although dental offices offer whitening services, there are multiple over the counter whitening products to be found at your local grocery store or pharmacy.  Whitening products work by bleaching the teeth or scrubbing away stains using a mild abrasive. Tooth whitening is not a permanent solution therefore it is important to be careful when using the products so as not to accidentally damage the teeth with over use. In-office whitening can cost up to $500 per session and over the counter products can range anywhere in price from a few dollars for a tube of whitening toothpaste to upwards of $50 for a whitening kit.

Sometimes the yellowing and damage to teeth can be caused by regular wear and tear or the erosion of enamel. In this case a treatment known as bonding is one of the preferred methods of cosmetic dentistry.  During this process a putty like resin is created to match the color of the surrounding teeth then adhered to the existing damaged tooth with the use of a special UV light.   Bonding can also be used in lieu of silver or amalgam fillings. The cost of this procedure can range between $100 – $400 per tooth.

Another popular option in the field of cosmetic dentistry are veneers.  Veneers are paper thin shells made out of either porcelain or resin that are custom made to fit over the front of the teeth. They are bonded to the teeth and are designed to change the color, shape and size of the teeth according to the patient’s needs. Before they are attached to the teeth, a half millimeter of the tooth’s surface must be removed to prepare the tooth for the bonding process making the treatment irreversible. Cost per tooth can range from $500 – $1300 making this an option that is more popular with the upper class.  

Weak and damaged teeth can be treated with the use of crowns.  A crown is a custom made tooth shaped cap that is place over the tooth in need of repair.  The tooth is first prepared for the procedure but being filed down so as to allow space for the crown to be cemented over it. Crowns can be made from acrylic, ceramic, metal or porcelain coated metal and are designed to with stand the wear and tear of everyday chewing for up to 15 yrs.  They can range in price from $500 – $900 each and are one of the more common treatments for broken teeth in cosmetic dentistry.

The ‘quick fix’ of the cosmetic dentistry world is enamel shaping.  This technique is a painless and fairly simple technique that is used to reshape and refine small imperfections in the patient’s teeth by filing away some of the enamel to make the teeth appear more even and uniform.

Perhaps the most well-known and least loved method of cosmetic dentistry is Orthodontics, more commonly referred to as braces. Braces are used when teeth are crooked or misaligned.  Previously a treatment used mostly on children and younger teens, this treatment is becoming more and more popular with adults. Braces work by gently applying pressure that over time slowly begins to shift the way the tooth sits in its socket. The process is not a quick one and requires multiple adjustments and visitations to a specialist and is as such one of the more costly and time consuming options available. Thankfully gone are the clunky metal braces of old, as new technology emerges so too does the advancement in orthodontics continue to progress.  While metal is still and option braces now come in a multitude of different forms and including clear, or tooth colored options making them less conspicuous and smiling a little easier.

Tooth loss can be detrimental to both a person’s sense of self-worth and their long term health.  Implants are often used in cosmetic dentistry to replace a tooth that has been lost due to injury or decay.  One of the more expensive options of cosmetic dentistry, the procedure can run anywhere between $1,250 – $3,000 per implant.

Dentures are an essential treatment option for those who have lost multiple teeth due to illness, injury or decay. Dentures not only allow a person to once again enjoy the foods they love, but they also provide the patient with the confidence to face the world with a smile and after all, isn’t that what cosmetic dentistry is all about.  

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